Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Spotlight: Sarah Porter

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Spotlight: Sarah Porter

What does your heritage mean to you?

My Filipino heritage means a lot to me. It’s more than just where my family comes from—it’s the core of who I am. From the dishes I prepare to the gatherings with family, and from the values of hard work and community spirit passed down through generations, my Filipino heritage influences every aspect of my daily life. When I left home to play basketball in college, Filipino connections became my support network, offering me comfort and home-cooked meals. My heritage isn’t just a part of me; it’s my guiding light, shaping my journey with its values of unity, resilience, and pride.


How do you celebrate or keep your heritage alive in your daily life?

In my daily life, I celebrate and keep my Filipino heritage alive by cooking and playing basketball. I love making traditional dishes with my mom, like lumpia, beef steak, pancit, adobo, and afritada—they remind me of home. Basketball is a national obsession in the Philippines, and playing with the national team in 2019 strengthened and deepened my connection to my heritage. Whether I’m in the kitchen or on the court, I always celebrate my Filipino roots.


What AAPI mentors have inspired or influenced you and in what ways?

Having a female Afro-Asian professor in college changed everything for me. It was the first time I saw someone who looked like me in a position of authority, and it was eye-opening. It taught me the importance of representation and visibility, which has inspired me to stand up in spaces where people like me are often marginalized. Her mentorship showed me the value of getting involved in the community and standing up for what’s right. She paved the way for me to realize my own potential to make a difference and encouraged me to embrace who I am.




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