Paolo Roca

Rey Paolo Ernesto J. Roca III, a PhD student in the UCLA School of Nursing, has been named a delegate of the 2023 Filipino Young Leaders Program’s (FYLPRO) Immersion Cohort. 

This highly selective program brings 15 young leaders from across different industries to the Philippines where they meet with business, community, and civic leaders in an effort to bridge and strengthen ties between the United States and the Philippines. FYLPRO has created a network of high performing, next-generation leaders who advance the Philippines and the Filipino people through their advocacy and expertise in various industries, according to the organization.

For Roca, the opportunity to join this prestigious group has provided him with inspiration and motivation to continue making a positive impact on the lives of patients, students, and his fellow Filipinos. 

“This selection represents an opportunity for personal growth and development. It allows me to expand my knowledge, network with like-minded individuals, and gain new perspectives on pressing healthcare issues,” said Roca. “It challenges me to think critically, innovate, and find solutions to the challenges facing the Filipino community and healthcare system.”

Along with his studies, Roca works with Dr. Anthony Tolentino, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, in the field of type 2 diabetes and Filipino Americans. They have conducted studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Filipino Americans with type 2 diabetes and are currently exploring the relationship between colonial mentality and diabetes self-management. 

“Through this program, I aim to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities, address healthcare disparities, and advocate for policies that prioritize the well-being of the underserved population. By collaborating with fellow young leaders, I intend to develop innovative solutions to the pressing challenges faced by our community, whether it be in healthcare, education, social entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.

The immersion program is made possible through partnership between the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, the Ayala Foundation and the Filipino Young Leaders Program. To learn more about the program and FYLPRO, visit their website