We're so excited to launch our new series called the... KAYA RIVETER SPOTLIGHT! Introducing a community of social advocates, do-gooders & community leaders that are making a difference, big & small. We're focusing on the stories that serve as a reminder that each and every one of us has the power to do good. That gives you the inspiration to KAYA (which translates to "we can do it" in Filipino), for yourself and your community.
To start, our first KAYA RIVETER SPOTLIGHT is Ria Abesamis Pretekin. An educator, counselor & coach. Ria is a mom of two young children in a multicultural and interfaith family living in Chicago. As a Filipina American, she helps her children discover their identities through adventures and storytelling. Her passion: to create community through cultural awareness. Ria goes above and beyond to connect with her community, to give back to causes she is passionate about and is our source of all mom-inspiration! From the intentional books she shares with her kids, to the events she hosts with community groups (including our collaborated event for Gawad Kalinga a few months ago!) - Ria reminds us that the impact we can have goes beyond our job, family and community, there are no limits.
1. KAYA RIVETER celebrates the power of community. What does community mean to you and how has it helped you?
Community is so important to me. It is about finding your people and finding people who will not only be there for all the fun times and celebrations but also join you in the collective struggle to empower one another. Finding my community at work and online (on Instagram) has helped me in my own journey of self-discovery and has given me confidence to know that I am capable of making a difference and inspiring others to do the same.
2. Even the smallest actions can have a great impact. We’d love to know your first or favorite memory of this?
I've always big on getting involved in philanthropy and I can't recall my first memory of doing social good but I just know that I've always had a passion for making a difference in the lives of others. Ever since I was young I loved volunteering and getting involved in my community. I learned early on that I had the ability to make a difference and had a way of encouraging others to get involved. Whether it was in leading teams in breast cancer walks or getting involved in my church or school community, I found that I had a real knack for leading this type of work and now as an adult it is something I am still passionate about.
3. Sweet + Salty celebrates the modern woman — we can be both sweet & salty and only we get to choose and define what that means to us. Right now, what is one thing you love about being a modern woman?
I love the sweet and salty reference because I may be petite and soft-spoken but I am also a fierce champion for social justice. I love that being a modern woman means having the ability to take risks, be creative and be a leader.
4. “KAYA” is our affirmation that "we can do it." What’s your go-to inspirational quote or song that gets you going?
Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. Brene Brown
1. KAYA KO (I can): make a difference big or small.
2. Something sweet or salty (or both!) you love to eat: sweet! cupcakes!
3. Favorite Beach Destination: anywhere in Kauai
4. Your go-to summer drink: Arnold Palmers (lemonade & iced tea)
5. #HERstory shoutout: Michelle Obama - she's such a fierce advocate for educators and school counselors specifically and college access.
To connect with Ria: @urbanohana