Alumni Spotlight: Chris Young
LAW CLERK TO THE HONORABLE LANCE M. AFRICK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE, U.S. DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
Yali Middle School, 2009-2011
Where you do currently work and what does your job entail?
I am currently serving as a law clerk to Judge Lance Africk on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
I have a broad range of duties covering both civil and criminal matters,
including conducting legal research, preparing memos on various legal topics, drafting orders and opinions, communicating with counsel regarding case management and procedural requirements and assisting Judge Africk during court proceedings.
Did you consider graduate school over the YCF? If so, why did you choose to wait and go on the Fellowship?
I did not consider graduate or professional programs at the time I was considering the Yale-China Fellowship. I knew that the Fellowship was what I wanted to do. It was only during the Fellowship, in fact, that I seriously began to consider the prospect of pursuing additional studies.
Do you see the YCF in your life today? If yes, how so?
I absolutely see the YCF in my life today--and credit it for much of what my life has become.
The language and cultural fluency that I acquired during the YCF led directly to the two jobs I held immediately after the YCF,
the first teaching middle school introductory Mandarin Chinese in Boston and the second working as an international admissions officer in Hong Kong. Both of these jobs were only available to me because of the YCF. Moreover, it was during the YCF that I first began to consider pursuing a career in law, and it was while working in Hong Kong post-YCF that i actually decided to pursue it. Most importantly by far, however, is
the personal joy and enrichment I continue to feel in my life due to the YCF, from the incredible friends that I made to the connection that I made with a particular Chinese national in Boston-he is now my husband.
What would you say to a student nervous about teaching?
If you are nervous about the possibility of becoming an educator, then you are just a normal human experiencing the right emotions. Teaching is an awesome responsibility--and an incredible joy.
It is also a job that--with a good attitude, work ethic and support network--one can learn to do. You will have the support network!
If you have the good attitude and work ethic, then you will be unstoppable.
Why would you recommend this experience to another Yale student/alumnus?
The opportunity to truly LIVE in another region of the world-to not only teach, but also to build sustained relationships, develop language and cultural fluency and travel far and wide-
is one that generally becomes harder as you become older. Take the opportunity while you can and embrace it!