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.

Cian Gentner (pronouns: he/him/his) is a 20-year-old college sophomore currently attending Clark College with hopes of transferring to the University of Washington in the fall. He majors in chemistry with the intention of attending medical school to become an anesthesiologist in the future. He enjoys activities such as watching movies and TV shows, walking his dog, and hanging out with friends. By joining the API Forward Leadership Program, Cian is 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. He has a lot of volunteering experience through his high school’s clubs such as the Red Cross Club and the National Honor Society. He intends to utilize the experiences and lessons that he learned with these volunteering opportunities in order to more effectively contribute to this program.

Jordan Huynh (pronouns: she/her/hers) is 20 years old and currently a sophomore at Portland State University. She majors in Business Administration, focusing on Management and Leadership, along with Human Resources as a backup. Jordan is hoping that after she earns her degree in a couple more years, she will be able to not only work alongside other professionals, but also help guide and become a leader in her expertise. Jordan hopes to get more experience working with others and learning how to adapt to new situations that come across our daily lives. She also hopes to be able to serve Portland as it has become a home for not only her but for many others that live here.

Raleigh De Leon (pronouns: he/him/his) is a first-generation college student currently enrolled at Mt. Hood Community College’s Nursing program and will soon obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). As he continues to navigate through higher education, it becomes more apparent that institutional systems such as the healthcare field demands an integrated critical analysis via personal lived experiences. This understanding aids in shaping their end goal of achieving their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in education to support and guide youth on the importance of social justice as a fundamental value in how they provide care to all patients.

Roselie Agulto (pronouns: she/her/hers) 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 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 (pronouns: she/her/hers) 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.

Past Program Scholars

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. 

2019 Forward Leadership Program Scholars

Born in Shanghai, China, Yiqiu (Viv) Cai was raised by a single mother until the age of 10 before immigrating to Portland, Oregon. Since a young age, they have explored the many intersectionalities of their identities. However, it was with time before Viv was finally able to de-internalize all the racism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia they faced growing up. Today, they proudly introduce themself as a queer nonbinary immigrant from China. Viv currently attends Oregon State University (OSU) for their bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and hopes to study student affairs in higher education for their graduate program. Viv currently serves as a Leadership Liaison at OSU’s Women & Gender Center, as well the project manager for Rainbow Continuum (student group dedicated to LGBTQIA+ individuals). Viv dedicates their time to creating programs and workshops that aim to tackle current issues within social justice in hopes to bring justice and equity for all. Through the positions they have held and their own identity journey, they hope to be able to continue their advocacy for underrepresented communities and transcend from being a student leader into a community leader.

Erin San Antonio identifies as a first generation Filipino-American and is ambitious in pursuing her goals. Hoping to embark on this journey, she will be transferring to Portland State University to earn a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in women’s studies next fall.Passionate about helping others, she currently works as a Student Advocate at the Southeast Campus of Portland Community College’s Women’s Resource Center and served a term in Sylvania’s Illumination Project. Being a member of both communities, she works in the direction of tackling and applying the principles of intersectional, multicultural feminism to resist, dismantle and bring more awareness towards sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression.Striving to feed her seed of compassion, she is driven to learn and speak up against the injustices around her to help others find healing in shared stories amongst their communities and through their collective strength and voices.

Sara Tajanlangit is a student at Oregon State University, studying chemistry and psychology. She hopes to become an emergency room doctor and psychiatrist so she can be a first responder for mental illness. She works on research projects to increase awareness about the lasting effects of society and the media on Asian-American mental illness. She dedicates her hard work and motivation to her dad and uncle, both of whom have taught her how to own her identity and succeed while doing so. She strives to be a role model for young children, like her two-year-old brother, and loves to teach and communicate with children through art and language. She is learning Korean and Spanish and how teach complex mathematical theories to children via art and graphical displays.

Taryn Yamauchi was born and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and is a 5th generation Japanese-Okinawan American. Taryn graduated from Henry J. Kaiser High School as a valedictorian. She is now expanding her knowledge as she joined the Portland State University community in Fall of 2017. At Portland State, Taryn is double majoring in business advertising and marketing, as well as a certificate in athletic and outdoor sports marketing. She is an active member of PSU’s Pacific Islanders Club, the Panhellenic sorority Alpha Chi Omega and has been working at the PSU Millar Library. Taryn is passionate about traveling the world and exploring new environments. She will be embarking on a study abroad program to Kansai Gaidai University in Japan in the fall of 2019. After graduation, Taryn plans to obtain her MBA at PSU’s Graduate School of Business.