It’s pronounced Kam-muhh-lee-yah! I’m 28 years old, and I love to learn. I’m a scholar of the world, a runner, a chef, a foodie, a dog lover and avid reader with an endless reading list.
I first became obsessed with travel when my mom took me with her to her native country the Philippines in 2015, when I was 15. Everything changed. I suddenly felt more alive and connected to world more deeply than I had ever felt in my life. I was surrounded by dozens of family members I had only heard of or seen in pictures–and living in a vivacious country that boasts over 7,000 islands. We ate heartily; I tried new foods that I still can’t live without and experienced such incredible beauty in nature that no amount of time can erase from my memories or dreams. I also looked poverty in a 3rd world country in the face. These moments in time have shaped my ambition and community-minded behavior.
Although the travel bug bit me from the paradise I saw in the clear waters and natural hot springs–the begging children in the streets surfaced my dedication to bettering the world through service and education. My #1 goal was always to make my mom proud–and she wanted me to go to college. So I went, and I didn’t stop my institutional academic journey until I graduated with my Master’s in Education from Harvard.
Here, the world opened before me. I was exposed to so much information–dark, empirical, encouraging, necessary, and practical. I consumed it all hungrily.
Going to Harvard University, an elite school with predominately white students, set in Cambridge on the beautiful east coast of the U.S. I met the most intelligent and prominent humans (like Oprah and the creator of “email”). My colleagues came from countries I had never heard of and spoke languages, so elegant–yet, foreign to my ear. It was the biggest cultural adaptation of my life. Not only did I feel the full effect of being an “imposter” in my own graduate program, but I was also balancing the difficulty of being 3,000 miles away from all of my friends and family and a rigorous graduate program.
The entire Harvard experience equipped me with the resources and connections I needed to “change the world”. Learning that the infamous “Achievement Gap” in education started before a student even reached Pre-K, through cultural and racial prejudices and underrepresentation, sent me on a personal mission to fight this systemic social injustice.
I began my professional career as an advocate and Program Coordinator for the TRIO STEM program which provided invaluable resources, jobs and training for first-generation college students, students from low-income communities/families and students with disabilities in STEM fields. The job was a dream, but the urge to see and do more, and make an impact on a global scale was pulling me.
I wanted more. I wanted the world. I wanted to push the future in a positive direction. In my mind, this is a celebration of diversity, inclusion; equal representation. This future world would be bereft of social injustice and racism, with equity in access to quality: information, education, careers, home ownership, healthcare and thriving. To me, this starts with education.
I want others to see the world –to get to know people, to meet people outside of their culture, to step outside of their comfort zones and to empathize. How can we change the world and make it a better place, if we do not know it?
So, now I live and teach in Madrid, Spain, completely immersed in its culture and teaching English to 2nd and 4th-grade students. I work part-time and travel as much as possible! I hope to fill this world with as much positivity and cultural growth as possible.