Vangie was born in the Philippines, and emigrated to the U.S. at age three when their family sought political asylum from Ferdinand Marcos' authoritarian regime, in the late 1970s. The Castro family first settled in St. Paul, where Vangie's father worked as a licensed CPA, then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after about a year, where they were raised as the youngest of four siblings and two half-siblings.
After high school Vangie worked in the service industry for 12 years, earning an associates degree in liberal arts along the way from Chabot Community College. Personal experience and hearing the stories of others they met in the service industry taught them the difficulty of succeeding without an education, and a desire slowly grew to help others navigate the system and escape poverty--or perhaps even to create change within the system.
To this end, Vangie returned to school at California State University, East Bay where they studied political science. While a student, Vangie interned at the campus Diversity Center, where they developed and presented curriculum on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social justice, class, and socio-economics. they were the Board Chairperson for Gay, Lesbian, Community, Services (GLCS), from 2011-2013 and served as a member of Governor Dayton’s Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying, from 2012-2014; Victory Institute Empowerment Fellow in 2017; Education Manager at the Diversity Council from 2011 - 2017; Education and Outreach Manager for Planned Parenthood North Central States from 2017 - 2018; Ranked Choice Voting Community Organizer with FairVote MN in 2019. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant, and currently working for the United Way of Olmsted County with Community Impact.
“As a servant leader to the Rochester community, I want to be part of bettering the lives of individuals, and work with organizations to ultimately create a just and caring
community where we will all thrive and succeed.”
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