In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, Molloy’s Asian Club hosted an AAPI Alumni Panel on May 15th! Organized by Ms. Haslbauer and moderated by Nancy Zilz ‘23, the panel consisted of five Molloy graduates ranging from class years 1990-2018 who took time out of their busy schedules to speak to Stanners about being an Asian American in the professional world.
The highlighted panelists were: Edwin Wong ‘90, a banker and commercial lender, as well as the NY Democratic State Committeeman for Assembly District 28, and one of the original founders of the Asian Club at Molloy; Elyssa Noblesala ‘08, a global marketing strategist working with brands spanning fashion, tech, and CPG industries; Lauren Kim ‘09, an artist and textile designer working with brands such as DKNY, Coach, and Lululemon; Valerie Villanueva ‘09, a marketing professional and health enthusiast based in London; and Clifford Robin Temprosa ‘18, a Budget Policy Coordinator at the Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families, and the Founder and Chair of the AAPI Caucus in the Queens Young Democrats.
Panelists answered questions such as, “How has your heritage shaped who you are today?” or “What are some of your favorite traditions?” and, “Who are some of your role models?” Valerie made it known that as a Filipina American, she sees the world through a specific lens, and Clifford added that his cultural identity reflects the decisions he makes in life. Edwin says he shares his experiences whenever he can so that he can educate the people around him, and Elyssa said that although things aren’t perfect, she is happy that there is more AAPI representation in media, as more voices are being added to the conversation. Lauren says her mother has been the biggest influence on her, as the biggest lesson she taught her was to “do the absolute best with what you have.” The group also addressed how to handle microaggressions, both in school and the workplace, and that educating individuals is the most important thing that can be done.
Edwin spoke about his experience as a teenager, saying he helped form the Asian Club so that AAPI students at Molloy would have a group of people they could rely on. He said, “The club was made so that we could help and protect each other.” The club has grown, and it now hosts wonderful events such as this panel! Thank you to our panelists for coming to speak to our Stanners, and thank you to the Asian Club and Ms. Haslbauer for their hard work!