Meet the 2019 Fly Pinays Team!

Our Annual Fly Pinays program is a p-r-o-d-u-c-t-i-o-n that begins nearly eight months in advance, and entirely the end-result of volunteer leadership, capacity, and vision.  Primarily run and owned by college students and young adults from the South Bay Area, the work of Fly Pinays simply wouldn’t exist without the bold vision of our volunteer organizers. Bound by a commitment to bringing something special and distinct to our community and locked in shared conviction in its purpose: elevating and putting our community on. 


Marissa Martinez
Program Director
Alma Mater: Santa Clara University

About me:  Marissa is creative writer and advocate for youth and the arts, was born and raised in East San Jose. She writes plays and poetry inspired by her life as well as the lives of her close friends, family, and community.

Fave Filipino Dish?  Tocilog!

Fave Movie?  Moana

Why I’m involved with Fly Pinays.  I want to help create a space for fellow Filipinas to connect and thrive. Plus, I feel so empowered being surrounded by driven, successful Pinays!

Mentee Co-Director
Alma Mater: San Jose State University

About me: I’m from LA but love living in the Bay! I have my BA in Psychology from SJSU and hope to be going to grad school soon (-:

Fave Filipino Dish? My mom’s Sinigang na Hipon

Fave Movie? A Cinderella Story

Why I’m involved with Fly Pinays. I’m involved with Fly Pinays because I want to help young Pinays not feel restricted when it comes to choosing their career path. I want to help provide resources they didn’t realize they had.

Mentee Co-Director
Current: San Jose State University


About me:  I am a fourth year at San Jose state university majoring in public health and double minoring in Asian American Studies and Psychology. I love reading and have been reading a lot of Pilipino/Pilipino American books or books by Pin@y authors or books with historical context/social justice. One of my goals this year is to learn Tagalog and I’ve been watching a lot of Filipino shows/movies to help aid my quest in learning.

Fave Filipino Dish?  I love Diniguan. I know people are turned off by it being pork blood but I love the taste!

Fave Movie?  The Hate U Give. A super powerful movie/book that showcases a lot of experiences I may never face because of the color of my skin.

Why I’m involved with Fly Pinays.  I love that Pinay students like myself can connect with Pinays already in their own work profession. As a first generation college student, I found it hard trying to understand preparation for interviews or even opportunities in my career path. I love that Fly Pinays can bring so many womxn together in one day to lift each other up and feel empowered.


Social Media & Publicity Director
Alma Mater: UC Davis
About me:   I’m the Social Media/Publicity Director for this year’s Fly Pinays Leadership Summit! With my background in Design and Digital Media from UC Davis and as founder of the Brown Papaya magazine, I hope to bring a fresh exciting look and feel to this year’s 3rd Fly Pinays!
Fave Filipino Dish?  Tosilog.
Fave Movie?
Why I’m involved with Fly Pinays.  I was a mentee at the first ever Fly Pinays and felt this overwhelming sense of empowerment being among older Pinay womxn in their professional fields. As the oldest sister, I never had an Ate figure, so it was incredibly refreshing to have that space freshly out of college. I volunteered the year after, and continue to help out now with social media/publicity!


Fundraising & Mentor Director
Current: University of Southern California
About me: 
I’m a music-collecting, black t-shirt sporting, politics-following, sleepy iPhone-aficionado, with a love for travel, fervent conversation, and a great cup of cafecito.

Fave Filipino Dish? Pssh, bistek…one day later.

Fave Movie?  Coco!  Cried the second it started.
Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays. To contribute and give to a cause much larger, deeper, and broader than myself.  We saw and felt the need in our community and brought Fly Pinays to the South Bay; the program grows because it’s supported by shared belief in its importance — the importance of building sisterhood and forging connections that’ll transform and leave us better than we were.

Volunteer Director
Alma Mater: San Jose State University
About me:  My name is Katrina Figueroa! I recently graduated from SJSU with a political science major & human rights minor.  In my free time I’m either at the gym, playing video games, training my puppy, or at the movies.

Fave Filipino Dish?  I love everything my mom cooks so it’s hard to pick one.

Fave Movie?  I go to the movies almost every weekend so it’s hard to pick just one favorite. But I’m obsessed with the marvel franchise & Legally Blonde, haha.

Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays.  I love that it gives a space for women to network and attend workshops to develop their professional career. It also gives them an opportunity to learn more about their Filipina identity. I attended last year and I found is very empowering so I’m excited to be a part of the team that will put it all together.

Assistant Program Director
Current: San Jose State University
About me:  I’m currently a third-year college student at San Jose State University, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Sociology. Aside from being on the planning committee for Fly Pinays, I’m also an organizer for LEAD Filipino and active in my Filipino-American organization on campus. My hobbies include bullet journaling, exercising, and singing in the shower.
Fave Filipino Dish? Ginataang Hipon with Kalabasa and Sitaw.
Fave Movie?  A Walk to Remember

Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays.  I love how the summit ties in culture and sisterhood. Growing up, I never had a safe community of women to share experiences with, so planning an event that’s centered on Pinay experiences is really fulfilling.

Workshop Director
Current: San Jose State University
About me: 
I am a graduating senior majoring in Social Work at San Jose State University and an intern for Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. In my spare time, I like to sleep, watch shows, (attempt to) play ukulele, and work out.
Fave Filipino Dish? Sinigang
Fave Movie?  Whiplash
Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays.  To support and uplift my community! We Pinays deserve to find mentorship and feel empowered.

Current: De Anza College
About me:  I was born in Cebu, Philippines. Currently a full-time student at De Anza College  pursuing a degree in psychology and also captain of Women’s Basketball team.
Fave Filipino Dish?  Tocilog
Fave Movie?  Lilo & Stitch
Why I’m involved in Fly Pinays.  My involvement in Fly Pinays as an intern is an opportunity in itself to connect with other strong filipina women and to follow the steps of my Nanay! Being part of this experience I hope to grow as a community leader and to develop my capacity to be able to become a mentor in the future!
LEAD Filipino
LEAD Filipino

We are a nonprofit that organizes for FilAm civic participation, grassroots leadership and direct community action out of San Jose, California.

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