My name is Maireen Barnachea, but you can call me Mai! My preferred pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a sophomore double majoring in Public Health & Health Communication, as well as this year’s Political Affairs Coordinator! Being the Political Affairs Coordinator, it is my duty and responsibility to inform & educate our members on timely and relevant issues on the local, state, national, and international levels. I strive to create & lead educational discussions, while also providing a safe space, in which our members can project their voices and opinions. I guide & empower members to become diverse leaders who fight for political activism in the U.S., Philippines, and around the world. I become educated, to educate.
I was born and raised in Southeast SAN DIEGO, 619 REPPIN’!!! My hobbies include singing, playing tennis, and cooking (I also go by…CHEF MAI). I have also been an active dance member of the Samahan Philippine Dance Company for over 10 years. My main passion in life is giving back to the community, and this can be seen through my previous years of competing in pageants, which has provided me a platform to educate and speak on my advocacies and beliefs.
As quarantine began, I’ve made it my goal to truly focus on my mental and physical health! I know during these turbulent times, it’s difficult to stay grounded and centered, so I picked up a few things that helped me, and can also help you, find peace during this time. I find meditating, just for a couple of minutes, really helpful for me to relax and give thanks for a beautiful day. I also implement more positive affirmations for myself and for those around me on a daily basis. And, believe it or not, breaking a sweat through a good workout helps me release all the negative energy. You got this, I believe in you. Focus your energy on the good things in life and don’t forget to smile! I appreciate you <3.
I have known of this organization as long as I can remember, whether it be through my older brothers’ involvement back in their day or even finding myself as an attendee of AB Samahan’s annual High School Conferences throughout high school. This organization is more than just being involved in the community, striving for academic excellence, becoming politically aware, and gaining friendships through social events. For me, it’s my home. A home that highlights and reminds me of the beauty and culture of the Philippines. A home that I can rely on whenever I am in need. A home where I can find my closest friends and create the best memories. A home where I have embraced my true self. A home that has inspired me to become the leader I am and will continue to be.
With the meaning of Samahan itself, (togetherness and community) remember that actions are just as strong as our words and beliefs. We must use it to our advantage and establish social justice values to benefit those in need and in search of a leading voice.
I’ll be around, say hi and I might cook up a tasty meal for you hehe.