TFC University inspires students to ‘break the mold’

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News


LONG BEACH, CA — For one day, class was in session at Cal State Long Beach — but with celebrity DJs, chefs, musicians, and hosts, this wasn’t a regular lecture.

This is TFCU.

“Each and everyone of you in this room is a leader for the Filipino American community… because you’re here. The simple act of you being in the room signifies you are a change-maker for the Filipino American community, and TFCU is here to help,” said The Filipino Channel’s Jon Cana.

With the theme of “Breaking the Mold,” FilAm youth heard from speakers Roslynn Cobarrubias, AJ Rafael, and Chef Charleen Cabaay.

These three FilAms are all successful in their career fields, sharing their story and their struggles. 

“Networking, volunteering and internship always led me to my next opportunity,” said Cobarrubias. Definitely invest in yourself and take time to develop relations not only with your teachers but your classmate you can network with. 

From the challenges of being a minority, to the economic daily battles, and even the challenges of finding your own voice — these students took in a lot of life lessons. 

 “I kind of already felt inspired on like what and how I should improve building a Filipino culture in the community, and what I should contribute later on after I graduate in college,” said UC Irvine student Lynette Holgado.

 “It was really interesting and really inspiring to hear all the speakers,” said Bre Herbalario, a student at CSU Long Beach. “I myself am going through what I want to do in the future, so it’s very inspiring to hear that.”

Just the fact of being yourself an individual, and not being afraid to show who you are and do what you want to do and what you believe in…is one of the main things I took away,” said student Jordan Brito. 

Even some parents were into it — a fitting bridge, especially when the speakers shared how their dreams sometimes conflicted with their parents’ definition of success. 

 “Where we are right now, there’s that shift where the generation is so different growing up versus what the kids are exposed to right now so it’s nice to hear that part of it so the kids hear it,” said parent Loudette David.

This learning extends beyond TFCU Talks. TFCU will help these young Fil-Ams find mentors through a partnership with Your Filipino Professional Association. 

And with words of wisdom, new friends, mentors, and ideas from TFCU talks, these students are more confident in answering the cooking champion’s challenge:

“I’ll put this on all you guys,” said chef Charleen Cabaay. “What are you going to do to break the mold?”

Several more TFCU sessions will take place throughout the year. 

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