2021 Forward Leadership Program Scholars


Alena Arounpradith (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a Lao-American student at Oregon State University majoring in BioHealth Sciences with an option in Pre-Pharmacy, and minors in Business, Chemistry, and Public Health. Outside of school, Alena is involved in multiple organizations. She currently works as the Communication Representative at OSU’s Asian Pacific Cultural Center. She is also the Public Relations Officer for the Asian Pacific American Student Union, and the Chapter Liaison for Phi Delta Chi, a professional pharmacy fraternity. In addition, Alena is an active member of other API organizations, like the Cambodian Student Association and the Vietnamese Student Association. Through the API Forward Program, Alena hopes to become a more culturally competent leader. She wants to be more socially conscientious of the social justice issues that exist within the API community and gain more experience engaging in diversity, inclusion, and equity work.


My name is Cian Gentner and I am a 20-year-old college sophomore currently attending Clark College with hopes of transferring to the University of Washington in the fall. I am majoring in chemistry with the intention of attending medical school to become an anesthesiologist in the future. I enjoy activities such as watching movies and TV shows, walking my dog, and hanging out with my friends. By joining the API Forward Leadership Program, I am hoping to be able to effectively and passionately promote diversity within our community in order to create a more safe and secure atmosphere for all people. I have a lot of volunteering experience through my high school’s clubs such as the Red Cross Club and the National Honor Society. I intend to utilize the experiences and lessons that I learned with these volunteering opportunities in order to more effectively contribute to this program.


Hello, my name is Jordan Huynh and I am 20 years old and I am currently a sophomore at Portland State University. I am studying under Business Administration for a degree in Management and Leadership, along with Human Resources as a backup. I am hoping that after
I have earned my degree in a couple more years, I will be able not only work alongside other people, but be able to help guide and become a leader in my expertise. I hope to get more experience working with others and learning how to adapt to new situations that come across our daily lives. I also hope to be able to serve Portland as it has become a home for not only me, but for many other people that live here. Thank you for allowing me the chance to enhance my skills and better not only myself, but everyone else as well.


Coming Soon!


Roselie Agulto is a senior majoring in public health and a first-generation college student at Portland State University. She was raised on the island of Saipan where her pride and joy in her Filipino and Chamorro cultures stem. Health disparities are no stranger to Roselie as she grew up witnessing the lack of resources, unstable healthcare infrastructure, and unhealthy behaviors that have been plaguing the health of her community. She is passionate about research and collaboration as it would help prepare her to become a public health leader in the Micronesia. Part of her journey includes the work she does as an intern at the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network where she supports the outreach, screening, and referral of community resources among patients for health-related social needs. As an API scholar, Roselie looks forward to connecting with other API community members and learning more about leadership, diversity, and advocacy. 


Taylor Nguyen is a junior at Portland State University. She is a first-generation Vietnamese-American and a first-generation college student. Taylor is majoring in Supply Chain Management along with an International Business and Real Estate certificate. After college, she would like to work in California or abroad as a buyer or Supply Chain analyst. She is the Treasurer for PSU Kaibigan- Filipino American Student Association for two years and is a part of the Vietnamese Student Association(VSA) ACE program. She enjoys traveling, hiking, swimming, baking, and doing outdoor activities. Growing up in a small town in California, where there was no API community, she never felt represented. When she moved to Portland in 2015, she started being involved in many API clubs in high school to connect and represent her culture. Since then, she has continuously been involved in the API community to help others connect to their culture.


2020 Forward Leadership Program Scholars


Alina is a passionately curious second year student at the University of Oregon working towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, exploring a concentration in Business Operations and Analytics. She is also pursing a Food Studies minor and hopes to apply this to the food industry of the business world. In her free time, she loves climbing, traveling, graphic design, and photography. Alina is apart of the UO Climbing team and Vietnamese Student Association Media Team, and hopes to study abroad in the next upcoming years.


Ania Ty was born in the Philippines, but her family immigrated to the United States when she was three years old. Despite growing up a world away from her homeland, her childhood was deeply entrenched in Filipino culture. Hands, not spoons and forks, were the primary utensils in her family. Ania’s mother would sing folk songs to her, interweaving Tagalog and English as her mother braided her hair every morning. As a child, Ania felt comfortable in Filipino culture, but upon entering university, she realized she needed to take a more active role in her community. It wasn’t enough to eat sinigang and sing karaoke – Ania wanted to be a true leader capable of creating tangible, necessary change. Her hope as a scholar in the API Forward Leadership Program she can serve the API community by listening to and amplifying valuable voices, unique experiences, and stories that often go untold but must be said.


Chivon Ou (pronouns: he/him/his) is a first-generation, Khmer-American and a freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a Minor in Neuroscience at the University of Portland. Chivon grew up listening to stories from his family about the struggles they experienced during the Khmer Rouge regime and surviving as refugees. Chivon aspires to become a nurse to serve communities who are disproportionately affected by trauma. More specifically, Chivon is intersted in learning about the LGBTQ youth and the charlatan practice of conversion therapy, military servicemen/servicewomen, and survivors and/or refugees of war. Chivon is passionate about service and exploring the world; he dreams of someday working for NGOs like Doctors Without Borders as a nurse to serve war-torn regions. He hopes to learn more about the health systems of other countries in order to optimize the standards of healthcare models within his community.


Danica Gascon is a Filipino-American student pursuing to become an oncologist. Currently, Danica is a Sophomore at Portland State University majoring  in Biology (Pre-Med) with a minor in Business Administration. At PSU, Danica currently involved in the Kaibigan – Filipino American Student Association and serves as a student leader (Historian). Danica is also involved in other API organizations as well. Danica enjoys  playing the piano, percussion instruments, and drawing. As a Forward Leadership scholar she hopes to learn from this experience and connect with not only her Filpino culture, but wants to be able to connect with cultures as well.


Dawa Gyalpo is a junior studying Business Administration with a minor in Planning, Public Policy & Management at  the University of Oregon. She is a Tibetan-American born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She is honored to be a part of the Forward Leadership Program and work with other API students in the community. Dawa is looking forward to share her experiences with others while also learning from her peers. Dawa is thankful for the opportunity as a scholar of the Forward Leadership program and connect with students and mentors in the community. 


Sean Wei is a senior at Portland State University majoring in Public Health Education with a focus on the Health Science on the Pre-Physicians occupational track. Sean is highly involved in the PSU community. Sean is the President of the PSU tennis club and coordinates practices weekly and competes in numerous tournaments through the NW. In addition, Sean is also part of  the PSU Rec Council, where he oversees 40+ other rec clubs at PSU. Sean is an active member of the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) and enjoys learning about the Vietnamese culture and meeting new people. Outside of school, Sean enjoys volunteering in the Oncology unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital. In between his busy schedule, Sean always strive to improve himself with different goals and to give back and improve his community.


Talianna K. Magofna is a 3rd year molecular biology student at Eastern Oregon University. She is originally from Saipan, the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands. Talianna comes from a multicultural background, with English being her 3rd language. She is a second generation college student pursuing a degree that will help her successfully enter the health/medicine field. She has spent many years volunteering at local agencies on her island and educating youth about the importance of the local marine ecosystems. Talianna’s primary interests and career goals have always involved biology. Since starting her undergrad journey, she has developed a new love for medicine and the healthcare industry. Talianna’s goal is to pursue a career that will serve her community and wants to attend college overseas. She intends on continuing her education to the highest degree so she can prepare herself to perform to the best of her abilities.


Tammy Tran, (she/ hers/ her pronouns) was born and raised in Portland Oregon and is a first generation student who is a transfer from PCC  and is majoring in Finance at Portland State University. Outside of school, Tammy is involved in multiple organizations and events in the Portland community. Tammy was the club coordinator for Passion Impact at PCC that focuses on volunteerism and hosting nonprofit fairs around campus. She is involved with APANO with the Annual Jade Night Market and Unity Through Diversity as a coordinator for the Multicultural event. Tammy is also active in Student Government and has organized lobbying at the State Capitol, registered students to vote, and participates in committees with staff and administrators. Tammy also held a position at PSU at the Women’s Resource Center as an Events and Outreach Coordinator to further her social justice skills. 


Yuman Ng was born in Hong Kong and is an ambitious McNair Scholar at Portland State University. He is completing a biology degree and working towards a MD/PhD program. Raised by a single immigrant mother, the importance of accessible healthcare was instilled in him when his parent was severely injured by a drunk driver before his 10th birthday. As a result of those experiences and ordeals, strives to advocate health care awareness and accessibility for all. Passionate about biomedical research to treat diseases and focusing on personal growth. Seeks to bridge cultural and communication gaps and works at the Cultural Resource Center at Portland State University. He enjoys cooking and hopes to one day cook well enough he can also enjoy eating his own cooking.