Aleeza Crisostomo, stipend recipient, pictured second from left with Tinalak Council Members Hannah Tavares, Niki Libarios, and Jeff Moniz

The Tinalak Filipino Advisory Council awarded $100 PRAXIS stipends to 15 Filipino students pursuing teacher education in the College of Education (COE). Designed to defray test fees, the stipends are part of a UH Mānoa Student Excellence Equity and Diversity office grant.

“It is really nice to get financial help, especially with the financial demands of pursuing a career,” said Kristel Florendo, an elementary and special education student. “This stipend will help me to buy the required texts for my senior courses. It is good to know that Tinalak can provide a familiar and comforting resource for Filipino students.”

Tinalak is comprised of Filipino doctoral students and tenured COE faculty, including co-chairs Niki Libarios and Patricia Halagao. Named after the hand-woven natural cloth designed from the dreams of the indigenous T´boli people of the Philippines, Tinalak’s charge is to envision, inspire, and weave together new generations of Hawai‘i educators through the recruitment and support of Filipinos in the education field.

Elementary Education student Aleeza Crisostomo said, “Tinalak consists of a group of influential individuals who are passionate in their support of Filipino students here at UH Mānoa. This stipend has given me one less thing to worry about in the elementary education program, and it has given me the drive to make my family and my mentors proud. I am so humbled and grateful to be able to represent this group!”

Beyond financial assistance, awardees receive mentoring opportunities to discuss their educational plans with Tinalak council members. Libarios, who is an academic advisor in the Office of Student Academic Services, added that is important for the students to know there are Filipino faculty members in the COE who are leaders in their respective educational fields.

“It means a lot that Tinalak is there to support me both financially and with advising,” said Jenna Yanos, an elementary education student. “It feels amazing to have so many people who want to help me along my journey of becoming a teacher.”

Tinalak will continue to seek funding opportunities to assist Filipino students in the COE. For more information, please contact Libarios at nlibario@hawaii.edu or Halagao at phalagao@hawaii.edu.

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