2 emerging leaders from D.C. are FYLPRO fellows

FYLPYO delegates with U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg

FYLPYO delegates with U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg

Two Washington D.C.-based young professionals are taking part in this year’s Filipino-American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPRO) from July 2 to 9.

Jessica Caloza, a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education, and Mark Jimenez, a Legislative Aide for California Rep. Ami Bera, are currently in the Philippines with eight other delegates to experience and broaden their knowledge about the Philippines.

“I am proud of these 10 young leaders who are already affecting change in their respective spheres of influence,” said Ambassador Jose Cuisia. “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.”

Caloza who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego led the first campaign office in Palmyra, Virginia for President Obama’s re-election. She was formerly an intern at the White House Jobs Council. Caloza previously worked as case manager for youth offenders and as a Filipino translator at the Immigration Justice Project at the American Bar Association. While in school she founded Isa Magazine, an Asian American publication focused on social justice issues.

Jimenez was a field organizer for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada where he is a registered voter.  A graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in International Development focusing on Southeast Asia, Jimenez currently advises Congressman Bera on issues regarding higher education, housing, law enforcement, civil rights, voter protection, and Asian American Pacific Islander outreach. In August, he will start his Master’s in Public Policy at UC Berkeley with a fellowship through the Public Policy International Affairs Program.

Founded in 2012 by Cuisia, his wife Victoria, and the Ayala Foundation Inc., FYLPRO each year gives 10 high-performing next-generation Filipino-Americans the opportunity to travel to the Philippines and interact with influential personalities in the fields of business, government, arts and culture, civic action and social advocacy.

Below are eight other delegates:

Freddy Anzures (San Francisco) – 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.

Jennifer Coliflores (Boston) – Staff attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel Services Public Defender Division.

Anna Marie Cruz (Los Angeles) – Chief Financial Wellness Evangelist for Financial Finesse a leading workplace financial wellness provider.

Congressman Ty Cullen (Honolulu) – Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives since January 16, 2013 representing District 39.

Kevin Gabayan (Sunnyvale, CA) - Software Engineer at Google, working in the Android Location and Context team. He was the data science lead of Bump Technologies when it was acquired by Google.

Angelo Ignacio (Seattle, WA) – 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.

Nicole Adrienne Ponseca (New York) – Nicole is a restaurateur and owner of Maharlika Filipino Moderno and Jeepney Filipino gastropub.

Lakhi Mangharam Siap (Chicago) – Founder and Community Relations Director of Ascene Chicago, a nonprofit media marketing and events company that promotes unity and collaboration within Asian American community.— Maricar CP Hampton   


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