Andrea is a Filipina-America from Beverly, Massachusetts. Despite being born in the U.S., both of her parents hail from Sanchez Mira, Cagayan. She grew up speaking Ilocano, eating monggo, and watching TFC.
Andrea recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass Amherst) with a Bachelor of Arts in Women/Gender/Sexuality Studies. She also received a minor in Political Science and completed a certificate program in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice. In addition, Andrea studied in Santiago, Chile for one semester at the Universidad de Andres Bello and spent a gap year in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina as a youth exchange scholar with Rotary International. During her college career, Andrea was awarded multiple scholarships commending her academic achievements and drive for international study, such as the College of Humanities and Fine Arts Dean’s Achievement Award, the Education Abroad Merit Scholarship, and the College of Social and Behavioral Science Ansin Study Abroad Fellowship.
Andrea’s interests lie heavily in social justice, activism, and community outreach. She found herself joining Coalition to End Rape Culture (a student-led organization at UMass Amherst), Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP), Rotaract (the young professionals branch of Rotary International). While in CLPP, she served as an outreach committee co-chair for the organization's annual conference, "From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom." Last summer, she interned in Prishtina, Kosovo at the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), a network of 100+ local groups and organizations that pioneer for women’s rights and gender equality in Kosovo. At KWN, Andrea was an analysis assistant, researching and compiling data for the Kosovo Gender Analysis Profile report, which provided gender-based policy recommendations for the country's national sectors. More recently, Andrea worked as a research assistant to a Harvard Business School (HBS) doctoral candidate. While at HBS, she helped research factors that affect the scaling of start-up firms, analyzing gender disparities and patterns in hiring biases.
In Manila, Andrea will research how Filipino culture influences sexual education in the Philippines. She believes that traditional customs, such as strong familial values and religious beliefs, can often affect the way that sexual education is taught and interpreted. Her project objectives are to: Create culturally appropriate recommendations and assessments, as well as foster dialogue among Filipino locals about their opinions regarding reproductive health, resources, and autonomy while using a community-based research approach. During this time, Andrea’s proposed research will be facilitated by the Women’s Global Network of Reproductive Rights and the Institute of Philippine Culture at Ateneo de Manila University. As an added bonus of living in the Philippines, Andrea wants to work on her Tagalog and Ilocano— she welcomes anyone who is willing to practice with her.
After Fulbright, she plans to enroll in a master’s degree program to further her education in reproductive health. In the future, she wants to work with people of color and improve how to better cater to their specific (and sometimes culturally sensitive) reproductive needs, thus integrating immigration justice with reproductive justice. The opportunity through Fulbright allows Andrea to connect her own identity as a first-generation Filipina-American to her personal interests and aspirations.