Fil-Am student named Outstanding Youth of Michigan
A multi-awarded Filipino American youth advocate, Jeanelle Pua Mapili, was named Outstanding Youth of Michigan by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in Michigan (UPAAM) for academic excellence, community service and leadership.
The annual Outstanding Youth of Michigan Program, begun in 1983, is open to high school graduates of Filipino heritage who have distinguished themselves consistently.
In March 2020, Mapili was honored for her community work and her cultural immersion project in the province of Isabela with the 2020 Youth Recognition Award by the board of directors of Rochester Area Youth Assistance in the United States.
She was also named Outstanding Youth Citizen 2020 by the Oakland County Sheriff, Extraordinary Young Citizen 2020 by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, and received Youth Recognition Award commendations from Mayor Bryan Barnett, City of Rochester Hills, and State Representative Michael Webber of the Michigan House of Representatives.
Mapili was a 2020 graduate of Rochester Adams High School and a Scholar of Distinction Awardee. She intends to be a medical professional and is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, one of the world’s top 15 universities in the 2020 World Reputation Rankings by the Times Higher Education.
Mapili actively participated in community services as a member of the United States National Honors Society. This involvement sparked her “Dora Backpack Drive,” a school supply drive for children in Isabela, Philippines where she collected a variety of donations from her schoolmates.
She traveled to the Philippines in July 2019 as a primary sponsor for the senior feeding program called “Precious Moments with Senior Citizens,” and the “Tsinelas Drive,” which provides flip-flops to needy children.
In 2016, she won the Gold Key Award from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her entry in the Editorial Cartoon individual category. Her artwork was displayed in a national exhibit in New York.
There are 40,847 Filipino Americans in Michigan according to the 2018 Michigan state census. Filipinos are the third-largest Asian American and Pacific Islander ethnic group, next to Indian (112,368) and Chinese (67,602).