Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Spotlight Series: Filipino-American Student Association
Written by Andreas Fields and Isabella Gielniak
Posted on April 7, 2022
The Filipino-American Student Association promotes and educates students about Filipino culture and gives all students room to learn and grow. Two members, Kelsey Marquez and Keane Ludovico, have worked with other students to create a stronger network of Filipino students at Grand Valley. Their work has connected them to their heritage and exposed them to a wider community in West Michigan.
Kelsey Marquez is a junior at Grand Valley and a computer engineering major. Growing up, Kelsey wasn't exposed to many Filipino traditions outside of her family.
"It was hard to express my traditions outside of home and it left me feeling very confused about how I identified myself," she says.
Kelsey joined the Filipino-American Student Association (FASA) when it was founded in September 2021. With a group of five co-founders, Kelsey "spent the summer of 2021 getting the whole organization to become a real tangible thing."
Being exposed to a greater Filipino community in West Michigan has helped Kelsey understand her own identity better. "We’ve created so many connections with local organizations and businesses in Grand Rapids and other Filipino American associations across Michigan," says Kelsey, which shows just how impactful and eye-opening the experience has been.
Another co-founder of FASA is Keane Ludovico, a fifth-year student studying electrical engineering. He is also first generation Filipino-American, with both of his parents immigrating from the Philippines. Keane says that FASA "has allowed [him] to embrace more of [his] Pinoy pride."
FASA was created to celebrate Filipino culture, so Keane encourages anyone to join in the fun events they plan each semester. "We are a fun bunch that loves sharing our culture and also love having new members!" he says.
If you are interested in learning more about Filipino culture, check out the Filipino-American Student Association on LakerLink. Keep an eye out for the final installment of our series this month, where we celebrate even more Asian voices and organizations on campus.