Board of Advisors

April Mara Cristal – President

Grad Pic 3April has been involved in the Lakas Mentorship Program continuously since 2013, acting in various roles both on staff and the Board of Advisors, including serving as the staff co-executive director for two years. April is currently a practicing attorney in Irvine, California. April received her B.A. in Linguistics from San Francisco State University (SFSU), and her J.D. from Chapman University. While attending SFSU, April joined the Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor and Kappa Psi Epsilon, a Pilipina cultural interest sisterhood. She also taught Filipina/o American studies to middle school students in San Francisco as an educator with Pin@y Educational Partnerships. During law school, April was involved with many student organizations on campus, including serving on the student governing body, serving as president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and co-founding the Diversity and Social Justice Forum and Publication. In her free time, April enjoys cooking, hiking, keeping up with current events, and the occasion cat video.


Vice-President – Sam Tenorio

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Sam C. Tenorio is a Ph.D. candidate in African American Studies with a subfield in Political Theory at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. They received their B.A. from University of California, Irvine in History and Women’s Studies and their M.A. in African American Studies from Northwestern. Currently, they reside in Claremont, CA as they finish writing their dissertation to be defended in the spring of 2018. Their work revolves around the interconnection of spatial design and racial oppression as well as its relationship to the forms, sites, and narration of political protest. While they are passionate about their research fields, they are equally devoted to more hands-on processes of learning facilitation and have four years of teaching experience at the university level. They served as Curriculum Director of Lakas Mentorship Program for two years and are excited to be serving the Fil-Am youth and wider communities in a new role.


Secretary-Treasurer – Perry Ticsay



Chair of Staff & Community Relations – Donnaly AtajarIMG_5370

Donnaly Y Atajar was born and raised in Chino Hills, CA. She completed her Bachelor’s in Sociology with a minor in Political Science at UCLA.  Over the last five years, Donnaly exercised her passion for empowering youth through culturally relevant education by fulfilling various roles on Lakas Mentorship’s staff. By day, she leads the College & Career Center at Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, CA. By night, she works towards a Master’s in Higher Education Leadership at University of San Diego. In her free time, she serves as Editor for Kubo, a content engine built for Pilipin@s to find and share stories in the digital sphere. She finds joy in reading, writing, traveling, and consuming copious amounts of pop culture. You can usually catch her eating novelty foods or scouring OfferUp for stylish home wares. She believes that seeking balance and building better habits are the keys to living her best life. Her mantra: “I can’t have it all, but I can have all that is for me.”


Chair of Fundraising & Scholarships – Jenny Rodil


Jenny Rodil is a first generation alumna of California State University, Fullerton, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development & Human Services and master’s degree in Higher Education. While there, Jenny was very involved student as she served in several leadership positions within the CSUF’s Pilipino American Student Association, including planning Friendship Games – the largest Filipino student gathering in the nation. Jennifer has invested the last 8+ years working within community organizations and student affairs, as she is dedicated to serving under-served communities and underrepresented students.

In addition to her work with students, Jenny is a lifelong artist. She holds a philanthropic position within Dreamhaus Los Angeles, is an aspiring disc-jockey, and dances with Nonosina Polynesia.