2022 marks the 20th anniversary of Your Filipino Professional Association (YFPA), a Fil-Am group that has fostered relationships and exchange of professional ideas and expertise to increase collaboration and cooperation among Filipinos.
"We are a resilient community and as Filipino professionals, it is really important that we continue to persevere and make sure we have visibility and representation in the corporate environments and at the tables where a lot of the important decisions are being made," YFPA president Allan Alday asserted.
YFPA recently held its first in-person event in two years, featuring live music from award-winning Fil-Am artist Tracy Cruz. In keeping with tradition, YFPA honored four Fil-Am high school graduates from the San Francisco Bay Area through its annual scholarship award of $1,000 each.
"This is us giving visibility to the future leaders of our community, to the future leaders of corporations and really celebrating their accomplishments. So that’s why this scholarship program is really key to our mission of connect, educate, and serve," Alday said.
Among the recipients is Haley Molina who will be attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
"I’m so grateful and thankful to be awarded this award as it gives me the opportunity to pursue a college career with less stress financially, to also be welcomed in my Filipino community and supported with mentorship and friendship all throughout my career," she noted.
Raenalyn Cruz-Balleza who will attend the University of San Francisco also shared how honored she is to receive the award.
She said, "I feel so appreciative, of meeting so many new people who will help support me in pursuing my passion early on... and I hope I can continue to be connected with this community, be connected with these people, and furthermore, just growing as a Filipina American woman."
Both Molina and Cruz-Balleza plan on becoming nurses.
The other recipients are Shanne Tuviera who will go to the University of San Francisco as well, and Dominique Cabading who will attend the Occidental College in Los Angeles. They too plan to enter the medical field. Cabading also recently tried out for the Philippine national basketball team.
YFPA is a non-profit organization that consists of professionals in various industries such as law, accounting, and tech. It works with other community partners to provide professional development sessions and various forms of community service.