Academic Seminar

Filipino-Canadians, and help them thrive in each of their fields. The panel called “Analyzing Supports and Resources for Filipino-Canadian Youth interested in postsecondary education” will address the underrepresentation of Filipino-Canadian scholars and their work in the field of academia. It will feature esteemed scholars such as:

The collaborative panel will give delegates the opportunity to ask academics questions and discuss possible solutions to the underrepresentation of Filipino-Canadian scholars. The seminar will begin with a presentation of work from each panelist followed by small group dialogue and Q&A for the speakers. We hope that by continuing to have these conversations, we are opening more doors for Fil-Can youth interested in pursuing a path in academia.


Monica Batac

Monica Anne Batac (she/her/siya/niya) is a writer, teacher, community organizer, and Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Social Work, McGill University (Montreal, Quebec). In her interdisciplinary research and community practice, Monica focuses on improving local, provincial, and national community-based interventions for Filipinos across the life course, including newcomer youth, Philippine trained teachers, prospective and current university students, frontline workers in the social services sector, and seniors. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She leads various scholarly and community-building activities for Filipinx emerging and established scholars and social work practitioners, including the three-day community-campus conferences, PINAY POWER II at McGill (April 2019) and Filipino-Canadian Futures at Concordia (September 2019).

Allyssa Martinez

Allysa is a proud Filipina, passionate about mentoring and working with young people, especially those who are racialized or underrepresented in post-secondary education. She has a BA & MA in Child and Youth Care and has worked over 5 years at Ryerson University in the Tri-Mentoring Program. In her Masters, she conducted a research study focused on the strengths of Filipino youth and their ability to persist academically in post-secondary education. She hopes to expand her work through developing more supports specific to Filipinx youth in education and getting more involved in the greater FIlipinx community in Toronto!

Jennilee Austria

After working as a school settlement worker, researcher, and public speaker, Jennilee founded Filipino Talks — a program that builds bridges between school staff and Filipino youth. Using data collected from over 1000 Filipino students in the GTA, she specializes in presentations that 1) inspire Filipino students and 2) make teachers cry.  She has a Masters in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University and is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. As a journalist, community worker, youth mentor, Little Manila tour guide, and author, Jennilee spends a lot of time thinking about Filipinos– and celebrating them, too.

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