Where are you from, where did you grow up? Tell us a bit about your personal journey.

I moved around quite a bit when I was younger, but I attribute most of my growth to the cities of Upland, CA because that’s where I lived for about 9 years, as well as San Diego, CA because that’s where the majority of my family lives and where I have spent most of my weekends and holidays growing up. I have currently been living in Los Angeles, CA for almost a year now and I couldn’t be happier.

Tell us a bit about your educational and professional background

I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018 with a degree in Political Science. Much of my time at UCSB was spent either being an active member within Filipinx student organizations or studying abroad. I studied abroad for the first time in the Spring of 2016 in Rome, Italy and Madrid, Spain. There, I fell in love with the local cultures, languages, foods, architecture, and the ability to learn in an immersive setting about the political systems of each respective country. I loved it so much that I decided to study abroad a second time in my last semester of college, this time in Córdoba, Spain. Here, I lived with a wonderful host family, took classes at the local university, and lived an immersive lifestyle like that of the Cordobés. I then graduated shortly after finishing this program in June of 2018. My time abroad has arguably been one of the greatest influences in both my personal and professional pursuits and for that, I am so grateful.

A significant amount of my professional experience reflects both administrative and management roles within the hospitality industry. I have worked for corporate hotels, boutique hotels, and even an all-inclusive family vacation center. I also previously worked as a Sponsorship Coordinator for the UCSB Alumni Association, where I had the opportunity to meet and network with many of the businesses within the Santa Barbara area. Most recently, I have just finished my service year as an Americorps Member with City Year Los Angeles. I served as a Youth Services Specialist providing academic and socio-emotional support for sophomores at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, School of Social Justice. Many of the students that I worked with were immigrants, themselves, and my experience working with them has helped pave the path that led me to the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers.

What sparked your interest in helping immigrants, their families, the businesses that hire them, and so on?

Coming from a family of immigrants, I have always been driven to help families and communities like that of my own. My mother and her sisters immigrated from the Philippines back in the 70’s and have continued to pursue their American dream since then. I’ve watched as my family has constantly remained resilient in the face of adversity and I strive to embody that same mindset of resilience in helping the immigrants who walk through our front doors.

What do you do for fun? What are your interests?

In my off time I love dancing, going on food adventures, and traveling. The best part is when I am able to incorporate all three of those together. Within the past four years, I have become a huge proponent for solo-female travel and I have an Instagram page that I dedicate to food that I’ve eaten around the world. My most recent solo-trip was a month-long backpacking trip through Singapore and the Philippines and I have plans to return to Asia once more this coming winter. My favorite thing to do while traveling is to try the different types of street foods that each culture has to offer. I believe that food isn’t something that only provides physical sustenance, but rather it also tells a story of a culture and a society – and street food is at the heart of that. Because of this, I love traveling and experiencing cultures through the stories of food.