Year in school: Sophomore
Major: Speech & Hearing Science
Who are you? What can you tell us about yourself?
I am a First-Generation American born in Elk Grove, Illinois and raised in Manila, Philippines from ages 1-4 and then in Chicago, IL from ages 4-18. Presently, I switch back and forth (as most of us do) from my this campus and my hometown. I have a knack for arts and crafts, an obsession for details and an artillery of lame and cheesy jokes (so be prepared to cringe or laugh…but most likely cringe).
Why did you join PSA and what made you stay?
I joined PSA because I’ve always loved being immersed in Filipino culture every time I visited the Philippines. Although I know I could never get the full experience in America. PSA is the closest and most rewarding way to really get to know and appreciate the Filipino culture with a group of friends who are appreciate it just as much as you do.(Cheesiness warning!) I stayed with PSA because I fell in love with my Ates, Kuyas and (soon to have!) Adings. I fell in love with the unforgiving practice run-throughs Barkada and the rewarding experience of performing on stage that followed. I fell for the sense of professionalism and the rush of Officer Elections. Though I have many more reasons the biggest is that I fell for this organization and the people in it and that is why I stayed.
Why did you become an officer and what plans do you have in store for PSA next year?
I realized I wanted to be an officer in the future during the first PSA Gen Meeting in the fall of 2013. I not only saw young leaders who were proud to exhibit the Filipino culture but a group of people who were just as interested in the Philippines as I was. I wanted to be an Awareness Co-Chair because of the social justice activities that were heavily placed on me as an upcoming RA. It was during these SJ activities that I realized the importance of being sensitive to others identities. Despite being indecisive and doubtful about my expertise in Awareness at first, I took it as a challenge and fueled the never ending passion I had for Social Justice and Awareness in relation to the First-Generation American identity that many of us share. As Co-Awareness with Crystal, we plan to help you realize your own identity. So in saying this, I invite you to come out to our events whether it be self-reflection through identity workshops, learning romantic Filipino words to sway the ladies in Tagalog Class or getting your hands dirty with friends as you dig into a traditional Filipino meal at Kamayan Night.
What advice do you have for others?
Take advantage of the fact that you are enrolled in a university that promotes the inclusion of all races, genders, sexual orientations, socio-economic status etc etc and most importantly; all opinions. Here on this campus you have nothing stopping you from creating your dream and achieving what you want (of course with some hard work involved depending on what you want). Don’t merely focus on academics or other factors directly related to your major. Be flexible! Be well-rounded! Be a renaissance man/woman and show the world that you have pride in your culture or religion. Show the world that you maintain and place importance on the strong bonds housed under the letters of a greek organization on and off campus. Show the world that you aren’t afraid to step off your comfort zone, whether you’re getting your hands dirty playing sports or entering a different country to study abroad. Most of all, don’t forget to have fun for the last few years that you can call yourself a kid.
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