I was born in the Bronx in New York City along with my three siblings to a teen mom. We were raised by our Afro-Puerto Rican grandfather and Filipina grandmother, who we viewed as parents until my mother was able to take care of us. We were raised in the Catholic faith and attended Mass weekly.
My grandmother always made sure we attended school, even in the intense New York weather. Her mantra was, a good education ensures a brighter future. She raised respectful, kind, loving, and compassionate children who take strides to help their community.
She, in addition to my grandfather, taught us to never give up on our dreams, which has allowed me to find success both in New York and now Nashville, TN.
Moving to Nashville
I moved to the great city of Nashville after having started my own business in New York: GMER Telecom & Data, Inc. in New York. I wanted to be closer to my two wonderful children, Andres and Camila.
I joined the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department in 2006 and was given the role of liaison for the Hispanic/Latino and minority communities under the El Protector Program. For the next eleven years, I built a stronger sense of community through coordinating youth camps, festivals, educational health fairs, soccer tournaments, and more.
While working for the department, I was honored to volunteer for the Board of Directors of Nashville Cares, a non-profit organization that helps individuals procure testing and treatments for HIV/STIs.
I joined the Filipino American Association of Tennessee, Inc. (F.A.A.T., Inc.) were I quickly rose through the ranks, starting as Social Secretary, then moving to Vice President, and now President in my second term.
In my nine years with this organization, we have promoted our heritage and culture to our children and wider community. Additionally, we have raised funds to assist schools in the Philippines who are in dire need of supplies. After the Category V Typhoon, Haiyan, in the Philippines, a local orphanage was destroyed. We donated money and supplies to help the children - with many needing emergency surgeries.
Furthermore, I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Nashville Food Pantry, Give Back to God, and more. I am also an active member of the Knights of Columbus #544 at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, the TN Immigrant and Minority Business Group (TIMBG), and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
I enjoy staying active within the community and making a difference in people's lives, and I hope to bring a brighter future for our community as your Council At Large.