Mabuhay HS FilGrad 2015!

On May 24, 2015, the Kuya Ate Mentorship Program held its annual High School Filipino/a Graduation of San Diego County at the Downtown Central Public Library. It was the biggest and best HS FilGrad yet with a record number of participants and an excellent keynote address delivered by Councilmember Todd Gloria.

The event began with a performance by the Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble, which presented gong-chime music and dances from the southern Philippines. FilGrad participants then processed into the beautiful Shiley Suite to the sound of traditional kulintang music before the winners of the Filipino American Educator Association’s (or Filameda) scholarships were introduced. Filameda has been a long-time collaborator of KAMP in presenting HS FilGrad. Another scholarship was also presented by KAMP’s Executive Director, Dr. Amanda Solomon Amorao, on behalf of UCSD Kaibigang Pilipino and the Ruanto-Maguilat Foundation to a high-achieving, incoming UCSD freshman.


FilGrad hosts Kuya John Camero and Kuya Sean Tangco then introduced the 2015 HS FilGrad speaker, Councilmember Todd Gloria. Gloria has served as the representative for the City of San Diego’s Third Council District since December 2008. He was selected by the City Council as its President in 2013 and 2014 and served as Interim Mayor of the City of San Diego from August 30, 2013 until March 2, 2014. Councilmember Gloria delivered an inspirational speech, encouraging students to find their passions and contribute to their communities.


After the keynote, HS FilGrad participants took to the stage and gave short speeches thanking their families, friends, teachers, and counselors for support. Each participant then received a handmade stole of Philippine batik fabric, a certificate of recognition, an HS FilGrad 2015 necklace created by Filipino Brand, and a swag bag donated by the Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society. This is the heart of HS FilGrad – the opportunity to personally recognize and celebrate the amazing students in our community and show them our support as they begin their exciting journeys after high school. HS FilGrad conveys how proud the community is of what these students have already accomplished and how we look forward to all that they will still accomplish – all the good that they will do not just for themselves or their families but also for others.


KAMP’s vision is to empower a new generation of leaders, inspiring them to contribute to their communities and act for social justice. KAMP thanks that amazing community partners who helped make HS FilGrad 2015 possible:

Volunteer for HS FilGrad 2015!

Hello KAMP Supporters!

we are in need of 10 volunteers to assist us with the San Diego Filipina/o High School Graduation (FilGrad). Volunteering means assisting with duties on the day of the event including but not limited to: decorating, ushering, serving food, clean-up, registration, photo-booth.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the event, FilGrad is a Filipino-style graduation ceremony sponsored by KAMP and FILAMEDA to commemorate the accomplishments and achievements of graduating seniors in San Diego. A special feature of the ceremony is that each graduate will be given a moment at the podium to express their gratitude to their friends, family, and community members who have helped them throughout school.

This year is the 7th annual ceremony and we will be hosting the event at the Downtown San Diego Public Library on May 24th, 2015 from 2pm to 4pm. If you are interested, willing, and able to volunteer with us for FilGrad, please follow the instructions below to sign-up:

  1. Availability: We will need volunteers to be available to help from 1pm to 5pm, if you are available between these hours, please mark your calendars.
  2. Contact Information: Please email us with your contact information including your First and Last Name, Phone Number and Email.
  3. Follow-Up: Our volunteer coordinator, Romyn Sabatchi, will contact you and provide you with more detailed information about your duties for FilGrad.

Please email us at to volunteer! Thank you so much!

2015 HS FilGrad Keynote Speaker: Councilman Todd Gloria


KAMP is proud to have San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria serve as our keynote speaker at this year’s HS FilGrad. Our signature Filipino-style graduation ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 24 from 2pm to 4pm at the Downtown Central Public Library. Please read more about Councilman Gloria below. We look forward to his words inspiring our students!


Todd Gloria has served as the representative for the City of San Diego’s Third Council District since December 2008.

He was selected by the City Council as its President in 2013 and 2014 and served as Interim Mayor of the City of San Diego from August 30, 2013 until March 2, 2014.

Councilmember Gloria has successfully championed increased infrastructure investment, resulting in miles of smoother roads and the term “sexy streets.” He has also led the way for San Diego’s first permanent year-round homeless service center, is a leading advocate for transportation options including a stronger public transit system and pedestrian and bicycle projects, and he authored Proposition C in 2010, which updated the City’s veterans hiring policy.

As Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee since 2011, Councilmember Gloria oversaw the development and approval of budgets that stabilized the City’s finances after years of cuts, and restored critical services like library hours. Councilmember Gloria currently chairs the Committee on Budget and Government Efficiency. He represents San Diego on the board of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the SANDAG Executive Committee, and the Metropolitan Transit System. He is also Chair of the SANDAG Transportation Committee and the Regional Continuum of Care Council Governance Board, while remaining the City’s liaison to Civic San Diego.

Prior to his election in 2008, Councilmember Gloria served as District Director to U.S. Congresswoman Susan A. Davis and worked for the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency. Todd’s volunteer efforts to improve the community include his work as a San Diego Housing Commissioner from 2005 until his election to the City Council, and as a member of the Mid-City Prostitution Impact Panel.

In 2013, Councilmember Gloria was one of 24 individuals chosen for the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship Program for Public Leadership, recognizing him as one of the nation’s most promising young leaders in American government. Councilmember Gloria was named San Diego’s Best Elected Official by the readers of CityBeat in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. His work has also been recognized by numerous organizations, including the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, the Greater San Diego Business Association, and the HIV Consumer Council.

Councilmember Gloria is a graduate of the University of San Diego and a member of the Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. A native of San Diego, Councilmember Gloria is also a third generation resident of District Three and a dedicated public servant. Having learned from his parents the importance of leaving things better than when you first found them, Councilmember Gloria enthusiastically and tirelessly works to ensure San Diego is considered a truly great city.

KAMP @ SUHI Conference!


On April 18th, five of our mentors went to Sweetwater High School for their district’s high school conference. At the event, the objective was two-fold. First, initiate a discussion about “power” with the students who chose to participate in KAMP’s workshop. Second,  recruit students to participate in the 7th Annual High School Filipino Graduation (HS FilGrad).

The power workshop seemed to be a new topic of conversation for the students, probably because talking about the power dynamics that pattern society is uncommon in many public and educational spaces. Nevertheless, mentors conversed with students about the nuances of power like how power is held differently between teachers and students in relation to the production of knowledge. By the end of the workshop, mentors found themselves limited on time and felt the need for another opportunity to further explore the topic of power with the youth. Hopefully, in the future,  KAMP can increase its capacity to teach in more schools in the Sweetwater Unified School District.
After the workshop KAMP mentors set up a table outside the gymnasium where students listened to more speakers and were awarded for their academic excellence. As the conference broke for lunch, the graduating seniors could be seen modeling their beautiful Philippine-styled stoles that foreshadowed their graduation to come. The mentors recruited six seniors who applied for this year’s FilGrad and more are expected to sign up when KAMP teachers in their classrooms on April 30th. All in all, the high school conference seemed to be a success and KAMP mentors felt in their place amongst the hundreds of Filipino and Filipina students in the crowd.
-Kuya Sean

KAMP @ Cesar Chavez Service Clubs Las Mañanitas Breakfast

The Annual Cesar Chavez Birthday Celebration also known as the Las Mananitas Breakfast honored the legacy of Cesar Chavez and the lifetime achievements of Ken Seaton Msemaji and Fahari Jeffers on March 27, 2015 at the Jacobs Center. The event was hosted by the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, which builds youth leadership through service. Student presenters ranging from elementary school to high school shared the impact of Ken and Fahari. With the guidance of Cesar Chavez, Ken and Fahari founded the United Domestic Workers Union of America (UDW). They worked towards the advancement of domestic workers by advocating for basic legal rights and fair working conditions, wages and benefits. At the beginning of the program, Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz pictures’ were shown as the presenters discussed the beginning and founding of the United Farm Workers. Then student presenters shared their experiences as Cesar Chavez Service Club officers and how they were influenced by the teachings of Cesar Chavez. Kuya Averille and Ate Romyn represented KAMP at the event. It was an amazing celebration to attend and learn about the work of the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs and the great legacy that Cesar Chavez left behind.

By: Ate Romyn Sabatchi