INSPIRING: This Filipina from an indigenous tribe graduated as summa cum laude at NYU

Gelo Lasin

Now THIS is the real PINOY PRIDE!

Janelle Micaela Panganiban wasn’t content with just graduating from the prestigious New York University, nor was she satisfied with taking up three majors (Global Public Health, Public Policy and Sociology)

She decided to go all in and graduate as her batch’s summa cum laude.

A member of Gaddang indigenous tribe from Isabela, Janelle is the daughter of ANAC-IP Partylist Rep. Jose Panganiban Jr. and Angadanan Mayor Lourdes Panganiban.

And while she is more than qualified to land a top-paying job due to her academic achievements, this awe-inspiring Filipina ultimately wants to go back and contribute to the Filipino community.

“The idea that there are so many Filipinos who are not at home, to me like that was, I felt I had to contribute something and that’s what kind of tied me to the Philippines, in a way [that] I really don’t want to forget [the] idealism of wanting to do something for the country,” says Janelle.

Speaking from her experience at NYU, she hopes Filipinos could adapt to one major change – and that is to think more critically.

“Learn how to engage and really just be critical with everything. The professors encourage that here and I think that’s what I appreciate because it doesn’t seem like they’re doing it to make me feel like I’m wrong but for me to [really] grow.”

We’re so proud of you Janelle!