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.