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This Book Will Change Your Perspective On Life

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43 – Stephanie Balon / Mental Health Therapist, Social Enterprise Center, FMHI-SMC

By |January 21st, 2021|

Stephanie Garma Balón, MA, AMFT (she/her) is a second-gen, Pinay-American, & proud Mama—born/raised on occupied land of the Ramaytush Ohlone people, AKA: Daly City/San Francisco, and of Ilokano & Visayan decent. As an Expressive Arts Therapist at StarVista in North San Mateo County (SMC) providing individual and group therapy to youth, parents, and families, Steph leans on her belief in the transformative healing power of the arts. This inspires her to intentionally integrate ritual, visual art, writing, and poetry in her professional and personal practice, especially as it relates to her continuous decolonial healing journey. Steph’s work is rooted in trauma-informed care, narrative & relational-cultural therapeutic approaches. She has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector and has an extensive community mental health advocacy background addressing health inequities amongst underserved populations, namely within the Filipinx community. She is a co-chair of the Filipino Mental Health Initiative of SMC, which was awarded a 2.6M grant by the State of California to launch a Social Enterprise Cultural Center for the Filipino American demographic in Daly City.

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Kuya Book 01 – Coming Full Circle by Leny Strobel / Overview & Thoughts

By |May 25th, 2020|

New project! This is the first experiment of exploring books on the podcast. I'll be giving an overview Leny Strobel's Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post-1965 Filipino Americans. This is a pivotal book in FilAm literature and it has a lot of wisdom and lessons within it. It's an informal overview, with specific quotes thrown in to highlight the main takeaways. Coming Full Circle is a project of decolonization based off interviews with post-1965 Filipino Americans . Through a process that Strobel calls "fishing for knowledge" through books and interviews, she organizes themes of decolonization under the categories of Naming, Reflection, and Action. This framework is greatly influenced by Paulo Friere and his idea that oppressed peoples need to name the source of their oppression before they can enact change upon it. 11 generative themes of decolonization are presented, alongside a literature review of relevant material and research.

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42 – Rich Bustos / LinkedIn Software Engineer Shares Insights on Coding, Minimalism, and Investing

By |March 28th, 2020|

Rich Bustos is a Filipino American engineer, videographer, and financial minimalist. He currently works as a front-end developer at LinkedIn, where he's been at for seven years. Entering the company through an internship with Year Up, Rich shares about how he was hired on even if he didn't know how to code. The passion and drive in him opened up doors and led to his current career and financial stability. In this episode, we go over his entry into the workforce through Year Up, and organization that helps under-connected youth enter the tech industry. We talk about how minimalism and meditation helped Rich work through anxiety and panic attacks. Rich also shares a lot of reflections about financial stability and investing—a very important thing for our communities to learn and develop an understanding for.

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41 – Nate Nevado / Filipino Leader of Hip Hop Education Drops Bars of Wisdom & Counseling

By |March 19th, 2020|

Nate Nevado is a Filipino American leader, Counseling Creative, and Educational Innovations Consultant. He currently works at Skyline College as a counselor and head of the Rock the School Bells conference—a hip hop educational program now in its 13th year. He is currently finishing his doctoral program at SFSU—writing about the intersection of counseling and Hip Hop Education. He’s also the founder of the CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community at Skyline College, which provides Hip Hop education through transferrable college courses and relevant community programming. In this episode, we dive into the roots of his journey through Hip Hop and academia. From dropping out of community college to his eventual pursuit of a doctoral degree, Nate shares the multiple challenges and pivots he made throughout life to find his sense of purpose and direction. He goes over his early love for Hip Hop, the tensions within his traditional Filipino family, the doubts he had though college, and the eventual strength he found through community work and Hip Hop Education. There’s a wide range of wisdom in this episode, especially for Hip Hop heads, educators, counselors, and community workers.

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