Over 70 Filipino-American young professionals underwent a leadership and mentoring seminar at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, last October 3 as part of the Philippine Consulate in New York's celebrations for the Filipino-American History Month.
The young professionals were lectured by established Fil-Am leaders including writer Gina Apostol and Brown University Dean Mary Grace Almandrez in practical courses such as events planning and cultural modules on the use of education in breaking the stereotypes of white, male leadership.
Consul General Mario De Leon, Jr. said during his keynote speech that Filipino-Americans were capable of occupying leadership positions beyond the community because they had "core values as Filipinos, and the opportunities as Americans."
"Know history, know self. No history, no self. Represent the Filipinos as leaders in the mainstream US society," De Leon said.
Councilman Jonathan Wong of Mahwah County, the youngest Filipino-American elected into the United States government, encouraged attendees to consider running for office.
"The biggest impact (one) can do in policy is if you hold a position to make decisions for the greater community," Wong said.
New York Senator Charles E. Schumer announced his support for a resolution recognizing October as Filipino American History Month in the US on Thursday in recognition of the contributions of Filipino Americans.
According to the 2010 US Census on the Asian Population, there are 3,416,840 Filipinos in the country and are the second largest Asian-American/Pacific Islander group.
The Asian American Foundation wrote in 2013 that 61 percent of Filipinos in the state of New York lived in New York City and comprised seven percent of the city's Asian population. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News