FilAm speakers AJ Rafael, Roslynn Cobarrubias and Chef Charleen Caabay to inspire, connect and empower college students with personal success stories
Following the very enthusiastic reception from San Francisco Bay Area university students and the officers of the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco which hosted the first talk on November 12, 2016, the team behind tfc_U Talks revealed huge plans to reach out to Filipino American university students across the U.S. in 2017.
Starting February 4, Saturday, tfc_U Talks — a series of informative and interactive discourses and discussions organized by ABS-CBN International’s TFC that is designed to connect, inspire and empower Filipino American college students –- is kicking off its year-long, monthly series with a talk called, “Breaking the Mold” that will be held at the Beach Auditorium of Cal State University, Long Beach. Admission to the event is free.
“We started the year with the topic of ‘Breaking the Mold’ because that’s exactly what we want to achieve with our university talk series,” said Troy Espera, tfc_U Talks team lead and executive producer of BA, a daily Filipino American TV news show shown on TFC. “We live in an age and culture where personal ethnic identity, racism, media-imposed pressure and social stereotypes all conspire to turn us into something that we are not.”
Espera continues: “’Why not conform,’ they’ll say. ‘The mold is there for a reason.’ Well, guess what: Your mold doesn’t work for everyone. We hope that tfc_U Talks provides a safe, non-judgmental, innovative, relevant and positive hub of ideas plus people-to-people connections to college students that could change the way they are perceived, the way they do things and the way they pursue their lives that make a difference in society.”
The FilAm speakers for tfc_U Talks’ “Breaking the Mold”, February 4, at the Beach Auditorium of Cal State University, Long Beach
For February 4, the tfc_U Talks team selected three Filipino American speakers who dared to do the unexpected in their respective fields, and thus stood out and made an impact.
AJ Rafael – A native of Moreno Valley, California, AJ is a singer-musician-songwriter-recording artist who is among the millions who have tried their luck in “American Idol”. But while he had a good audition in 2005, he never progressed to the later stages in the competition. A year later, he started posting his videos on YouTube. To date, his videos have been viewed over 100 million times. He now has over 650,000 subscribers on the platform, over 400,000 followers on Facebook, over 183,000 followers on Twitter, over 147,000 followers on Instagram and is also blowing up Snapchat with his clips, making him a social media powerhouse. He has also released original songs, EPs and one full album that was funded on Kickstarter. AJ has toured internationally.
Roslynn Cobarrubias – With about two decades of experience in the music industry and social media arena, Roslynn’s resume is highly impressive. She is the co-Founder & CMO of mydiveo.com, a global talent discovery & video resume platform that cultivates discovery and collaboration by providing artists and creatives with a mobile portfolio to showcase their talent. Last year, engage:BDR, a leading cross-device advertising solution company, announced its acquisition of mydiveo for US $7.4 million. Roslynn was also Senior Director of Artist Relations at Myspace Inc., a company she helped market since its early stages and helped develop for close to 10 years. Billboard Magazine named her one of the “Top 30 Music Industry Professionals Under 30″ alongside professionals Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber’s manager) and Daniel Ek (Founder of Spotify). Roslynn was also featured in The Source Magazine “Power 30″ alongside notables Diddy & Russell Simmons with the Myspace co-founders. She has produced over 500 live events & editorial programs with artists and brands like Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Drake, Miguel, AT&T and Wendy’s. She is the current TV host/producer of ‘mydiveo LIVE,’ a music magazine show on cable network MyxTV, available in over 15M+ homes (DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Sony Roku, etc.)
Chef Charleen Caabay – Setting up a makeshift kitchen wherever she could, Chef Charleen started her colorful culinary adventures by opening her first pop-up restaurant in October 2012, building a solid following of foodies throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Shortly after, her Kainbigan Filipino Comfort Food, opened its doors in August 2013 in Oakland, California. She has been instrumental in introducing Filipino cuisine to companies such as Google, Zoosk, OkCupid and Eventbrite, to name a few. Chef Charleen also catered to such celebrities as Goapele, rapper Eve and famed poet Ursula Rucker. In December 2016, Chef Charleen became the first Filipino American female chef to win in Food Network’s “Chopped” cooking show. She plans to travel to the Philippines with family in early 2017 to explore and get inspiration for her upcoming culinary programs and special event projects featuring Filipino cuisine. This will be launched this Spring and Summer upon her return to the San Francisco Bay Area.
There are more exciting speakers lined up when tfc_U Talks travels this year to San Diego, Seattle, Honolulu, Chicago, Virginia Beach, Toronto, New York, Sacramento and San Francisco.