Filipino Young Leaders Program Announces Summer 2022 Class of Tayo Fellows

July 21, 2022

For immediate release:


TJ Simba-Medel

Filipino Young Leaders Program Announces Summer 2022 Class of Tayo Fellows

WASHINGTON D.C. – FYLPRO has selected nine talented young leaders from several states in the US to serve as Summer 2022 Tayo Fellows. The Fellows’ role is to support the ongoing operations of the Tayo help desk, its newly launched call center, and upcoming COVID-19 booster campaigns initiatives and vaccine clinics sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Through Tayo, FYLPRO’s Covid-19 Task Force can identify credible sources of information such as policy think tanks, government agencies, professional and industrial associations, business associations, and social service providers and build a database of resources that the Covid-19 Task Force can utilize in furtherance of its objectives. 

All of these efforts bring Tayo closer to its mission and vision of becoming an Innovative data hub that empower Filipina/o communities by collecting data, fostering partnerships, publishing culturally relevant insights, and developing leaders to create an equitable and sustainable futures. 

It will not be long that Tayo exists to illuminate the lived experiences of the Filipina/o diaspora and will leverage the use of data to amplify our communities narratives and possibilities.

“Our Tayo Fellows play a pivotal role in informing, curating, and executing the adaptive work of FYLPRO’s Task Force through creative, meaningful projects,” said TJ Simba-Medel, FYLPRO Tayo Fellowship Director, “I can’t express enough how important it is to support our young people during these difficult times. The level of dopeness that they’ve displayed while under the inexcusable amount of pressure the world has applied on them, is textbook for dope. Did I say dope twice? I meant dope twice.”

Now in its third year, the Tayo Fellowship Program expands its cohort to several locations in the Midwest and New England area and has accepted a full-time fellow through partnership with the Center for Asian Pacific American Leadership. Through the program, fellows will obtain the unique opportunity to work on misinformation tracking projects and national digital strategy outreach efforts  through FYLPRO’s work with the National Coalition for Asian Pacific Americans and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, respectively.

According to FYLPRO’s Website, the Tayo web help desk is “designed for seniors, unemployed individuals, and front line workers with information to make decisions to safeguard their health and well being during the pandemic. 

FYLPRO COVID-19 Task Force mobilized experts, content creators, and service providers in the areas of medicine and medical research, mental health, government assistance and response, transportation, and social services to provide credible, timely, and community-specific information.

FYLPRO’s Summer 2022 Tayo Fellows include:

Yna Aggabao (she/her) – Boston, MA

Yna Aggabao is the Senior Social Media Manager in the Office of Communications at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. At Harvard Chan School, she manages the School’s flagship social media channels and provides guidance to those who work with social media for the School’s many departments, centers, student organizations, faculty, and laboratories.

Previously she worked at Partners In Health (PIH) as their Social Media Manager, spearheading their global organic social media program. In addition to managing the main PIH brand social media channels, she oversaw the channels for PIH’s care coordination sites and clinical programs. Prior to PIH, she was the Digital Marketing Specialist at New England Conservatory.

Bianca Barredo (she/her/hers) – Madison, WI

Bianca Barredo is a rising Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Microbiology with a certificate in Southeast Asian Studies. Additionally, Bianca served as the Cultural Chair for UW-Madison’s Filipinx American Student Organization and I currently hold the position of Co-President External. This past spring, Midwest Filipinx American Summit hosted a conference where upwards of 400 Filipinx students from all over the Midwest. Bianca had the special privilege of planning and hosting the closing ceremony and variety show where they showcased the talents of Filipinx and Asian Americans from Fil-Am and UW-Madison Organizations.

Bianca’s hope for Tayo is to efficiently communicate important information about COVID-19 and healthcare, and as a pre-medical student, wants to help the Filipinx population get the necessary medical advice they need! Misinformation is a plague in our society nowadays, so Bianca wants to help the older Filipinx generation navigate their way to finding the correct information. Through this fellowship, Bianca wants to grow their research, professional, and social skills with the help of the TAYO team. 

Samantha Jane Benavidez- Walsh (she/her/hers) – Boston, MA

Samantha Jane Benavidez- Walsh is a doctoral student at Suffolk University, Boston in the Applied Developmental Psychology program. She works in the Youth Development in Context Lab under Dr. Amy K. Marks where she does research exploring colorism within the Filipino community. Aside from this, her work as a guidance counselor in the Philippines and as an intern community facilitator at Somerville Teen Empowerment solidified her interest in promoting positive development in youth.

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and got her Masters in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology degree from Boston College.

Joed Garbo (she/her/they) – Los Angeles, CA

Joed Garbo is a Filipino-American daughter, student, and aspiring health educator. She has a passion for public health, health equity, and mental health. She transferred from Mount San Antonio Community College with an Associate in Arts in Psychology for Transfer and an Associate in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Kinesiology and Wellness. Now, she is an undergraduate Public Health student at the California State University of Los Angeles (CSULA). At CSULA, Joed is the 2022-2023 President of the Public Health Student Association (PHSA), the Vice President of Operations for the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), and a member of Student Leaders in Sex Education (SLISE) Service Learning Opportunity for the statewide initiative #CaliforniansForAll College Corps. She anticipates to graduate in Spring 2023.

Lorenzo Garcia (he/him) – New York, NY

Lorenzo Garcia is a first-gen third-year student at Northwestern University studying Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Economics. With aspirations to use law as an instrument by which socioeconomic and racial justice may be realized in practice as in theory, he has internship experiences in a plethora of fields. These include immigration law, international trade law, family law, criminal law, international cybersecurity research, and political organizing. As a Farrell Fellow at the Deportation Research Clinic, he is particularly proud to have headed efforts to investigate, quantify, and code the highly flawed pseudoscientific practice of “dental radiographs” arbitrarily used by doctors at detention sites to “prove” detainees are older than they claim, so they can be transferred to adult facilities where they are forced to provide unpaid labor.

Born and raised in New York City, Lorenzo has developed inseparable ties with the arts and seeks refuge in local artistic communities wherever he finds himself. As a coordinator and mentor for AMPED (Arts and Music Programs for Education in Detention Centers), he taught Chicago Juvenile Temporary Detention Center residents music theory, lyric writing, and digital music composition, encouraging them to channel their emotions into music-making in order to overcome struggles and self-doubt issues. Additionally, he recently modeled for the UNITY Charity Fashion Show in Chicago, aspiring to reshape the standard of beauty in a way that is inclusive of traditionally underrepresented groups such as Filipino men while simultaneously raising funds to support Chicago artists with disabilities via the Arts of Life Foundation. In his spare time he loves to play the guitar and write songs. Other hobbies include training and hosting events for his school’s Triathlon team, playing pickup basketball with friends, skating, and going to concerts.

Frances Angela Maher (she/her/hers) – Rockville, Maryland

Frances Angela Maher applies her background in healthcare consulting, business development, and life sciences to a broad range of healthcare consulting client projects. She is currently an associate at Avalere Health. Prior to joining Avalere, she held multiple internship positions, including internships with the National Institutes of Health where she conducted cancer research. Additionally, she previously worked with Collage Group as a business development associate, where she helped build new business opportunities and client relationships within the health plans, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, and healthcare industries. She is currently a Tayo 2022 Fellow and was a member of the FYLPRO Volunteer and Mentorship Committee.

Emily Paras (she/her/siya) – Ann Arbor, MI

Emily Paras is a rising sophomore at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is interested in studying Public Health and is a strong advocate for health equity, mental health awareness, and Filipinx representation in science. As the current Media Chair for the Filipino American Student Association (FASA) at the University of Michigan, Emily manages a variety of social media platforms and helps spread awareness of Filipinx culture and experiences through photography, videography, and other forms of media.

In addition to being a full time student, Emily competes on behalf of the University of Michigan Figure Skating Club and coaches skaters of all ages and levels. In her free time, Emily enjoys discovering new music, listening to podcasts, reading, and playing with her dog.

Ciboney Reglos (she/her) – Madison, WI

Ciboney Reglos is a junior majoring in Global Health with minors in Health Policy and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Currently, she holds positions on campus as the Vice President of the Filipinx American Student Org (FASO), the Operations Intern for the UW Social Justice Hub, and a Health Policy team member for Amnesty at UW. Last year, she served as a conference coordinator for the Midwest Filipino American Summit (MFAS), co-leading the finance and registration teams. Outside of academia, she has experience working as a certified nursing assistant for Global Pointe Senior Living, an outreach volunteer for Annex Teen Clinic, and a volunteer for North Memorial Hospital. Her experience as a Filipina working in healthcare has given her insight as to not only understanding the health disparities that exist within her own community but how those health inequities present in a clinical setting.

At a time with numerous public health issues being brought to light as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, her interest piqued in long-standing health equity issues that have become more transparent, as these now became exacerbated. Her experiences as a Southeast Asian Studies certificate student and Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) fellow have offered her insight into the cultural nuances that Southeast Asian individuals experience when interacting with Western medical practices. In the future, she is considering the opportunity to pursue a Master of Public Health as a stepping stone to her career aspirations. Her dream job would be to work in a public health or health policy position that works directly with the Filipino community and offers tailored, culturally sensitive services for such individuals. By embracing the intersectionality of her ethnic identity and role in public health, she hopes to create a community for those who have often been underserved in healthcare.

Bianca Vinoya (she/her) – New York, NY

Bianca Vinoya is a development worker and nonprofit professional based in New York. She currently serves as Institutional Partnerships Manager at Breakthrough New York, a nonprofit organization dedicated to equitable education for children and youth. Before doing nonprofit work in the US, Bianca worked as a researcher at the Institute of Philippine Culture, where she studied the intersections of urban poverty, housing, gender, public health, and youth in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

Bianca has a Master’s Degree in International Development from Fordham University (where she earned a Presidential Fellowship), and she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the Ateneo de Manila University (and was awarded the John J. Carroll Award for the Social Sciences). Outside of work, you’ll find her solving the New York Times crossword or reading investigative articles on almost anything that would interest her.

About Tayo

Tayo, a project of the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), is an innovative data hub that empowers Filipinx/a/o communities by collecting data, fostering partnerships, publishing culturally relevant insights, and developing leaders to create an equitable and sustainable future.

For more information, visit

About Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO)

FILIPINO YOUNG LEADERS PROGRAM (FYLPRO) is a network of high performing, next-generation leaders who advance the Philippines and the Filipino people through their advocacy and expertise in various industries. 

We continually expand the pipeline of Filipino young leaders in the diaspora.  By connecting them to the motherland, we foster collaborative multinational  relationships that create innovations and support the socio-economic progress of the global Filipino community.

For more information, visit

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