Volunteer Spotlight: Hana Visaya
Senior Project Manager, RPA Advertising
Recent Workshop Role:
Writing Coach Coordinator
Number of Years Serving:
Why did you initially decide to volunteer with PeerForward: “PeerForward found its’ way into my life during the Spring of 2013. It was still called College Summit back then and I discovered the opportunity when I was chatting with an organization called Volunteer Los Angeles. They held a skills-based volunteer workshop and told me about College Summit after I said I loved writing, youth mentorship, and education. I have been serving on writing teams as a Writing Coach or Writing Coach Coordinator ever since then. It’s been seven great years of amazing people and volunteer experiences on both coasts.”
The most rewarding thing about volunteering is… “PeerForward is so special. The heartbeat of the organization is truly the alumni of the program. And the program is infused yearly with the energy and power of every unique Peer Leader who joins the family. It’s so rewarding to help these young leaders find their voice in our Summer workshops. In our writing rooms over the years, teams of dedicated volunteers have helped hundreds of authentic stories be told. These reflections of their truths as high-school leaders made their way to paper and, eventually, computer files representing the beautiful beginnings of college statements. These words are pieces of their individual journeys: their first steps towards a new beginning – a future of their dreams. The volunteers I’ve met in my roles are beyond passionate, and they help elicit stories and words worthy of these student’s remarkable hearts and souls. Supporting the amplification of authentic voices is definitely the most rewarding thing about volunteering with PeerForward for me as a Writing Coach Coordinator.”
Hana’s Advice for PeerForward Volunteers: Open your hearts and minds big-big-BIG, listen well, and acknowledge the beauty of the unique individuals you will work with and meet through this program. Ultimately we’re here at the service of these young people, and they are the future. When we volunteer for PeerForward, we are just pushing these high school leaders towards a college-bound movement of their own design and making. Trust that it will be amazing.
Fun Facts about Hana: Lately, I’ve been quarantining and working from home due to the global pandemic. I cook a LOT, and I am getting better every day. I also enjoy all types of arts and crafts and playing Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch. At my advertising agency, RPA, I’m very involved in initiatives that support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and corporate philanthropy (RPA Represent & RPA Cares). I’m also part of ThinkLA, an ad-industry community organization, and their Diversity, Inclusion, and Gender (D.I.G.) Committee. I’m currently reading How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, and I am also looking forward to unpacking more about my Filipinx-American identity and history. Above all else, my relationships with people fuel me. Connectivity and community, especially now, is everything.