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15/05/2013: 10 FilAm Youth Leaders to Take Part in 2013 FYLPRO in Manila

15 May 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy today announced the second batch of ten exceptional young Filipino-Americans in the United States and Guam who have been selected for the 2013 Filipino American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro).

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., who initiated the program last year, said the following individuals will take part in the program that will take place in Manila from 7 to 11 July 2013:

  1. Julien A. Baburka – Bloomingdale, Illinois
  2. Nico Barawid – Memphis, Tennessee
  3. Rex C. Brown, Jr. – Daly City, California
  4. Randy J. Cortez – Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. Anthony D. Guevara – Houston, Texas
  6. Melissa A. Medina – Washington, D.C.
  7. Rachelle P. Ocampo – Levittown, New York
  8. Maria Bea Querido – Seattle, Washington
  9. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. – Tamuning, Guam
  10. Edward N. Santos – New York, New York

“I am happy that we have once again come up with another group of outstanding and dedicated young leaders,” Ambassador Cuisia said.  “In going through their application, I was struck with their sense of idealism and passion to help their respective communities and Filipinos back home.”

Ambassador Cuisia said the 10 participants will take part in an immersive program in the Philippines that will afford them the opportunity to meet and dialogue with top officials and policymakers, leaders of industry, legislators, media, artists and cultural experts, entrepreneurs and innovators in different fields.

The 2nd FYLPro builds on the success of the first program held in July 2012, which yielded a remarkable batch of young Filipino-Americans who continue to embark on different advocacies to help promote further progress in the Philippines and to further engage the multi-faceted Filipino-American community.

“Last year’s delegates found the intensive program informative and inspiring,” Ambassador Cuisia said, adding that the experience served to reinforce their commitment to and passion for community and nation-building. He said the first batch have gone to undertake, among others, political advocacy initiatives, cultural and tourism promotion programs, social entrepreneurship activities, education innovations, Filipino-American heritage projects, voter awareness and education, and have even launched political campaigns of their own.

The search for this second batch of FYLPro delegates took place between March 15 and April 30, 2013.  Among the criteria used to evaluate the applications were scholastic achievements and other accolades, leadership skills,  accomplishments, active involvement in school,  civic, political, business and other organizations as well as their vision, innovativeness and commitment to making a difference in the Philippines and within the Filipino-American community.

Serving as the program’s partner in the Philippines is the Ayala Foundation, which provides crucial substantive and logistical assistance.  The cost of the participants’ airfare, local transportation and accommodations will be funded by several corporate sponsors, including Chevron, Phinma, Philamlife, Planters Development Bank, CLSA Exchange Capital, SGV & Company, and Ayala Corporation.

Below are brief profiles of the 2013 FYLPro delegates:

Julien A. Baburka – Bloomingdale, Illinois; 26 years old; Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer for the Office of the Governor of the State of Illinois;  Volunteer at the Almost Home Foundation and active member of the Cosmopolitan United Church; Served as Vice President of the University of Illinois’ College Democrats.

Nico Barawid – Memphis, Tennessee; 23 years old;  Graduate of Yale University (with honors) in Economics and currently pursuing Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford; Served as president of KASAMA, Yale’s Filipino student association; Delegate to Climate Change conferences and founder of organization to fight environmental exploitation;  Will start work at the European Investment Bank this summer and in management consulting at the Boston Consulting Group in Miami in September.

Rex C. Brown, Jr. – Daly City, California; 25 years old; Product Associate at Google Inc., where he actively takes part in the company’s mentoring programs to promote Information Technology and Research & Development among the youth; founded Baskets 4 Hope, a nonprofit organization that empowers inner-city youth through athletic events and mentoring services; graduated from San Diego State University, summa cum laude.

Randy J. Cortez – Honolulu, Hawaii; 24 years old;  Program Specialist at the US State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations in Honolulu;  Current president of the JCI Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber, where he was a Presidential Merit awardee; member of Knights of Rizal, Hawaii Chapter; Fulbright-Hays scholar, Phi Beta Kappa (honor society); and Dean’s List at the University of Hawaii.

Anthony D. Guevara – Houston, Texas; 26 years old; Senior Loan Officer at Affiliated Bank Mortgage;  founded the Filipino American Council of South Texas; Regional Youth Coordinator of National Federation of Filipino-American Associations-Region VI; served on the board of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Texas;  graduate of Texas A&M University, where he served as president of the Philippine Student Association.

Melissa A. Medina – Washington, D.C.; 24 years old;  US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Liaison and Legislative Assistant to Rep. Edward Royce; Participant in the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Congressional Scholars Program and Woodrow Wilson Foreign Policy Fellowship Program;  represented California as the state’s 2012 Cherry Blossom Festival’s 100th anniversary; graduated from University of California, Berkeley.

Rachelle P. Ocampo – Levittown, New York; 25 years old;  Health Educator at Queens Hospital Center;  President of the Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro); Vice President of the American College of Healthcare Executives;  Fellow at the Queens Fellowship.  Multi-awarded student leader at St. John’s University and received her Master’s in Education, Science and Public Health from SUNY University.

Maria Bea Querido – Seattle, Washington; 28 years old;  Program Management and Supply Chain Lead at the Boeing Company;  was employed in Lockheed Martin as a Finance and Accounting Analyst;  served as vice president of the Filipino Young Professionals in Washington, D.C.; interned at the White House and California State Senator Betty Karnette;  graduate of George Washington University and Advanced Project Management Program at Stanford University.

Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. – Tamuning, Guam; 34 years old;  second-term as a senator in the Guam Legislature, where he is the Legislature’s Majority Whip and chairman of the Committee on Health and Human Services, Health Insurance Reform, Economic Development and Senior Citizens;  previously served as research analyst at the Committee on Municipal Affairs, Aviation, Housing and Recreation; graduate of the University of Guam.

Edward N. Santos – New York, New York; 27 years old; Consultant at School Professionals.  Served in Teach for America, based in East Harlem, New York, where he worked with underserved students;  recipient of special recognition for volunteer service by Rep. Charles Rangel; appointed to Manhattan Community Board 11; graduate of the University of Michigan and PACE University.  ###