I was born in Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, but I was adopted when I was 16 months old. The Philippines is the most beautiful country with the best fish and fruit, as well as the most humble people. Since being adopted, I lived in St. Louis, Missouri until undergraduate school. The STL is an extremely proud midwestern town—where you went to high school is the most common question a St. Louisan will ask another. The city is also home to toasted ravioli (yum!).
Growing up, I dreamt of becoming a collegiate gymnast. I started competing at the age of 6 and spent over 20 hours of my week in the gym and traveling for competitions from age 10 on. I also loved school and my social life, so my family, friends, and sport have forever impacted the person I am today. I learned that there will always be someone working harder than you, so why not give it 110% to be better than you were the day before?
I earned my undergraduate degrees in Hospitality Management and Strategic Communication from The Ohio State University and had the incredible opportunity to compete for the gymnastics team during my time as a Buckeye. OH-IO! After undergrad, I pursued my Masters in Social Work from the University of Missouri, Columbia (but please know that I am a Buckeye through and through). On my first day of practice at Ohio State, my coach said that everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, so if you are given an opportunity, capitalize on it. Additionally, one of my mentors told me to always pay it forward because there are so many who gave me a chance.