The first Kaya Co. Enterprise Pipeline cohort will work with the top corporations and conglomerates in the Philippines for the next year, creating high-impact projects and redefining what it means to be a balikbayan.

 

Since 2013, Kaya Collaborative (Kaya Co.) has brought young leaders from the Filipino diaspora back home to work with local leaders, entrepreneurs, and changemakers. This year, the Kaya Co Enterprise Pipeline (KCEP), an initiative by the Kaya Co LA Hub and Amihan Global Strategies, will connect 8 Los Angeles-based Filipino young professionals to business and technology positions with the top conglomerates and corporations in the Philippines.

 

From February to May, the KCEP Associates will be participating in critical programming and professional development in Los Angeles. Bi-monthly centerings, or group sessions, will include historical discussions, panels on the state of business and technology in the Philippines and diaspora, skills workshops, and more. To supplement these centerings with more personal context, every Associate will be guided by a Los Angeles mentor, Manila mentor, and company supervisor, all of whom will facilitate additional conversations about the Philippines, the diaspora, and the nuances that exist with being a young professional in these spaces.

 

From June to August, they’ll be based in Manila, where they’ll contribute to the daily decisions of their respective company and advance their projects. With a seat at the table and an appetite to match, the KCEP Associates will be developing projects ranging from democratizing electronic medical records to improving financial inclusion and literacy for unbanked Filipinos. At the end of their funded summer internship, they’ll be presenting their final project to their company and be up for either full-time employment or a project contract.

 

This year’s KCEP Associates are a microcosm of the over 10% of Filipinos living outside of the Philippines. But just as a rising tide lifts all boats, this cohort will lead the next wave of diaspora leaders ready to go big, go home, and go pro.

 

JUDGE AGUILAR

Judge is a freshman at the University of Southern California (USC), where he’s studying Economics and International Relations with a planned emphasis in Global Business. As a co-founder and partner of a cryptocurrency investment fund, he’s looking forward to learning about blockchain’s impact in the Philippines and other emerging economies.

 

 

CHRISTIAN CABUNAG

Christian is a sophomore at Pitzer College, where he’s majoring in Organizational Studies, an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the administrative, economic, political, psychological and sociological factors that affect cooperative human systems. He’s the CEO and founder of the KUYA Movement, and is interested in utilizing creativity and entrepreneurship to encourage support and solidarity between communities.

 

 

KEVIN CASASOLA

Kevin is a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he majored in Statistics. A tech-activist by day and artist by night, he is the founder of Data Science Daily and is interested in helping people become more adaptive and resilient to emerging technology.

 

 

 

MARIANNE ENCISO

Marianne is a graduating senior at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she’s majoring in Psychology and minoring in Global Health. As a student assistant for UCLA’s Executive Master in Public Health program, she’s interested in understanding global health and inequities at the frontlines.

 

 

 

ALESSANDRA GONZALES

Alessandra is a recent graduate of Seattle University, where she majored in Business Management and minored in Entrepreneurship and Public Affairs. As the outreach coordinator for Sunday Jump, a community open mic series in Historic Filipinotown, she’s interested in event planning, economic development, and opening a Filipino-American cafe.

 

 

CHRISTOPHER MENDOZA-SMITHOUR

Christopher is a graduating senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he’s majoring in Sociology and minoring in Asian-American Studies. As the co-programming director for the Southern California Pilipino-American Student Alliance and active community organizer, he’s interested in becoming a civil rights or immigration lawyer.

 

 

KAYLA PALISOC

Kayla is a recent graduate of Glendale Community College, where she majored in Art History. She’s the co-director of communications and programming at Nous Tous Gallery, an art and community space powered by Citizens of Culture, and is interested in cultivating academic and creative spaces for communities to engage in intentional and meaningful dialogue.

 

 

PAMELA SANTOS

Pamela is a junior at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where she’s majoring in Communications. As the co-chair of UCSB’s Kapatirang Pilipino, she’s interested in developing visionary companies and establishing cross-cultural connections with everyone she comes across.