API Heritage Stories

To celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month,
members of the API ERG shared their personal heritage stories.

Senior HR Systems Analyst's Cheryl Vallor learned how to make lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) from her aunt when she was little. This small step opened up Cheryl's world to new cuisines, new cultures, and respect for diversity and the richness that it offers. (2022)

Patrick Cheng, Human Resources Business Partner, shares his experience growing up in China and in the U.S., and how he faced the pressures to become a member of the model minority. (2022)

TBK Reddy, Genomic Standards Group Lead at the Joint Genome Institute, shares a poem that he wrote to celebrate Ugadi New Year and the arrival of spring. Listen to him explain the poetic tradition and recite the poem in English as well as in his native Telugu. (2022)

Charlette Lim Yankowitz, Human Resources Division Partner, has Chinese and Eastern European roots. She shares her experience growing up as a mixed race person and how her perspective of her own identity evolved over time. (2022)

Sandy Roth, Senior Human Resources Division Partner, is Chinese-Vietnamese-Cambodian-American. She shares the story of her mother whose family faced famine in China and genocide in Cambodia before immigrating to the U.S., and of her experiences growing up in a multi-cultural household. Watch her video. (2021)

Aditi Chakravarty, Chief Culture Officer, lives in Oakland, thousands of miles from her family’s roots in South Asia. Her paternal grandparents migrated from what is now Bangladesh to West Bengal in the midst of religious violence, and her parents continued the journey to the U.S. Aditi tells her family’s story. (2021)

Ruby Barcklay, who does marketing and communications for the Intellectual Property Office and for Strategic Communications, immigrated to the U.S. when she was 18. She shares how political and economic pressures shaped her parents’ lives and her own experience growing up half-Filipino and half-Chinese. Watch her story. (2021)

How did a mixed race orphan survive World War II in the Philippines to thrive in the U.S.? Janie Pinterits, a program manager in the IDEA office, shares her father’s inspiring story. (2021)