All staff can be reached by phone at 703-256-2208. Click on each picture to learn more about them! Headshots taken by Les Talusan.
Caitlin Huynh (Huỳnh Nhất Phương) is a first-generation Vietnamese American who was born in Tiểu Cần, Việt Nam. Currently, she is based in Northern Virginia. In addition to English, she is fluent in French and Vietnamese.
As a former researcher with the East-West Center in Washington, she supported U.S.- Indo-Pacific public diplomatic efforts. Most recently, she supported clinical trials by coordinating and processing life sciences translation requests.
Through her previous employment, she rediscovered a passion for language justice as it relates to healthcare access and information. As a result of her immigrant experience helping her parents navigate multiple government bureaucracies to receive unemployment assistance and healthcare, she is passionate about worker’s rights and universal healthcare coverage.
In Caitlin’s free time, you can find her spoiling her cat, hiking, working out, and doing photo walks.
Caitlin Huynh (she/her)
Community Outreach Specialist
Ha Tang (Tăng Hoàng Hà) is a first-generation Vietnamese American with a Bachelor of Social Work. Ha joins NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center) as a Community Organizer, focusing on outreach to the community- particularly Vietnamese Americans- who are impacted by challenges such as lack of access to health care, language barriers, racism, and/or immigration status.
She found her passion for social justice, advocacy and education as a participant in the Southeast Asian Action Resource Center Leadership and Advocacy Training (SEARAC LAT) advocating for increased funding for college access, completion programs and ethnic data disaggregation. She later went on to serve as a mentor for Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development (AALEAD) and worked at a school. She was also an active civic engagement volunteer when Hamkae Center was known as NAKASEC VA.
She enjoys reading, playing video games, eating and spending time with friends and family.
Ha Tang (she/her)
Jasmine Leu (翁翠莉) is Hamkae Center’s Civic Engagement Manager, focused on educating and mobilizing the Asian American community to vote. She is a second-generation Taiwanese American born and raised in the DMV area, with educational background in Computer Science, Sociology, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Prior to joining NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center), Jasmine found her passion for social justice and advocacy in school by leading peer-to-peer education workshops on LGBTQ+ issues and allyship, workshops on the intersectional wage gap, and the housing inequality discrimination against the Romani in the Czech Republic.
Her interests include snacking and stuffed animals.
Jasmine Leu (she/her)
Civic Engagement Manager
Kevin Han (한예찬) is the Health Navigator at Hamkae Center, focused on educating and assisting diverse Asian American communities with health coverage. He believes everyone deserves access to affordable healthcare, and is fully committed to helping anyone, including immigrants, LGBTQ+, women, and those with disabilities, acquire that basic human right.
Prior to joining NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center), Kevin has gained experience with community engagement in a wide range of fields, including youth development, teaching English, and public service in the federal government. With an educational background in politics and foreign affairs, he is passionate about civic engagement, voting rights, and Asian American & Pacific Islander representation.
Kevin is a second-generation Korean American born and raised in Northern Virginia. He is SCC-certified. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, and watching sunsets at the beach.
Kevin Han (he/him)
Health Services Coordinator
Miae Bok (복미애) joins as the Services & Outreach Team Lead to assist with development and community engagement. They are a 2nd generation Korean American interested in intersectional justice and creating safer spaces for under-served communities. They hold a degree in psychology and a masters in social work.
Before coming to NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center), they interned with the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance providing data analysis and research support to create more inclusive services and programs. While interning with Diversity Richmond, they kickstarted the first Bisexual+ support group at the organization.
In their spare time, Miae enjoys spoiling their dog, painting, and crafting.
Miae Bok (they/them)
Services & Outreach Team Lead
Mitch Chan, born in Flushing, New York, is the daughter of Chinese-Malaysian immigrants. Recognizing that being Asian is not a monolithic experience, Mitch seeks to celebrate the differences in our backgrounds and experiences so that we can uplift Asian voices, while ensuring that we fight and win the tangible changes that our communities need.
She has a strong background in community and labor organizing. Prior to joining NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center), Mitch was the Lead Organizer at ACE Collaborative and New Virginia Majority. She organized Asian community members around housing and COVID-19 justice in Arlington, Virginia. She was also a staunch union organizer with her own graduate student union (Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO) in Champaign, Illinois. In addition to her work at Hamkae Center, she organizes with Asian LGBTQ community groups in the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area.
In her spare time, she is attempting to perfect her culinary skills. She can be found in the kitchen, figuring out how to make Malaysian dishes and kuihs. Her dream would be to open up an underground queer Chinese-Malaysian cat cafe and bookstore.
Mitch Chan (she/they)
Organizing Team Lead
Patrick Canteros is a 1st-generation queer Filipino from Richmond, VA with an educational background in Asian American Studies and Finance. His experiences prior to NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center) include project management in health care tech, community building and organizing with queer, AAPI, and student communities, and academic research in histories of nationalism and imperialism. They fully believe in the power of care and revolutionary optimism to sustain movements and achieve collective liberation.
Outside of work, Patrick enjoys being out in nature – either reading, writing, or going on a hike.
Patrick Canteros (he/they)
Growth & Operations Team Lead
Quynh Nguyen (Nguyễn Quỳnh-Vân) is a second-generation queer Vietnamese American rooted in Northern Virginia. They’re excited to join NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center) and pursue their passion for exploring and flourishing the potential for a progressive Asian American collective.
In their journey of understanding what it meant to be LGBT, Vietnamese, and American at the same time, Quynh found a love for learning the histories of and building community among Asian Americans, and LGBT people of color, abandoning the pre-medical career track in favor of considering what a more people-powered approach to health might look like. They’ve done research on health inequities of disadvantaged communities at the national level as an NIH intern, as well as at the local level with Appalachian communities as a student researcher, and they hope to do work that helps the Vietnamese and greater Asian American communities realize and change the greater forces that impact our health and well-being, beyond the individual.
In their free time, they like listening to pop music from literally anywhere in the world, trying new local immigrant-run restaurants, and finding events with free food (when this pandemic wasn’t happening).
Quynh Nguyen (they/them)
Sami Watson is a queer, second-generation Indian American who was born and raised in rural Central Virginia. They have experience in community organizing and politics. Sami is interested in social justice and promoting civic engagement, especially in underrepresented communities.
In her free time, Sami enjoys gardening, trying new food, and playing games with her friends, family, and cats.
Sami Watson (she/they)
Sarah San Sung Choi (최산성) is Hamkae Center’s Community Organizer, focused on building relationships with Asian Americans providing health referrals, naturalization, and other social services and organizing Asian Americans who are facing injustice to win social, racial, and economic equity policy changes.
She was born in South Korea and spent her childhood living in nine different countries including South Africa, Australia, and the United States. With her studies in Communications and Broadcasting, and living in such a diversity of cultures and races, she became well aware of the importance of justice and the human rights movement. She witnessed the changes when Nelson Mandela ran for office and when the former president of South Korea was impeached in 2017 after the Sewol Ferry disaster.
Living in Virginia for over 8 years and studying to work as a film producer previously, Sarah participated in numerous film projects and documentaries addressing the importance of human rights and racial discrimination. As one of the key members at her church, she had exclusive experiences by reaching out and understanding the current issues and the challenges that were affecting the community and the Korean Americans living in southern Virginia. In her free time, Sarah is a complete film geek and enjoys listening to her vinyl collection.
Sarah Choi (she/her)
Sejung Park (박세정) was born in South Korea. When she was in college, she majored in broadcasting and reporting. Before joining NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center), she helped small businesses at a local Korean radio station. This is her first time working in the nonprofit field. She wants to help make a change in the community for the better.
In her free time she likes working out, listening to music, walking and hanging out with her family.
Sejung Park (she/her)
Community Outreach Specialist
Sookyung Oh (오수경) returns to NAKASEC as NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center)'s Director to lead organizing and advocacy work. Previously, she coordinated NAKASEC’s national immigrant rights campaigns. She served at the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as a Public Policy Analyst and the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis in Richmond, VA as a State Policy Fellow.
She started working in Korean and Asian American communities at the Jaisohn Center and Asian Americans United in Philadelphia. Currently, Sookyung is on the board of the Virginia Civic Engagement Table (VCET), Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR), and the Alliance for Human Services.
She is a second-generation Korean American who enjoys comic books and the DC blues scene.
Sookyung Oh (she/her)
Soyoung Yoon (윤소영) is a first-generation Korean American and was born in Seoul, Korea and earned a degree in Visual Design. She also holds a Masters in Business and a Masters in Professional Counseling.
Before she joined NAKASEC VA (now Hamkae Center), she served local small businesses at an accounting firm. She believes that every human being has equal rights and a duty to protect those rights, as well as fulfill their civic responsibilities.
In her free time, she likes drawing, reading, and walking.
Soyoung Yoon (she/her)
Community Services Coordinator
Zowee (pronounced like “Zoe”) Aquino joins us to recruit, engage, and mobilize Asian American and all communities in addressing health inequity. She is a 2nd generation Filipino American social worker with a background in public health interested in intersectional health equity.
Prior to joining, Zowee has had a variety of experiences in health advocacy, with a special focus on racial equity in health, including: peer-led health education in POC and LGBTQ+ youth communities, addressing practitioner barriers in treating AAPI aging and mental health, food justice organizing in Richmond, VA, and locality-based geriatric community care policy intensive in Japan. She believes that everyone has dignity and worth, and that access to quality care and resources for holistic health maintenance are the foundation of a just society.
In her spare time, she likes to sew, cook, weightlift, and spend time with friends and family.
Zowee Aquino (she/her)
Policy & Communications Team Lead