CASEY BALA | University of Illinois-Chicago ’21 | $2,000 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: ALPHA KAPPA DELTA PHI SORORITY
Casey Bala is a sophomore majoring in Kinesiology. She is an aspiring Physical Therapist because of her passion for making a difference in others lives and creating a bond like no other. On campus, she is a leader in Alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority, and Filipinos in Alliance. These Asian interest organizations have helped her to make meaningful change within her community by volunteering and gaining leadership skills. Furthermore, she is known for the enthusiasm in empowering members and spreading positivity, by bringing warmth and liveliness. Aside from watching Filipino Teleseryes, listening to OPM, and traveling with family, modeling is one of Casey’s interests. Being Filipino, with the honor of Cum Laude in a predominantly Caucasian high school is something in which she will forever take pride. “Despite the challenges I have experienced, I take each and every opportunity to blossom into the preserving student I am today.”
CRISSEL MARIE ARBAN | University of Illinois-Chicago College of Pharmacy | $750 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: INSTITUTE FOR HEALTHCARE IMPROVEMENT
Crissel Maria Arban is a graduate student student pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree with a concentration in Urban Pharmacy Services. In pharmacy school, she volunteered for pediatric cancer patients through the Kythe Foundation, administered blood glucose tests at health fairs, served as a Health Professions Student Council (HPSC) Representative and APhA-ASP Operation Diabetes Vice Chair, and co-founded a new interprofessional organization called the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School Chapter at UIC. During undergrad, she conducted a research study to determine how enculturation and ageism impact young adult Filipino American preferences for elder care, and was involved with Filipinos in Alliance (FIA), and the Midwest Association of Filipino Americans (MAFA). “Once I earn my Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), I hope to complete a residency and work as a clinical pharmacist in underserved communities. I enjoy painting, singing pop songs, trying new food from different cultures, playing Disney hits on the piano, and making corny jokes. You can always find me with a smile.”
JOMARIE ARBAN | University of Illinois-Chicago | $500 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: FILIPINOS IN ALLIANCE (FIA)
Jomarie Arban is a junior at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a minor in Spanish and aspires to become a pediatric dentist. At UIC, she actively serves as the Pre-Dentistry Representative of the UIC Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), an editor for the UIC Honors College JPHAS publication, and an Honors College Ambassador. She is also involved with Filipinos in Alliance (FIA), the Midwest Association of Filipino Americans (MAFA), Pre-Dentistry Club, Donate by Design, and Vietnamese Student Association. She has devoted her previous summers to volunteering in the pediatric and surgical recovery unit at her local hospital, and she cared for pediatric cancer patients in the Philippines as a Kythe Foundation volunteer. Jomarie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, listening to music, watching Criminal Minds, trying out new recipes, and volunteering at her local hospital’s events.
Nominating Organization: MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY INTERVARSITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Jessica is a graduate student at Loyola University in Chicago pursuing a master’s degree in Secondary Education. She hopes to become a high school Biology teacher and motivate and inspire her students. In 2017, she graduated from Marquette University with a BS in Biological Sciences. There, she was actively involved in the Bayanihan Student Organization, where she served as Cultural Events Coordinator and Historian. She also led the first Filipino bible study group through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Jessica enjoys singing, dancing, watching Youtube, traveling, and spending time with family and loved ones. Her goal is to get rid of the stigma of pursuing a teaching career and to inspire more Asian Americans to pursue a profession in teaching.
SAFIA MAYY AMERIN | Northeastern University ’21 | $500 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: PHILIPPINE ART FOUNDATION
Safia is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Political Science and International Affairs at Northeastern University in Boston. On campus, she is a violist in the Northeastern Symphony Orchestra, as well as an executive board member of the Interrobang Slam Poets—an organization that seeks to promote diverse and otherwise marginalized voices through slam poetry. Off campus, she celebrates her Filipino heritage by dancing with the Philippine Arts Foundation and working as an organizer in the St. Louis, Missouri branch of Gawad Kalinga, a nonprofit that works to eliminate poverty in the Philippines. Through these opportunities, Safia hopes to create communities and spaces where diverse voices can be heard and supported.
BRIANNE LAGTAPON | Marquette University ’19 | $300 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: BAYANIHAN STUDENT ORGANIZATION
Brianne is a senior majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Psychology at Marquette University with the intention of going on to medical school. She is involved with the Bayanihan Student Organization, the American Medical Student Association, Biomedical Sciences Student Association, the Pre-Student Osteopathic Medical Association, and KAPWA—the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s witnessing community. Brianne is passionate about working with under-served communities, and has been volunteering as a Hospital Elder Life Program caregiver for over a year. She likes to listen to different types of music, read short stories, eat good food with good friends, draw digitally, play video games, and make people laugh.
ALYSSA MAE DORUELO | Marquette University ’20 | $250 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: BAYANIHAN STUDENT ORGANIZATION
Alyssa is a junior studying Nursing at Marquette University. She is an executive board member of the Bayanihan Student Organization—the school’s Filipino American organization. Last fall, Alyssa helped to write and coordinate the spring Cultural Show which featured a storyline, traditional Filipino folk dance, and non-Filipino dances. She has volunteered at a crisis nursery and safe haven called La Causa where, she helped to keep kids engaged and make their temporary stay at the safe haven as comfortable as possible. Alyssa uses the phrase cura personalis meaning “care for the whole person.” Alyssa believes that these experiences will contribute to who she is, as a nurse. She enjoys playing instruments, singing, dancing, and petting dogs.
GINA GUALBERTO | University of Missouri ’18 (December) | $200 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: ASIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Gina is a senior at the University of Missouri-Columbia studying Nursing with a goal of pursuing a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM). She has served as secretary for the Asian American Association and Co-Diversity Chair for the Student Nurses Association. Compassionate about the human experience, Gina, whose focus includes health, diversity, and individualization has volunteered for the American Red Cross, Preferred Hospice of Columbia, and the Sinclair School of Nursing. She also likes to emphasize the importance of community during times of hardship. Gina enjoys choreographed dance, anything coffee-related, and studying—as she considers herself a lifelong learner.
STEPHANIE SAGUN | University of Illinois @ Chicago ’18 | $2,000 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: CHINESE MUTUAL AID ASSOCIATION
Stephanie is a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As an electrical engineering student, she is a huge advocate of STEM education. She serves as collegiate section president of the Society of Women Engineers, where she partakes in several engineering outreach events to middle school and high school girls, and she is also a tutor in UIC’s Minority Engineering Retention and Recruitment Program. Stephanie values diversity both in higher education and everyday life because of these roles and the experiences they’ve granted her. Outside the scope of academia, she’s definitely still a nerd! She loves reading sci-fi novels, her YouTube History is primarily fan theories for Game of Thrones, and she may or may not be able to play Smash Mouth’s “All Star” on her ukulele (hint: she can!)
Nominating Organization: STEP UP
Jane will begin her Master of Education program, in the fall of 2017, specializing in Social & Cultural Foundations in Education. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Loyola University Chicago. During her undergraduate studies, she worked with student organizations that empowered marginalized communities. She served as the President of Kapwa Filipino Organization and a Scholar for Loyola University Chicago Empowering Sisterhood (LUCES). As a LUCES Scholar, she supported Women of Color at a predominantly White institution by implementing a program aimed at cultivating Sistership, Scholarship, and Leadership. Currently, Jane works at Step Up, where she facilitates curriculum focused on empowering high school women, college preparation, and career exploration. In her free time, Jane is committed to self-reflection and holistic healing. Her favorite forms of self-care include making journals, writing poetry, and gardening.
CAS RELUCIO | University of Wisconsin-Madison ’18 | $300 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: FILIPINO AMERICAN STUDENT ORGANIZATION (FASO)
Cas is a senior majoring in Economics with a Certificate in Business. She was elected President of Filipinx-American Student Organization (FASO) at UW-Madison for the 2016-2017 school year. She is a Great People Scholar and a Center for Educational Opportunity (CeO) Scholar. She served as the Student Advisory Board Freshman and Sophomore Representative in CeO for two years. Cas loves listening to others and ensuring that diverse voices are heard within the community she serves. Last summer, she interned at BP as a Business Analyst Intern. This summer, she is the Marketing Intern for BDO in Chicago. On the side, she always roots for the Badgers (of course), the Blackhawks, and the Cubs! She is also a Marvel geek. She has a lot of spirit and never runs out of energy. She is known for her undying love for chicken nuggets.
ALISON DUNGCA | Illinois State University ’19 | $250 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN COALITION
is a junior pursuing a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She plans to go to graduate school and earn a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology. She one day hopes to open her own clinic. In her free time, she enjoys cracking corny jokes and spending time with her family. Having been born in Tarlac, Philippines, Alison discovered a passion for learning about, and celebrating, her Filipino heritage. She seizes any opportunity that is presented to her in which she can show pride in her culture and advocate for her people. Alison is the newly-elected Diversity Director of the Asian Pacific American Coalition at ISU. Through this position, she hopes to connect with fellow Filipino Americans from surrounding universities and spread awareness of Asian-American culture and issues to the general population.
KATHERINE DE LARA | Marquette University ’19 | $200 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: BAYANIHAN STUDENT ORGANIZATION
Katherine is an ambitious student working towards completing her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and, also, become a Certified Athletic Trainer. She loves majoring in health sciences, but also has a passion for digital media, especially filming/editing videos. On campus, Katherine is an executive board member of the Bayanihan Student Organization, and involved in the Athletic Training Student Association, Physical Therapy Council, Adaptive Abilities Club, and KAPWA Intervarsity-Witcom. Off campus, Katherine really enjoys traveling, trying new foods and taking long naps. When she isn’t napping or enjoying a good show on Netflix, Katherine is more than likely spending time with her family and friends. They are her happiness in life and she is incredibly thankful to be surrounded by people that make her laugh until she can’t breathe but also inspire her to be the best version of herself.
NICOLE REYES | Dominican University ’18 | $2,000 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: HEARTLAND INSTITUTE
Nicole is a junior at Dominican University studying Finance and Marketing. She is a student worker at the Admissions Office helping counselors communicate with prospective students. Nicole found her true passion while in business with her mother. Today, she works with World Financial Group and the World System Builder organization to educate one million families about financial literacy. Nicole also works as a Certified College Planning Consultant with the nonprofit Heartland Institute of Financial Education. As a first-generation college student, she has experienced the complications of the college process. Through her work, Nicole hopes to bring awareness to the rising cost of college tuition and help provide solutions.
JENNINE LOMIBAO | Loyola University ’18 | $500 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: KAPWA LOYOLA
Jennine is a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in Psychology with a minor in Social Work. She is active with KAPWA, the university’s Filipino American student organization. Their goal is to educate and promote a deeper appreciation, understanding, and respect for Filipino and Filipino American cultures and traditions. She has been an Ate/Kuya/Bunso mentor/mentee and is currently the Cultural Branch C-Director. Jennine enjoys learning more about her Filipino roots through cultural dance. She strives to carry out the Filipino values that her parents have instilled in her and believes she would not be the person she is today without her Filipino identity, her family’s guidance, and God.
ALPHABRENDA SADCOPEN | College of DuPage ’19 | $300 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: BIBBAK ILLINOIS
Alpha is a student at College of DuPage, currently working on her Associate Degree in Applied Science with a focus on Graphic Design. She discovered her love for graphic design in high school, where she was the Layout Editor, before becoming Head Editor in Publications. Alpha stays busy as a Youth President of BIBBAK, and as a volunteer with the Digital Co-Curation Team, where she helps digitize over 10,000 objects in the Field Museum’s Philippine Collection and facilitate monthly events. After finishing with my Associateʼs Degree she hopes to continue on with her Bachelorʼs Degree, or find work at Chicago design firms where she can establish her career in design, while still staying active in the Filipino Community.
TRIXIE CORTES | Denison University ’18 | $250 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: BICOL ASSOCIATION OF THE MIDWEST
Trixie moved to Chicago, from Naga City, Philippines, when she was ten years old. A junior at Denison University, in Ohio, she is pursuing a bachelorʼs degree in Sociology/ Anthropology with the dream of working for the government to help improve the living conditions of immigrant families in the U.S. She is also a Studio Art minor with a photography concentration. Her passion for the arts has gained her the opportunity to be a Teaching Assistant for the Art Department at Denison, as well as a projector for the Denison Film Society. Trixie is a charter member of the Eta Colony/Chapter of Alpha Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. which emphasizes sisterhood and Asian-Awareness within campus and the community.
KATRINA FAVIS | University of Illinois @ Chicago ’17 | $200 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: FILIPINOS IN ALLIANCE (FIA) at University of Illinois, Chicago
Katrina is a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in Rehabilitation Sciences with a minor in Disability and Human Development. She aspires to become an occupational therapist. Katrina enjoys working out, reading, and writing. She spent her first two years at a community college where she was honored to have one of her essays published in the school’s book of essays after it was judged by professors. Katrina is active in the Chi Sigma Omega sorority and also spends time working on campus. She loves to spend time with friends and also enjoys helping others by volunteering and working as a caregiver. She appreciates school and being able to learn and experience new things.
LILY JANE RAZ | Fashion Institute of Technology ’16 | $2,000 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: AKLAN ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY
Lily Jane is a junior in the AAS Communication Design Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City studying Advertising Design. She aspires to be an Art Director and couldn’t be more grateful to be learning it in such a wonderful city. She is on the Dean’s List and a member of the FIT Track Team. She has volunteered for the NYRR Half-Marathon, where she was start corral marshall, and the Gwendolyn Simmons Winter Skating Party and Fundraiser, where she was a poster designer. During her break, she enjoys running, traveling and keeping up-to-date with the latest music.
JOSEPHINE BELEN | University of Michigan ’17 | $500 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: FILIPINO AMERICAN STUDENT ASSOCIATION
Josephine is a sophomore the University of Michigan with aspirations to attend Pharmacy School in the Fall of 2016. She is the past president of the University of Michigan Filipino American Student Association (FASA), where she launched philanthropic events that helped victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the Children’s Shelter of Cebu. She is a second-generation Filipino who stays in touch with her cultural roots and keeps alive Filipino traditions instilled by her parents. Josephine believes that being successful means “giving your all” whether you win, or lose, as long as you learn something valuable and are happy doing it! Mabuhay sa inyong lahat and God Bless!
ALYSSA SOLOMON | University of Illinois @ Chicago ’18 | $300 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: PHILIPPINE ENGINEERS & SCIENTISTS ORGANIZATION (PESO)
Alyssa is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying Civil Engineering. Since the fifth grade, she has been a consistent honor student and was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. She loves to sing, play the piano, and dance, and has competed in all three categories. Alyssa performs as a technical/cultural dancer as a part of the Simbang Gabi Dance Crew, and member of the International Thespian Society. Alyssa has volunteered at the Ryder Cup, Feed My Starving Children Organization, and at numerous nursing homes.
ROZEL GARCIA | Loyola University ’17 | $200 Sampaguita Scholarship
Nominating Organization: CHICAGO NIGHTINGALES
Rozel Camille Garcia attends Loyola University in Chicago where she is pursuing International Studies with a minor in Journalism. She hopes to actively participate in actions and resolutions that will help to alleviate the critical issues affecting the world today. Through the eyes of those closest to her, Rozel is perceived as supportive, adventurous, and understanding. Her character has been shaped with the values instilled in her by family, friends, and hardships in life. Although her future is still being written, there is much to discover on where her journey leads her, as there are still many stepping-stones ahead. There is no doubt that she will find herself short of what life truly encompasses.