Youth Leadership Committee

Meet our 2023 – 2024 Youth Leadership Committee representing our community’s next generation of AAPI leaders. Made up of our Mentorship Program alumni (including high school students, college students, and early professionals), this committee supports the OCA Las Vegas Board with initiatives to empower AAPI youths to be socially engaged.

Armida Barretto


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2021
Go-to boba drink: Matcha (50% sweet)
Armida Barretto is a senior at Palo Verde High School. She is passionate about medicine and the health sciences, aspiring to become a neurosurgeon. She also enjoys traveling, film, and sports. Armida strives to create a better future for AAPIs by increasing awareness of the community’s issues and expanding opportunities for AAPI youth. Furthermore, she hopes to see more engagement and unity within the AAPI community.

Simon Zhu

Vice Chair

Mentorship Program Cohort: 2021
Go-to boba drink: Earl grey milk tea, less sweetness and with grass jelly
Simon Zhu was born and raised in Las Vegas and has been a part of the Las Vegas valley for two decades. He has, both, a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Accounting from UNLV. Simon recently spent two years in a corporate finance rotational program in New York City, completing it in July 2021. Since then, he has moved back to Las Vegas and has continued his career in public accounting. Simon is excited to be involved with the local community and AAPI advocacy through OCA Las Vegas, particularly during such an instrumental time in AAPI history. He hopes that the existing and upcoming AAPI generations discover (and rediscover) the significance of our voices, that intention and actions matter, and, finally, that each of us can make a difference.

Janine Caigoy

Finance Chair

Years in OCA Las Vegas: 2020 – 2023
Go-to boba drink: Honey milk tea with boba 75% sweetness
Janine Caigoy was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV and initially joined OCA Las Vegas as a mentee in 2020. She recently with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Nightingale College and plans to work in oncology. Janine hopes the next generation of AAPIs use their talents and passions to better the community and serve those who are in need.

Kanani Castellano


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Brown sugar milk tea with boba
Kanani Castellano is a junior at CSNHS. She wants to pursue a career in the medical field and enjoys baking and cooking. One day, she hopes to have a side job doing her favorite hobbies. She hopes to empower more of the younger generation’s voices as part of the Youth Leadership Committee. In the future, she hopes to see more people experiencing the same excitement she had in the OCA Mentorship Program.

Raenilynn Timbol

Communications Chair

Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Tiger sugar with creme brulee and boba for milk days or passion fruit black tea with boba and mango stars for fruit days.
Raenilynn Timbol (she/he/they), who also goes by Raeni, joined OCA Las Vegas in spring 2023. They were born and raised in Las Vegas. Raeni currently attends the University of Nevada, Las Vegas pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. They are active in the community for causes that are very important to them. Raeni is the president of Girls Who Code at UNLV where they bridge the gap between women and STEM-related fields for learners of all ages. When they are not at school, Raeni works at a middle school where they tutor 6-8th students in math. After attending the national OCA convention, Raeni knew they felt strongly about advocacy for the AAPI community. Now elected as the Communications Chair, Raeni has a drive to serve her AAPI community.

Alexa Guloy

Special Events – Mentorship Chair

Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Matcha milk tea with soy milk, light ice, half sweet
Alexa Guloy was born and raised in Las Vegas and joined OCA as a member of the 2023 Mentorship Program cohort. As an undergraduate student at UNLV, Alexa is currently majoring in Biological Sciences and is pursuing a career as a physician. Her passions include civic engagement, crafting, and learning new things. Alexa is committed to a lifetime of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and approaches her responsibilities through OCA from an anti-oppressive framework. Alexa encourages the Asian American and Pacific Islander community to lead lives that are full of hope, and she will do everything in her power to work towards making this a reality.

Cevan Louie

Special Events – Volunteering Chair

Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Smoky Oolong Milk Tea
Cevan Louie is a high school junior at Coral Academy and has been apart of OCA since her childhood volunteering days alongside her Dad. She is deeply passionate about establishing community and building deeper connections with everyone she meets. Cevan is also the founder/president of her school’s Asian Pacific Student Union and speech president of Speech and Debate. She hopes for the next AANHPI generation to know their history and be proud of it, to whilst taking the next steps, to never forget the beauty and strength of the foundation right under their feet.

Joseph Cadiz

Special Events – Special Initiatives Chair

Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Okinawa Milk Tea w/ Oatmilk, 50% sweet
Joseph Cadiz is currently enrolled in the DEMSN program at UNLV, serving as a member of both the Student Nursing Association and Graduate & Professional Student Association. He aspires to further his education with a post-masters certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner and eventually complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. He currently works in healthcare administration as a Human Resources Manager for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in Northern California. Looking ahead, Joseph’s long-term goal include becoming a clinical instructor at UNLV and establishing RHCs with a particular focus on providing essential health services to underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Brianna Pascua

ACP Fellow

Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Hokkaido Milk Tea with Coffee Jelly 50% sweet, less ice
Brianna Pascua, who goes by Bri, is originally from the Bay Area and has been in Las Vegas for over two years, joining OCA Las Vegas as a mentee in 2023. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from CSU Channel Islands and a Master’s in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. Bri currently works at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations as the Executive Coordinator and manager of Board affairs, a nonprofit organization formed to create a national voice to advocate for the unique and diverse health needs of AA and NH/PI communities and health providers. She is passionate about empowering AA and NH/PI communities and advocating for access, equity, and representation. She will be applying to Ph.D. programs in 2024 with hopes of exploring her passion in higher education policy with aspirations to start her nonprofit that helps AA and NH/PI students and families navigate through the higher education system and beyond. Bri envisions a future where AAPI communities thrive by the power of their voices, with each generation rediscovering their narratives’ significance while also nurturing the emergence of new leaders committed to equity and empowerment. She hopes these leaders will channel their unique talents and passions to uplift the most vulnerable, actively creating opportunities for positive change in their communities to pursue a brighter, more equitable future.

Keoni Castellano


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Taro milk tea with boba
Keoni Castellano has lived in Las Vegas for about 15 years. He graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Currently, Keoni is working on his PhD in Applied Mathematics with research focusing on Mathematical Biology. He plans on using his mathematical skills to pursue a career that aims to solve critical issues in both biology and medicine. Keoni believes in the power of representation and motivating current and future AAPI generations to speak up and be involved in their communities.

Lui Cervantes


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Matcha Green Tea/Black Tea
Lui Cervantes was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV and joined OCA Las Vegas in 2022 as a mentee. She is currently focusing on teacher education and the various internships, projects, and lesson plans that come along with the program at Northwest CTA. However, she plans to pursue a career as a professional pilot to work with the airlines in the future. Lui has always had a love for travel, gaining new experiences, and forming new connections. Ultimately, she aspires to be a leader in the AANHPI community and become an advocate both locally and in the aviation industry.

KayLee Freitas


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Cookies & cream milk tea
Born on the island of Maui, Hawai’i, and raised in the small town of Pahrump, Nevada, KayLee Freitas brings a blend of cultures and experiences with her. As a first-generation college graduate, she reached a significant milestone by obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences in May 2023. Currently, KayLee dedicates her gap year to working as a clinical research recruiter in ADHD and ASD clinical trials, alongside her volunteer work in rural pop-up clinics and preparation for the MCAT. KayLee has her sights set on medical school and aims to practice medicine in Nevada, addressing healthcare accessibility, especially for the AAPI community. In her spare time, she enjoys unleashing her inner diva with karaoke sessions and exploring the world through travel, fueling her love for new adventures. Having experienced invaluable support and inspiration during her time as a 2023 OCA Mentee, KayLee is eager to pay it forward by sharing her knowledge and empowering the next generation of AAPI youth leaders to do the same.

Ethan Nguyen


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Smokey Oolong Sea Salt Latte, 25% sugar less ice
Ethan Nguyen is currently a senior at Advanced Technologies Academy and will be graduating valedictorian in the class of 2023, actively serving leadership roles at his school and community in Speech and Debate, Asian Student Union, and more. Ethan is passionate about AAPI community work and politics, recruiting and coordinating volunteers for nonprofit organizations and lobbying for policies. Ethan hopes to eventually pursue a career in business and politics in hopes of providing opportunities to others around him. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends, working out, watching anime, and playing piano. Ethan hopes to see members of the AAPI community find their own individual voices and the courage to defy the cultural expectations and stereotypes that prevent them from pursuing their passions.

Hieu Nguyen


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Matcha Milk Tea
Hieu Nguyen is a senior UNLV hospitality rebel from Hanoi, Vietnam. Touching lives through hospitality is Hieu’s North Star. Hieu has been practicing hospitality religiously & has five years of experience in roles in international & diverse settings across three continents. Hieu is a Member-at-Large and part of the mentorship committee. He believes in the power of mentoring and is excited to co-design the mentorship program this coming year!

Janel Panganiban


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Brown sugar milk tea
Janel Panganiban is a UNLV fourth-year graduating in the Fall of 2023 with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and minors in Biology and Neuroscience. She aspires to be an optometrist and work with the community to improve eye health in Nevada. In her freetime, Janel often participates in charity magazines as an artist to raise money for organizations such as The ALS Association and The Trevor Project. She originally joined OCA Las Vegas as a mentee in 2023 and now works with the OCA Youth Leadership Committee to promote AAPI advocacy.

Kaylee Vo


Mentorship Program Cohort: 2023
Go-to boba drink: Hot Hokkaido Milk Tea
Kaylee Vo is a junior at Palo Verde High School and is part of her school’s speech and debate team. She aspires to work in the computer science field as coding has always interested her. In her free time, Kaylee likes to read, draw, and hang out with her friends. Kaylee strives to make a difference in the AAPI community and raise awareness about AAPI youth.

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