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06/07/2012: FAYLP Participants from D.C. Area Call on Philippine Ambassador

Ambassador Jose Cuisia, center, poses with two of the ten Filipino American Youth Leadership Program participants – Greg Cendana, left, and Angela Lagdameo, right.

06 July 2012, Washington DC. “Excited” was the word used by Greg Cendana and Angela Lagdameo  in describing their sentiments just a few days before they are due to depart for Manila to take part in the Filipino American Youth Leadership Program (FAYLP).  The visit will be an eye-opener for the two accomplished Filipino American individuals.  The last time Angela was in the Philippines was ten years ago, while for Greg, it was when he was still a baby.

The two FAYLP delegates called on Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. yesterday, where they thanked him for the opportunity to be a part of the laudable project.  “My wife, Ma. Victoria, and I observed that the youth were not so engaged in the activities of the Filipino American community in the United States.  We wanted to initiate a project that would excite them and allow them to contribute to the betterment of their home communities in the U.S. while making an impact in the Philippines,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

Greg and Angela have both been elected as delegates to the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which will take place this September.  As delegates to the DNC, they will be voting on behalf of thousands of people in their party from a particular district on who will be the presidential candidate.

Both Greg and Angela are also distinguished alumni from their respective alma mater.  Greg was an honors graduate from the University of California in Los Angeles.  He made history in 2006 by becoming the first openly gay Filipino to be elected to student government as Internal Vice President, representing more than 25,000 undergraduate students.  He also led the successful campaign that established a Pilipino studies concentration within Asian American studies, the first of its kind for the department, partnered with UCLA’s student government, IDEAS (an undocumented student advocacy group), Pilipino Worker’s Center and many other organizations to uplift the impact of immigration and educational access and affordability for the Filipino community.

Angela graduated from the University of Maryland in 2002 with an honors citation.  She was lauded as the first Asian American female to become Student Body President of 25,000 undergraduates after serving as President of the Asian American Student Union.  She was awarded the five most prestigious university awards: Wilson H. Elkins Award for Outstanding Senior; Vera Cruz-Kochiyama Award for service to the Asian American community; Adele H. Stamp Award for Service; Student Government Association Outstanding Executive Award; and William E. Kirwan Award for Outstanding Junior.  She was also recognized for overseeing a $1.5 million student activities fees budget, putting the first student liaison on College Park’s City Council, and for establishing the first Asian American Studies Program in the D.C. metropolitan area.  Angela obtained her Masters’ at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she started the Religion, Ethics, and Public Policy Interest Caucus and was a member of the Diversity Committee while pursuing this degree.

With sponsorship from Chevron, Ayala Corporation, Phinma Foundation, Philam Life, the Makati Business Club, Ayala Foundation and ABS-CBN as a media partner, the FAYLP delegates are taking part in the 7th Ambassadors, Consuls General, and Tourism Directors Tour from July 11 to 13 followed by a special 3-day program, where they are scheduled to meet with young officials in government, corporate executives, and those involved in traditional and social entrepreneurship. (END)