May: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May, we are highlighting Young Professionals working to help combat Anti-Asian Violence and/or support and uplift AAPI voices in New York. Congratulations to our May Spotlights, Grace Choi and Angelene Superable!
Through the support and guidance of family and friends, and the grace, favor, and wisdom from my faith in God.
I am most proud of my own personal transformation to prioritize my family and loves ones over my career and professional ambitions, to learn how to take care of physical, mental, and spiritual health (it’s a work in progress!), and to balance my needs and dreams with true sabbath, rest.
For folks who are interested in pursuing a career in politics and policymaking, I advise having strong coalition building skills, memo and email writing skills, and verbal communications skills. Most importantly, you will be an effective policymaker and political operative if you have incredible active listening skills or incarnational listening skills.
A few things made me realize that I am a New Yorker. Once I found my go-to park bench to meditate and do calls, found my neighborhood grocery store, and took the bus, I felt like a New Yorker. Also, when I felt that traveling to a different borough from Queens was too far, I knew I had become a New Yorker.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am the product of many incredible influences—most notably, my parents, Angel and Arlene Superable. Growing up in the south as the only child of Filipino immigrants, I’ve had very specific insight into how the world operates. When I was younger, I felt like I had to distance myself from my Asian American identity as a way of self-preservation. This feeling lingered through college, and my internalized self-hatred became a quiet suppression that crippled my self-confidence. Only when I started the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs I was finally given both the language and community support I needed to interrogate my relationship with my identity—and how it limited me. Since then, my professional and professional journeys have coalesced into a reclamation of self. I wanted to work at New York City Hall because—during the many visits I had as a Coro Fellow—I never saw any Asian people working there. I accepted the Mayor’s offer to join his Executive Office, because I knew that I needed to learn how decisions were made—behind closed doors—to effectively push for change. And now, as the Mayor’s Communications Advisor and Deputy Press Secretary, I am having the time of my life, leveraging my perspective as a first-generation, Filpino-American woman to communicate the gorgeous nuances of the city we love to all New Yorkers.
There are two things that I’m really proud of. First, I am proud to have founded the New York Pan-Asian Democratic Club, New York’s first citywide pan-Asian democratic club, which started as a brainchild out of my Coro year. Second, I am proud to work at New York City Hall. There really is no reason I should be here. I’m a Filipina from Texas. Both of my parents are in the medical field. I had absolutely zero connections to City Hall before starting the Coro Fellowship. While I am deeply critical of the American dream, it is inherent to my family’s legacy. It gave my parents the audacity to dream bigger than their life in the Philippines. Their immigrant stories inspire my courage to try, humility to ask for help, and faith to persevere. I know I would not be here without them.
Relationships are everything, and New York City is a small place. Treat everyone—no matter their position—with dignity and respect.
I took a really bad tumble down the stairs earlier this year, and the resulting ankle injury prevented me from being able to grab breakfast from my favorite French food truck, Frenchy’s. After two months, I wobbled over to the food truck in a walking cast, eager to greet the owner—and my friend—David. With relief, David told me that he almost called me because he was so worried. He also said he had a surprise for me and pulled out a Frenchy’s hat!