2014 Asian Pacific Islander Women’s Leadership Summit


by Maria Remigio

On September 20th, 2014, 11 young women from Roya and 24 women from CERI’s adult program joined the 2nd API Women’s Summit, “Building Power, Setting Sail”, held in Oakland, CA.

api womens leadership summit

The program began at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome ceremony. Each community said hello in their own native language and presented an offering as a symbol of gratitude from their culture. Each offering was placed on a small table, surrounded by a circle of women. A few men were present.

The Summit, had a full program presented by the API Women’s Circle. Ten organizational partners, and 25 Workshop Facilitators offered workshops in the areas of employment, wellness and healing, meditation, education and organizing, and raising healthy families. Many of our young women who actively participated in the meditation workshop found it worthwhile.

Roya’s  young women participated in the boat making  project. The boat project included tools. The participants were required to create a list of goals necessary to survive and succeed in a journey to a better life. The young women brainstormed together on goals and developed this list:

  • higher education
  • freedom
  • independence
  • gratitude
  • creativity
  • motivation
  • wise choices
  • respect
  • responsibility
  • stability
  • safety
  • self respect
  • stable source of income


Together, the Roya young women’s group members built one of 13 boats as an exercise in learning leadership skills. The adults and older adults from CERI built two boats. Eleven other communites, Asian American, mixed heritage communities, Bhutanese, Nepali, Filipino, Korean, Mongolian, Myanmar (Burma), Native American, Pacific Islander, Tibetan, and Vietnamese communities also particpated in the boat building exercise.

At the end of the day. Roya’s young women came to the realization that team work was necessary for their personal success as well as the growth of their community. The young women had a great time and expressed the desire to participate in future summits.


The youth programs at CERI are supported by funding generated by Prop 63, and awarded through Alameda County. Please click on our donation tab to contribute to all of CERI’s successful programs.

Peace Begins With Me

by Eiei Phoo
Last Summer I received a scholarship to attend the 2014 Global Youth Peace Summit sponsored by the Amala Foundation. I belong to the young women’s program, Apsara’s Warriors, at CERI, and our program coordinator, Jen Jastrab, asked me if I would be interested in attending the summit. She helped me fill out the application and offered to drive me to the camp. She really wanted someone to represent CERI at the summit. All Jen could tell me was that my experience would be amazing and I would meet people from all over the world. It was true.
 The summit took place in beautiful Forest Hill, CA.
The most important thing I learned at the Amala Global Youth Peace Summit Camp is that people shouldn’t go to sleep with a stone in their heart. This is really hard for some people because some people choose to keep the things that bother them inside their heart and they’re afraid to let their inner emotions be heard. Trying to sleep it off only makes it worse.
I learned how to let go my of negative emotions and my burdens.


At the Amala Global Youth Peace Summmit Camp, I developed a strong connection with my cabin girls. Their life stories spoke to me and I really felt like I connected with them. I met amazing people from all over the world and their words of wisdom inspired me.




This experience made me realize that I shouldn’t care about what people think of me. I should focus on me. I also realized that it’s okay to tell someone how you feel and to ask for help from people.




I learned from the other campers and the staff, that people have their struggles, and when they get through them, we all come out stronger.





I love my Amala Peace Family and I really do miss them. I would recommend other people come to this camp because it helps you to find your inner self and connects your beautiful self with amazing people who are sharing the same experience as you. At Camp Amala you will make friends and learn to ask for help. You won’t feel like you’re alone, you will always have someone by your side.



Funding generated from Prop 63 and awarded through Alameda County supports the youth programs at CERI.