Habitat Family Member and Community Builder
Nick’s (Pictured Right – Rear) life is an example of how a stable home can lead to brighter futures. As the eldest of five born in Manila, Philippines in 1986, he and his family immigrated to the United States in 1994. As successful as he has become, however, his family didn’t always have it easy.
“We [used to] moved around often. The factors that usually contributed to my parent’s decision to move included rising rent, relocating to a better school district, and finding more space for a growing family.”
Like so many families, overcrowding was also a challenge, but his parents tried their best to make a better life for their children and relatives.
“We usually had my aunt or grandmother also staying with us. My parents worked very hard to make sure we had the essentials.
“It was difficult finding quiet times to study when living in a crowded room. There were plenty of times when it was easier to do homework in the very early mornings or the very late evenings when everyone else was sleeping in order to help me focus.”
Living in these conditions was difficult – but then things changed for the better after moving into their Habitat home.
“Our home certainly solved the practical day-to-day concerns such as making sure we had adequate space to study, but I know that it also alleviated stressors and concerns that burdened their thoughts.
“My parents were patient with me and helped me understand that this was far from ‘charity’ and that Habitat’s mission was to provide a ‘hand up’. Moreover, being involved in the actual build process of our home only solidified this notion and helped me gain a unique perspective to home ownership.“
After moving into his new home, Nick got more involved with SGV Habitat, including participating in a six year term on the board of directors.
“My time on SGV Habitat’s board was my way of paying forward all the amazing things the organization has done to help my family and the community. I look back at my time on the board as a reminder that for meaningful, worthwhile things to happen – people need to come together and dedicate their time to solve complex issues that usually don’t have a clear path forward.”
Nick was able to flourish in his own career as well.
“I graduated from the USC Marshall School of Business and Leventhal School of Accounting. From there, I started my career as a CPA with EY before moving on to PwC as a management consultant in its Deals Advisory group. Following my stints in the financial services industry, I moved on to the media and entertainment industry, where I’ve largely worked in finance and strategy teams.
“In 2017, I moved to Singapore with my wife as she pursued a career opportunity. I was fortunate enough to find a role in The Walt Disney Company as part of its strategy and business development teams overseeing efforts across Asia Pacific.”
Throughout his life, Nick has seen the value of stability at home. Today, he shares his story and encourages others to get involved.
“I can’t think of a more effective way to raise current and future living standards, increase opportunities, and elevate the trajectories for families than giving them a chance to own their own homes. Families are increasingly excluded from the chance to own a home, whether it be for economic or regulatory reasons. Habitat is fighting that uphill battle to try to remedy this less than optimal situation.
“there are few missions that organizations strive to achieve that directly improve the lives of families and the community at large. Housing, especially in California, is a dire need and Habitat is working towards bridging the gap. There is no price that can be given to the peace of mind home ownership can give to a family.”