Apple designer, NYC restaurateur among 2015 FYLPRO fellowsFreddy Anzures, a designer for Apple Inc., and restaurant owner Nicole Adrienne Ponseca are among the 10 outstanding young professionals who will travel to the Philippines to meet with influential personalities and deepen their understanding of issues affecting the country.
Anzures is from San Francisco, as Apple Inc. is headquartered in Cupertino, California. Ponseca, now a New York resident, earned her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.
The unique program is called the Filipino American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPRO), which will happen July 2 to 9 in Manila. The fellows will dialogue with the highest officials and policymakers in the Philippines, media, cultural experts, business executives, social entrepreneurs, and innovators.
Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., who started FYLPRO in 2012 as a way to engage high-performing next-generation FilAms, said he is proud of the 10 young leaders.
“They are already affecting change in their respective spheres of influence. They have worked hard and are all deserving of this once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to the Philippines, interact with some of the country’s movers and shakers, and develop networks that will help them further their advocacies,” said Cuisia.
Anzures is a designer in the Human Interface Group at Apple. He has been granted various patents as an inventor and collaborator on Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch since 2004.
He also provides design and art direction for music as creative director of Wax Poetics magazine. He is interested in building relationships with art, design, and music programs as well as cultural institutions in the Philippines in an effort to bring awareness of traditional and a definition of contemporary Filipino style.
He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University.
“FYLPRO will allow me to create a bridge between Silicon Valley and the Philippines, which could result in a better understanding of how technology could help Filipino culture and community progress,” he said in a statement. “I intend to use my leadership skills as a role model for other Filipinos and Filipino Americans to aspire towards affecting change through advances in technology and future concepts of life, work, and communication.”
Ponseca, owner of Maharlika Filipino Moderno and Jeepney Filipino gastropub in Manhattan, sees the program as an opportunity to be a part of a Philippines that is well on its way to being a world leader in its own right.
“Despite our rich history, the Philippines feels like a very youthful country–brimming with all the dynamic qualities that come with youthfulness: exuberance, enthusiasm and vitality. The Philippines is thriving, she said. “FYLPRO is just one of many groups committing resources and intellectual brain power to the country’s success, so it can stand in economic ascendency and as a world leader in its own right.”
The rest of the delegates are:
Jessica Caloza of Washington, D.C.): Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education.
Jennifer Coliflores of Boston: Staff attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel Services Public Defender Division.
Anna Marie Cruz of Los Angeles: Chief Financial Wellness Evangelist for Financial Finesse, a leading workplace financial wellness provider.
Congressman Ty Cullen of Honolulu: Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives since January 16, 2013 representing District 39.
Kevin Gabayan of Sunnyvale, California: Software engineer at Google, working in the Android Location and Context team.
Angelo Ignacio of Seattle: Marketing specialist for World Vision USA, an international Christian humanitarian organization that provides disaster relief in countries such as Nepal, Sierra Leone, Syria and the Philippines.
Mark Jimenez of Washington, DC: Legislative aide for U.S. California Representative, Congressman Ami Bera.
Lakhi Mangharam Siap of Chicago: Founder and Community Relations Director of Ascene Chicago, a nonprofit media marketing & events company that promotes unity and collaboration within Asian American community.