If you spent much time in the past year interacting with the John Locke Foundation, you likely met Ziyi “Milton” Mai.

The Pope Foundation tells his story in its new “Achiever Spotlight.”

Milton’s internship in 2012 at the John Locke Foundation, North Carolina’s premier free-market think-tank, helped to solidify his decision to become an economist. Up until that point, Milton had been exposed predominantly to Keynesian economics, which stresses government control and intervention in the private sector.

At the John Locke Foundation, he encountered more market-oriented theories that stressed non-interference in the economy by the government.

“My co-workers talked about economics and public policy at both a broad and advanced level every day,” Milton said. “It inspired me to go back to school.”