AACI Silicon Valley Asian American Voices is excited to introduce this year's Voices Community Educators!Voices Community Educators play an integral role in the project by engaging their peers, colleagues, and the greater community in dialogue and action on issues impacting immigrant populations. By facilitating dialogue groups, leading group advocacy and service activities, and conducting online discussion and outreach among their networks, they work to forge understanding and bridge relationships within our diverse region and to increase capacity for our community to better support immigrant newcomers in Silicon Valley.
A'Lester AllenCurrently an undergraduate at Stanford University majoring in chemistry, A'Lester was born in Modesto, California, but grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His inspiration for change came when he was a young adolescent growing up in Alabama and he experienced firsthand the misconceptions and barriers within different ethnic communitites. Through the Voices project, A'Lester hopes to improve understanding around human differences and destroy the barriers that cause us to see each other as second-class citizens.
Kent BravoMajoring in communication studies at San Jose State University, Kent was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Pittsburg, California, when we was one year old. His motivation to inform and inspire the community on today's social issues came from his parents' ambition to give up their lives in the Philippines and create a better future for their children in America. Kent is actively involved with many organizations on campus such as Alpha Phi Omega, a national service-based fraternity, and Akbayan, a Filipino American cultural student organization, in hopes of encouraging others to be part of the cause and take action.
Eunice EsquivelA recent graduate from Santa Clara University with a degree in communications, Eunice is the youngest of three daughters of Mexican immigrant parents. Growing up they had financial struggles, but her parents always taught her and her sisters to be strong, humble women. Their wisdom motivated her to pursue Tae Kwon Do and, now a 2nd-degree Black Belt, it has only increased her passion for defending herself and who she is. The many experiences in her life have taught her to value her culture, have faith, and be a strong independent Latina and through the Voices project, she hopes to help others embrace their history and find their voice in the community. Marco GalluccioBorn in Sydney, Australia, to a single mother, Marco moved to the Philippines two months after he took his first breath. By age eight, he moved to Santa Clara, California, where he had an affinity for helping the oppressed. His interests in basketball and hip-hop complimented his thirst to help those who have been discriminated against or persecuted. As he grew older, he began to read a lot more literature and it sparked an interest in learning more about his own Filipino culture. Through the Voices project, he hopes to educate and empower peers on the struggles that Asian American immigrants face in the community.Meron GirmayRecently receiving her Masters of Social Work from San Jose State University, Meron also holds a BA degree in sociology from UC Santa Cruz. She was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and immigrated to the US when she was ten years old. The difficulties Meron and her family experienced gave her a different perspective about the immigration system in this country and ultimately influenced her drive to work with immigrants in the community and help locate the resources needed. Through the Voices project, Meron hopes working together as a community and family will help provide immigrants the needed support and positive influence to lead them toward success.
Katherine NgoA recent graduate of UC Davis and a second-generation, Chinese-Vietnamese American, Katherine was an active member of the APA community on campus. She wrote as a university newspaper columnist on contemporary Asian American and women’s issues. Her inspiration for community change came from her parents as she grew up witnessing their struggles and successes as immigrants working to provide their children the American dream. Upon graduation, Katherine has continued to follow her passion for Asian American and immigrant issues in Silicon Valley and looks forward to giving back to the community as a Voices Community Educator.
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