Dynamism and strong cultural ties at the forefront of FYLPro 2015

Engaging young Filipino Americans who are emerging leaders in their respective communities and who are committed to promoting the Philippines’ continued development is the thrust of the Filipino American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro).

Launched in 2012 as part of Philippine Ambassador to Washington, D.C., Jose L. Cuisia Jr.’s advocacy to reach out to the youth, FYLPro identifies 10 young Filipino American professionals between the ages of 18 to 40 from across the United States.

The program gives the delegates the opportunity to continue and strengthen dialogue with a network of distinguished leaders in industry and government. The weeklong immersion, held in Manila from July 2 to 8, 2015, provided them with invaluable community, business, government, and cultural insights that can build empathy towards the Filipino community both in the Philippines and the U.S.

In partnership with the Department Foreign Affairs, Ayala Foundation served as the implementation partner for FYLPro, while Ayala Corporation was one of the sponsors.

Delegates are selected for their leadership skills and involvement in the Filipino American community in their area. They are identified each year by the Philippine Embassy and the six Philippine Consulates General in the U.S. This year’s 10 exceptional delegates include:

Freddy Anzures (San Francisco, CA) – Designer for Apple’s Human Interface Group. Areas of focus: arts and culture and technology 

Jessica Caloza (Washington, D.C.) – Policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. Areas of focus: educational equity, women’s issues, and strategic partnerships

Jennifer Coliflores (Boston, MA) – Staff attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel Services Public Defender Division. Area of focus: civic engagement

Anna Marie Cruz (Los Angeles, CA) – Chief financial wellness evangelist for Financial Finesse, a leading workplace financial wellness provider. Areas of focus: social entrepreneurship, health/wellness, and education

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

Kevin Gabayan (Sunnyvale, CA) – Software engineer for Google’s Android Location and Context team. Areas of focus: Technology startups and technology education

Angelo Ignacio (Seattle, WA) – Marketing specialist for World Vision USA, an international Christian humanitarian organization that provides disaster relief. Areas of focus: nonprofit, marketing, technology, social entrepreneurship

Mark Jimenez (Washington, D.C.) – Legislative Aide for U.S. California Representative Ami Bera on policy issues regarding higher education, housing, law enforcement, civil rights, voter protection, and Asian American Pacific Islander outreach. Area of focus: government

Nicole Adrienne Ponseca (Brooklyn, NY) –  Restaurateur and owner of Maharlika Filipino Moderno  and Jeepney Filipino gastropub. Areas of focus: entrepreneurship and gastronomy

Lakhi Mangharam Siap (Chicago, IL) – Founder and community relations director of Ascene Chicago, a nonprofit media marketing and events company that promotes unity and collaboration within Asian American community. Areas of focus: leadership development, tourism, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, arts and culture.

In the past four years, FYLPro alumni have undertaken political advocacy initiatives, cultural and tourism promotion programs, social entrepreneurship activities, education innovations, and Filipino American heritage projects.

The fourth FYLPro was also supported by Chevron Holdings, Chevron Philippines, Chevron Malampaya, Philippine Airlines, PHINMA, PhilAm Life, Coca-Cola Philippines, and SGV, with the participation of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Go Negosyo, and the Makati Business Club.  

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