The Lakas Mentorship Program was created in the spring of 2012 to arm youth with knowledge and relationships to be stronger individuals. Lakas translates to “strength” in Tagalog.


To create empowered youth and thriving communities.


To foster positive transformation and explore the experiences of the Philippine diaspora. We achieve this through culturally relevant curriculum, critical engagement, and advocacy.

What To Expect

Lakas’s 7-month curriculum is rooted in leadership development and change: making changes in our world begins with change within ourselves. Our program empowers individuals in their communities by emphasizing the importance of continuous growth and development.


Each mentee, a high school student, is paired with a mentor, a college student aged 18-28. These pairs participate in activities put together by Lakas staff members, who are post-graduates and professionals from diverse backgrounds.  By the end of this program, participants — mentees, mentors, even staff members — will be equipped with leadership, communication, and decision-making skills as well as resources that will help them no matter what stage in life.


The program’s activities include

  1. Mentor-Mentee Activities
  2. off-site field trips (i.e., Historic Filipinotown) and socials
  3. Pillar Sessions (detailed below)


Menteesmentors, and staff members will interact with one another to provide a holistic perspective of the program’s topics from different stages in life.


To foster personal development through reflection and discussion

Filipino-American Studies
To promote cultural identity through history and concepts

College Preparation
To prepare for future paths by educating on resources and exploring careers

To build an understanding of how one is seen in and interacts with the world around them

To encourage leadership through examples and experiences


A pillar session is a full day of planned activities supervised and coordinated by the Lakas Curriculum Team and staff. In these sessions, participants will be given a safe space to practice essential leadership, communication, and decision-making skills. Each pillar session is centered around one of the five pillar topics above and will integrate presentations, related activities, and discussions. 

Each pillar session is planned and facilitated by a Pillar Coordinator. These individuals are leaders in their respective communities with extensive academic and professional experience. See the staff page for their biographies.

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