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From the Philippines to Leadership Brainery - My Journey as a Development Fellow

Two years ago, I made the life-changing decision to move to the United States. Amidst the excitement of a new chapter, I encountered a multitude of challenges: immigration hurdles, bouts of homesickness, mental exhaustion, and the overwhelming feeling of impostor syndrome. I found it impossible to advocate for myself, let alone championing my deeply held belief in education equity. I questioned my mission and wondered if it was worth the fight.

From the outset, I knew that my first job in the U.S. had to align with my unwavering commitment to education equity. Enter Leadership Brainery. In 2023, when I discovered this organization, I knew there was no other option. LB saw potential in me—an immigrant, a nonprofit enthusiast, an eager learner, a dreamer facing adversity. They believed in me when I had a hard time believing in myself. 

As a scholar of Northeastern University's Diversity Fellowship, I felt a profound desire to give back to the institution that had given me so much. Little did I know that by joining LB, I would not only contribute to Northeastern but also have the privilege of giving back to the vibrant city of Boston—my newfound home. I realized that Boston was now my home, and I was determined to use my skills to ensure quality education was accessible to all.

During my tenure as a Diversity Fellow, I honed my strategic communication skills for social change. Each day brought new lessons, from nurturing relationships with stakeholders to engaging in meaningful conversations about diversity and inclusion. I cherished the heartfelt discussions with students and aspiring ambassadors about their aspirations. My colleagues imparted invaluable organizational skills, and I learned to navigate my professional life in this new environment.

As my fellowship comes to a close and I complete my second master's degree, I am certain that my collaboration with LB is far from over. Wherever life takes me, I will carry the torch for Leadership Brainery and its mission to make graduate education and leadership opportunities accessible to underrepresented talents. There is much work to be done, and I am committed to supporting organizations like LB that advocate for education equity.

So, this is not a farewell. I know our paths will cross again—in my future studies, in nonprofit spaces, and in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Thank you, LB, for believing in me—an immigrant from a small town in Manila. Thank you for fostering my growth and for helping me realize my dreams. Thank you for being my advocate!

The best is yet to come!

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