I was born in Artesia, CA to parents who immigrated from the Philippines to the US in the 

1960s.  Growing up in Cerritos, I attended Wittmann Elementary School and later Whitney High 

School where I was president of Club Kaibigan from 1992-1993.  It was during this final year of 

high school that I first met students from UCLA's Pilipino Recruitment and Enrichment Program 

(PREP) and began, along with students from Carson High School, Garage Talks. Garage Talks, 

which later became Sala Talks, brought Filipino American high school and college students 

together to learn about Filipino and Filipino American history and discuss current social and 

political issues affecting youth.

As a freshman at UCLA, I became involved with Samahang Pilipino and continued my 

involvement with PREP, this time taking on the role of high school student mentor.  It was 

during this time that Sala Talks students from Carson HS, Long Beach Poly HS, Jordan HS, and 

Lakewood HS formed Kababayaan Alliance, a network of high school Filipino clubs.  In my last 

two years of undergrad, I worked as a Samahang Pilipino Education and Retention (SPEAR) 

counselor and counseling coordinator.  Because of my involvement, I was invited to present 

a workshop on student outreach and activism at the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialog 

(FIND) Conference in Washington, DC in 1999.

Wanting to pursue a career that involved community service, education, and working with youth 

upon graduation, I earned my Master's degree in Library and Information Science from UCLA 

in 2000 during which I completed an internship at the Smithsonian and studied outreach and 

services to culturally diverse communities as well as programs for children and teens. I've spent 

my 14 year career in libraries as a youth services librarian and library manager, developing 

programs for children and teens, ensuring technology access for people of all ages, developing

community partnerships, and sharing my love of books and reading.