At the University of San Diego’s Filipino Ugnayan Student Organization (FUSO) 4th Annual Conference, our UniPro San Diego team presented a workshop to encourage and inspire youth and adults to get involved in their own communities. The workshop echoed our conference theme of “Your Move” that was used in four conferences throughout the nation this year [FYLPro Fil-Am Summit, UniPro’s Summit, Epyc Empowerment Conference, FIND Dialogue].
FUSO’s conference theme of “Visionary to Changemaker: Finding Your Voice” parallels the “Your Move” theme by holding the individual responsible and activating them to celebrate and protect human rights. From the FUSO Conference page: “Each member of society brings a unique voice and holds the power to reinvent the present for a better future. In a society silenced by intolerance, it is both our obligation and privilege to combat injustice. We have the vision, now let’s make the change. The Fight Begins Now.”
The I-Gen panel featured a diverse group of speakers from different backgrounds, industries and age groups. Check out their bios at the end of the post.
Our panelists from top left to right: Myleen Abuan, Jen Amos, Dr. Aurora Cudal, Ferchil Ramos, Matthew Yagyagan
The panel discussion opened with the questions What does Community mean to you? and What is Community Building? Dr. Aurora Cudal chimed in: “After the discussion on What is Community and Community building, Peter, who attended as an observer told me that I missed to point out that the most important block in community building is the FAMILY. We all come from families and the basic unit is family and our values are nurtured within the family circle. A strong and united community grows out of a strong family with clear and positive family values. As the family grows, a strong community emerges. I asked him, why did you not speak during the open forum? As a newcomer, he has yet to bridge the communication gap. But this guy has so much to offer and yet he prefers to be unobtrusive.”
Comment below and let us know what community means to you!
Myleen Abuan is a program coordinator for STRIVE, San Diego! at Operation Samahan. She received her B.S. in Health and Human Services with emphasis in Public Health at San Diego State University. In addition to the work she's done within the Filipino Community, Myleen is also a board member for the Pacific American Education Scholastic Foundation, an organization that seeks to enhance academic opportunities for Pacific Americans through financial and educational assistance programs in support of family and cultural values of the many indigenous natives.
Jen Amos graduated San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism emphasis Public Relations. She is the Founder and CEO of Social Turtles Marketing, a startup company that specializes in social media marketing for small businesses. She also runs a professional blog called The Jen Amos Network that focuses on serving South Bay San Diego entrepreneurs. She lives wholeheartedly by her favorite quote: Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. - Gandhi
Aurora Cudal has occupied various leadership positions in various Filipino American associations, such as Council of Philippine American Organizations (COPAO) of San Diego County, President (1997-98/2004-2005); University of the Philippines Alumni Association of San Diego County, President (2003-2004); San Diego Scripps Lions Club 2005; and Chair of FilAmFest (2006-2008). She is currently a member of the Board of Directors, Foundation for Change; Chair, Public Relations Committee, District 4-L6, Lions Clubs International; and Region 10 Chair, National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA). She is a regular columnist and news contributor to The Filipino Press, a weekly newspaper circulated in San Diego County.
Ferchil Ramos, San Diego native, is the assistant festival director for the Filipino American Arts & Culture festival. He hopes to make a difference by connecting and collaborating with communities.
Matthew Yagyagan is the Development Manager of Alliance San Diego. He manages and implements development strategies to raise funds to support the program work of Alliance San Diego. Prior to coming to Alliance San Diego, he was a 2010 OCA Intern in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office and was a 2011 Fellow in People For the American Way’s prestigious Front Line Leaders Academy. In his spare time, Mr. Yagyagan is a Mentor with People For the American Way’s Civic Engagement Fellowship and a National Trainer for OCA’s Asian Pacific American Y-Advocate youth leadership program. Mr. Yagyagan graduated early from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010 with dual B.A.s in Political Science and Ethnic Studies.
Noel Aglubat is currently the Vice President for Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro) and aims make the Filipino-American more visible. He joined Unipro in 2013, has served on the Summit team under Iris and became the Summit 2014 Co-Director. He has a M.S. in Structural Engineering and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from NYU-Poly. Currently he works as a Civil Engineer for the Department of Energy. In his free time Noel loves playing paintball, piano, bass guitar or running up and down the FDR Drive.