Hello Hello. It's Dom again, now coming with a proper intro piece.
I transferred to UCLA in the Fall of 03 from my hometown of Salinas (Salas Represent!). I stayed at UCLA for 3 years and graduated in 06. During that time I served as PTSP Vice Chair 04-05, Academics Coordinator 05-06, SPEAR Counselor 05-06, and Education 80 Discussion Leader Fall 05.
My first year I wasn't big on extracurriculars at all. I was real focused on academics and getting good grades, plus it was just a huge adjustment coming from where i'm from. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't a square ass book worm who didn't go out. I did my fair share of partying and chillin, I just didn't really have direction.
Towards the end of my first year I started the process of my "holistic development." The reason I put this term in quotations is because it became taboo among my fellow PTSP'ers. It gets thrown around a lot in the P org community, but in the end it's meaning rings true. Without this concept I would've graduated with no real understanding of myself, my community, and where I wanted to go.
Choosing to become involved was probably the 2nd best decision i made in my life (1st being going to UCLA). I started attending PTSP meetings during Spring qtr of my first year, and instantly found a comfort level. I had homies from the apartments, and we were real koo, but I bonded on another level with the folks I met in PTSP. Everyone was welcoming, and it was a small group as well. Samahang kind of turned me off because they were such a large group. PTSP was a nice alternative. After coming to a few meetings I knew that I had found my niche.
Vice Chair was the first leadership position I EVER held. I took the job tentatively and a bit scared, not knowing what to expect. But I put my heart into it cause I wanted to give back to the organization that opened so many doors for me. That first year on Board was an excellent excellent year. I get excited just thinking about it. We were innovators and we were taking the org to another level!! All the while I was learning about myself, about the unique experience that is the transfer experience, about the Pilipino experience, about the educational system. I was meeting new friends, and I was forging bonds with what would be my FAMILY.
So many things sprung from my involvement in PTSP. Like i said, i found my niche and i didnt want to stop there. I stayed on Board another year, I became a SPEAR counselor (which was another great experience), and I was a discussion leader for a class of great students including bball super stars Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alfred Aboya!! (if you don't know who they are, you are not a true bruin : p). Moreover, this involvement made me realize that I wanted to work in Education, and that I wanted to serve my community.
Amidst all my other involvements, I always knew that PTSP was my heart. Reason being because they were the folks that first opened up to me, they were the folks I struggled with, and they were the folks I could relate to. They knew where i was coming from and we were all able to learn from one another. Today these people are family.
This commraderie has always been a PTSP trademark. It was the quality I always tried to exude when I was a Board member. Beyond the politics, the empowerment, the activism, is the friendship. Thats the first thing. Without it none of the other stuff will work.
Whew! so that's my PTSP experience in a nut shell. I'm glad I have a space where I can share my experience. I hope that it offers some kind of perspective to current PTSP'ers. Ilook forward to sharing more with you. I also look forward to hearing from current PTSP members. Let me know what y'all are going through. I'm sure you have much to share!