Dessa Hipolito is a Filipina immigrant to California, an active leader at Skyline College, a singer, and an overall great role model for FilAm youth. On campus, she’s been this year’s Commissioner for Student Activities while also producing the last two Pilipino Cultural Nights. Next school year, she is planning to transfer to UCSD and continue her academic and personal journey. She shares her family’s immigration history, her struggles, and her integration process into America and community college life. She closes with some reflections on relationships and shares some advice for other young immigrants.

Follow her on Instagram @dessakishley and connect—especially if you’re in San Diego!