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Nonprofit geared toward empowering Asian Americans kicks off leadership academy

The Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) will kick off Friday its 2014 Leadership Academy, a civic leaders training program for local college and high school students. Participants in the nine-week summer internship — including the program's first Latino member Edwin Saucedo and Alhambra native Rita Zhou — will work at a legislative or city government office, attend a civic leaders conference, discuss current issues, and complete a group research project.

"[We are] creating hands-on opportunities for students who demonstrate academic excellence, a commitment to civic engagement, and leadership initiative to emerge at the forefront of the public arena,” said Francisco Arechiga, director of marketing and communications at CAUSE.

Asian Americans have lower voter turnout rates than Caucasians or African Americans, according to a recent Census Bureau analysis from the Pew Research Center. According to Arechiga, the CAUSE Leadership Academy, grounded in the nonprofit's mission to empower Asian Americans, will change that.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted Francisco Arechiga. We apologize for the error.

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