Fil-Am professionals encourage out-of-the-box career choices

SAN BRUNO, Calif. – To provide educational scholarships to deserving Fil-Am high school seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area — this is the goal of the group Your Filipino Professional Association or YFPA.

At a recent fundraising event called What’s Your Revolution?, YFPA also challenged the younger generation to take risks in finding their career paths.

“So much of the Filipino culture is going after that stable job, the stability,” Rex Ryan Magadia said. “We’re not really taught to step out of the box and take those chances. So tonight that’s kind of what we’re paying recognition to.”

The event was inspired by the 29th anniversary of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines, where people came together to initiate social change.

Three history-making Filipino American leaders spoke at the event. The speakers included the first Filipino BART police officer Gary Cagaanan, the first Filipina elected to San Francisco public office Rebecca Delgaco-Rottman, and Rob Bonta, the first Filipino state assemblyman in California.

“Words advice I would share is to learn from our history and be inspired by our history,” Bonta said. “It’s a part of Filipino and Filipino American history that we don’t celebrate enough in my view. We don’t uplift enough.”

“I think our emerging leaders can learn from the past and use that to help shape their future and our future,” he added.

Last year’s YFPA scholarship recipient and current YFPA Secretary Alexandra Dreschsler said she used her scholarship money to pay for books during her freshmen year at University of Santa Clara.

“It’s important that this scholarship continues because I see how much it helped me during my first year,” Drechsler said. “So I just want to work hard and I just want to give that opportunity to other deserving students.”

She also shares that YFPA is working with the Fil-Am community to develop future leaders.

“We are doing a mentorship program,” Drechsler said. “We are working with an organization in San Francisco and mentoring some of their students and so we are also looking to connect, educate, and serve – which is our motto.”

After going through numerous applications and many one on one interviews FYPA will be giving out two scholarships totaling $2,000. The recipients will be chosen in April or May.

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