The Filipino Champion: AV David, an Inspiration to Young People

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 14, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – Seventeen-year-old high school senior Ariel de Casto said
making ends meet for him and his mother, a single mom working as a
barista, is tough. He dreams of becoming a computer engineer someday.

It’s also been a struggle for 16-year old Ashley Pepito and her
family. To help her mom who works as a custodian, Ashley wants to
become a nurse.

These young adults come here at the Filipino Community Center in San
Francisco, where there are mentors who guide them on applications for
college and financial aid.

Twenty-three year old AV David is the youth coordinator here. AV said she
understands what these young Filipinos are going through. She has led
a tough life as well. She and her two brothers were raised by a
single mother, who was once an undocumented immigrant.

She shared, “I would go with her to clean hotels and houses. It’s a tough job.”

Seeing her mother’s sacrifices pushed AV to do well in school. She
became the first Filipino to become valedictorian at Westmoor High
School in Daly City, California. She got accepted into Stanford
University on a full scholarship, taking environmental engineering.
Before graduating last year, she received a special achievement award
for her active work in the community.

AV was a community co-chair of Stanford’s Pilipino American Student
Union and now a treasurer for the National Alliance for Filipino
Concerns, an organization that fights for immigrant rights and abused

She said, “It’s very empowering to, collectively, with others make
change in the community.”

AV could have applied for a high-paying job after college, but she
chose to help other young Filipinos achieve their best potentials in

Pepito said, “To have someone like her who inspires and guides us to a
better path, it’s good.”

De Castro added, “If she can do it, we can do it too. That’s how I see it.”

For AV, the true meaning of success means going above and beyond
for other people. She concluded, “At the end of the day, you know
you’ve done your best to serve the community.”

If you know a kababayan like AV David who inspires you and makes you
proud, you may nominate him/her by sending an email to or calling (650) 508-6137.

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