TOP 30: Jedrek Chua


Jedrek Chua
Major: Urban Studies and Public Health Policy
Year: 5
Age: 22
Hometown: San Jose
In One Word: Thinker

Jedrek Chua dedicates his time to community building, and making sure the general community’s voice is heard, whether it’s the general student body or people of color.

Having recently graduated, Jedrek is hoping to find a job. He has applied and been accepted into grad schools, but he is taking some time off to reflect and relax after all of his involvements while in college. For now, he is interning at NAPAWF, helping with the CWYC class, and getting ready for API Health Awareness Week. As Academic Senate Commissioner, he is also working to change one of the GE requirements, specifically the multicultural studies one.

Jedrek has always wanted to get into the non-profit field. Ultimately, he hopes to be an ED of a non-profit that he founds.

Jedrek Chua’s friend describes him as “a thoughtful organizer who builds an inclusive and critical space for various communities to come together.”

KS: Tell us about yourself.

JC: I grew up in San Jose, California, and I was born and raised there. I grew up around a lot of Asian and Hispanic people, so I lived around a lot of people of color. Coming to UCI, it wasn’t that much different in that sense, but it was only when I came to UCI that I started to develop my Asian American consciousness – being around critical spaces and taking classes.

Both of my parents are from the Philippines. They came here in the late 70s, separately, but they met while working together here. They initially moved with their families to the San Francisco area, but when there was that tech boom around Silicon Valley, they moved to San Jose, and began working in technical jobs, and they’ve been doing that ever since.

KS: What have you accomplished here on campus, and what do you hope to accomplish?

JC: This year I am Academic Senate Commissioner, so I help to provide the undergraduate student voice in academic senate councils and committees, making sure that we’re represented and providing our student body’s input on important educational policies. I’m also involved with the California Young Women’s Collaborative (CYWC)  – an interesting class / project that’s cosponsored by the Asian American Studies Department, and this nonprofit organization called National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, or NAPAWF. I’ve been involved with the CYWC for the past two years, and it helps with leadership development, skills building, and empowerment, especially for women of color and their allies. Last year I chaired a summit here on campus called Voice and Visibility, Asian Pacific Women’s Health. It was a side project of the California Women’s Collaborative. It was a one day convening of researchers, community leaders, and students where we talked about health disparities in the API community. I led a UROP Project last year through the Asian American Studies Department, investigating sex selection practices and the idea of gender preference. Being at UCI, I recognize that because there are so many East Asian students on campus, we’re very hyper-visible here on campus, however, we’re also kind of invisible at the same time. It’s an interesting paradox. With the involvements I’ve been part of, what I wanted to do, and hopefully accomplished or helped to move forward, is to help provide that voice for our community, helping give visibility to us and our issues.

KS: How have you been involved with the Asian Pacific Islander community?

JC: I interned at the Cambodian Family, based out in Santa Ana, helping with capacity building efforts. I’m also interning right now at NAPAWF, helping with some of their programming and doing reports for them. I’ve also  been presenting at conferences a lot lately. I just came back from Sacramento, facilitating a workshop at the API policy summit. Last month I went to Washington DC to present at a panel at the AAAS conference. At these conferences I presented research about communities’ participatory research and service learning as medians for engaging students and community building. On campus, I’ve been part of Kababayan, performing in their PACN.

KS: Who or what has been the biggest influence on you?

JC: My parents. Growing up, they weren’t around too often because of their work schedule, like they got off of work at midnight or other late hours. So our schedules didn’t align very well and I never saw them too much. I’m not mad at them or anything, because I know they worked super hard to make a better life for us (me and my brothers), and in that way they showed love for us. So I respect them for doing that for us.

KS: What are you most passionate about?

JC: Helping myself and others find a community… In short, community building.

KS: If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you bring, and why?

JC: I’ll eventually die, so I’m just going to enjoy myself. I’d bring something to play music, like a boombox or an iPod. Since I’m on an island, maybe a machete to help me explore the island – I think that would be fun, just to explore the island. And then a camera, to help record my exploration. And I would leave the camera on the island when I do eventually die, so if someone happens to find my camera, they will be able to see photos of my experience there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


    Asian Pacific-Islander Heritage Month (APIHM) is hosted by the Asian Pacific Student Association at UCI and features various programs, workshops, and events that celebrate the APIA culture and address pertinent issues in the APIA community.

    Please refer to the tabs above for more details regarding each event.

  • Contact Us

    Any inquiries regarding Asian Pacific-Islander Heritage Month can be directed to Programming Coordinators, Siamrath (Sam) Boonsakul and Alison Tominaga, at

%d bloggers like this: