Roselyn is a second generation Filipino American hailing from Norfolk, Virginia. With Norfolk being home to the world’s largest naval base, she had the privilege of growing up in a city with a prominent Filipino population. Because of Norfolk’s diverse public school system, Roselyn grew up in communities of color and with peers of similar socioeconomic status. When applying to colleges, Roselyn learned that she was a first-generation college student; and after arriving to William & Mary, she quickly realized her unique position at a predominantly white institution. As she yearned for spaces of solidarity and community, she joined the Filipino American Student Association and took courses in Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies.
Studying Public Health and APIA showed Roselyn the importance of community building and activism. She spent much of her college career creating and holding space in an institution that didn’t hold space for her communities, and at AALEAD, she hopes to cultivate a brave space for youth to explore, reconcile with, and embrace their own identities and communities.