Xitlaly became the first in her family to pursue higher education and obtained a degree in Psychology and Anthropology from CSUDH. As the eldest and a first-generation college student pursuing an undergraduate degree was extremely difficult to accomplish. After several personal and career challenges, she found herself drawn to challenging barriers for success and held roles to assist upward mobility. Her educational inspiration came from joining Bayan Scholars, a Filipino American Learning community at Southwestern College that exposed her to the history and literature that addresses issues such as oppression and internal racism within the Filipino American Community. Through her experiences of Filipino culture, she re-learned definitions of her own culture and began to develop leadership through campus participation, helping students with their educational goals, and promoting political consciousness. As a result, this led her to conduct research projects such as the establishment of the Asian Pacific Islander American Committee at Southwestern College and emphasize the importance of upward mobility to establish and raise cultural awareness.
“Be the Person You Needed When You Were Younger’”– Author Ayesha Siddiqi