Below are members of the Community Leaders Program Cohort of 2018:
Megan Boone is an adoptee from South Korea. She grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and received a dual degree in History and International Studies with a focus on U.S. foreign policy towards East Asia during the Cold War. After graduating, she taught English in Taiwan before joining a faith-based non-profit that helped AAPI college students navigate cross-cultural issues. She moved to Seattle two years ago to work for an international student organization at the University of Washington with the purpose of building a strong American receiving community for Japanese international students. Megan is currently volunteering at 21 Progress, a social justice nonprofit that provides high-quality leadership development for underserved communities. In her spare time, she enjoys singing and going on reading dates with her partner.
Nesley Bravo is a Filipino- American, born in New Jersey and raised in Lacey, WA. After graduating from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Social Welfare, she moved to St. Louis, MO for an MSW program at Washington University focused on education systems and policy. Post- graduation, Nesley had an extended stay in the Philippines visiting her grandma, then started working at a community development organization in Skyway writing grants and developing a leadership program. She currently works at UW’s The Dream Project as Assistant Director of Curriculum & Student Services supporting curriculum development and undergraduate leaders mentoring high school students. Nesley loves to explore neighborhoods for yummy restaurants, hike & train for half marathons.
Bunthay Cheam is a Khmer American born in Khao I Dang refugee camp in Thailand and raised in South Park, Seattle. He received his B.A. in History at the University of Washington with a focus on African American history.
Bunthay works with various Cambodian American community organizations and is currently an Advocacy Journalism Fellow at the International Examiner. He also spends his free time doing theater, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors.
Vera Hoang is a Chinese and Vietnamese American who has lived in Seattle’s suburbs for most of her life. In her role as Campaign Administrator, she supports donor events, creates collateral for trustee meetings, and collaborates with colleagues to progress internal diversity and inclusion work at the Nature Conservancy in Washington. Prior to the Conservancy, Vera communicated construction updates for local transportation mega projects and conducted ecological research at the largest Magellanic penguin colony in the world! In her free time, she can be found paddling with Seattle Outrigger Canoe Club, exploring restaurants for her next best meal, watching superhero movies, and organizing for living wage green internships and jobs for young workers of color as part of Got Green’s Young Leaders Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Community, Environment& Planning and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, both from the University of Washington.
Andrew Koh was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. In 2016 Andrew moved to Seattle and carried the school motto with him; “Ut Prosim,” which means, “That I May Serve.” Andrew applies that spirit of service as a staff member of the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, where he helps organize the Hing Hay Park Summer Series and the film festival in February. Andrew joined the Community Leaders Program to better support the needs of the community through service leadership. In his free time Andrew enjoys watching movies and TV shows (not surprisingly), drinking an unhealthy amount of bubble tea, and learning about the newest tech innovations.
Esther Lee is a 2nd generation Korean American who was born in Seattle but raised partly in Azerbaijan. She received her B.A. from UW and completed her Master’s in Public Administration at the American University in Washington, D.C. She works at the City of Seattle as a Sr. Grants & Contracts Specialist in the Human Services Department, where she is active in the API Caucus and Community Engagement impact team. She is passionate about anti-racism work, intersectional social justice, and believes real impact starts at the local level. Esther serves as the co-chair of the Civic Engagement Committee for the Korean American Coalition and volunteers at the Refugee Women’s Alliance in her free time. She loves hanging out with her family, partner, and schnauzer-yorkie named Rafi.
Olivia Noell is a Samoan American, born in Seattle, Washington. She attended University of Hawai`i at Manoa, where she worked with and mentored Pacific Islander students in college preparedness. After graduating, she joined WorldTeach as a volunteer English teacher in American Samoa. After completing WorldTeach, she stayed on island and was hired locally at a small, private school, teaching several different subjects to a variety of grades. After two years in American Samoa, she returned home to attend the University of Washington School of Social Work, as much of her work helped shape her passion for working with her API community. She hopes to work with Asian and Pacific Islander youth in mental health upon graduating her master’s program. She is active in her church, enjoys playing ukulele, and loves spending time with family.
Krystal Sales is a Filipino-American, born and raised in Honolulu, HI. She moved to Seattle to attend college at Seattle University, where she was a first-generation graduate and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Since graduation, she worked in HR and operations roles across corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors. She currently works at the Seattle Colleges as a College Navigator, where she helps with District outreach efforts and supports working adults through the enrollment processes and wrap-around services. As part of the Workforce Development team, she also helps to execute cross-sector education programs that aim to upskill low-skilled, disadvantaged workers. She currently volunteers in her church’s homeless drop-in center as part of their advocacy team as well. Krystal has cultivated strong passions for social impact, cross-sector collaboration, corporate social responsibility, and social justice over the years. She aspires to be a thought leader and would like to continue serving the community through the implementation of innovative, sustainable solutions that addresses society’s most challenging issues. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, strength training and yoga, playing ukulele, and being a foodie.
Tatiana Ubay is Filipina-American, born and raised on the island of Guam. She moved to Seattle to get her Psychology degree from Seattle Pacific University. Since graduation, Tatiana has been involved in research with the University of Washington and Washington State University. Her current project involves incorporating harm-reduction approaches with the Native tradition of talking circles to better serve urban American Indian and Alaska Natives with alcohol-use disorders. Her experiences in research have informed her desire to pursue a career in healthcare that understands health disparities, creates equitable solutions for change and advocates for policy implementation. Outside of work, Tatiana loves to sing, cook, go on photography adventures, and hang out with family and friends.
Lauren (Gill) Weyenberg
Lauren is a Korean adoptee living in Seattle. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in English and a minor in Spanish. Fortunate to find a job during the recession in 2010, she began working for the University of Washington School of Medicine in the Department of Ophthalmology on the Harborview campus. Several years ago, Lauren began volunteering at 21 Progress and became increasingly interested in community engagement and social justice. Outside of work and volunteering, Lauren can be found playing soccer, running, reading, and watching Law and Order with her dog (and soulmate), Ernie.