‘The FilAm’ welcomes intern John Sapida

'Passionate about learning more about the world'

‘Passionate about learning more about the world’

By Cristina DC Pastor

Graduate student John Sapida of The New School will be joining the magazine as an intern for the spring semester. This is the first time The FilAm will be engaging the reporting skills of a student sent by his school for on-the-ground training.

Currently, John, 22, is pursuing a Master of Arts in International Studies at the Milano School at The New School. He wants to be a diplomat.

“In addition to becoming a diplomat, I also hope to one day help produce and/or research for documentary films and also become a human rights educator,” he said.

John is working as a graduate assistant at The New School’s Office of Graduate Admissions, while being affiliated with a non-profit organization called Witness, which trains people to use video to document stories of human rights abuses.

His interests circle around politics and the use of media for social change.

“I’d love to analyze how organizations use social media or film for advocacy projects,” he said. He is also interested in developments in Southeast Asia, specifically migration issues and peacebuilding efforts in post-conflict countries.

In 2014, he travelled to China to study ‘Local and International Business in Emerging China.’

“It is clear to me that John is very serious yet passionate about learning more about the world we live in,” writes his former teacher at Ramapo College, Associate Professor of International Studies, Anthropology, and Latin American Studies Erick Castellanos, in a letter of recommendation.

At Ramapo, he was active in various organizations as well as in efforts to foster a congenial and more collaborative partnership between students and faculty.

John came to the U.S. when he was 9 years old, and the family quickly settled in New Jersey. He lives in Emerson with his parents — who are both from Dasmarinas, Cavite — and younger brother.

“My parents are a part of an organization of Filipinos from our town (in the Philippines) which raises money to help support schools, churches (back home),” he said, expressing an interest in becoming active with FilAm organizations.

John described himself as a creative and motivated individual, one who has strong leadership, presentation, and listening skills. He has experience with networking, leadership and diversity programming, research, and writing.

“I love singing and acting,” he said further. He misses community theater, where he has performed since 7th grade. “This is really something I enjoyed doing.”

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