February 18th, 2017 by Caryn Pasking

“Whenever I’m struggling with school, she says the right things and I think it makes more impact when she says things are going to be okay because I know it’s very stressful for her as well. It’s different hearing it from her rather than some friends who don’t necessarily know what I’m going through. I also love that she takes initiative. When we first started planning cultural retreat, I was completely lost but she really did her research. ”


“I like her little addictions like coffee and pandas. I appreciate that she tones me down. I can be a little over-ambitious sometimes and she keeps me in check. I don’t handle stress very well so at cultural retreat when we ran behind schedule and we had to rearrange activities on the spot, Nessa reminded me why we’re doing cultural retreat and why there’s no reason to stress over it.”


I got more out of the Filipino American Studies class than I expected. I thought I already knew about my country’s history and culture, but it’s so much more than that and I’d love to raise more money to support the class. On another note, my great grandfather was a WWII veteran and I regret not knowing his story. I’d hope that the money we raise helps bring awareness to other Filipino Veterans’ stories.” “Growing up, I thought it was the Philippines and then America. They were two separate countries, but seeing that other cultures had their own classes and studies in school had me wondering where Filipino culture fit into everything. So when I came to college, I was super excited to take a Filipino American Studies class and I look forward to raising money for that at GALA.”

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February 10th, 2017 by Caryn Pasking

“When I was in high school, my brother was diagnosed with autism. I wanted to be that big brother but it was hard realizing you may not be able to do some of those things big brothers do. I was also a very angry person in high school – I would go from 0 to 100 at the smallest things. Having my brother really taught me to be more empathetic and patient. I didn’t like losing my temper at him and yelling at him. He’s a smart kid, he just has a hard time communicating.”


“I started thinking more about my identity in middle school. Growing up, it felt like if you weren’t fully Asian, you weren’t Asian at all. I was embarrassed to try Filipino things because I wasn’t sure if I was ‘worthy’ or if I could do it correctly. Later, my best friend from high school helped me embrace the fact that I am both Filipino and white and that I can still do Filipino things because it is still part of me. I learned that even if you’re half, you’re still whole.”

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