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For AAPI Month, we celebrate Celina Tupout-Fulivai our 2022 AANHPI Women Rising Training alumna.

For Asian American & Pacific Islander Month, we celebrate community organizer and @heliakico founder Celina Tupou-Fulivai and her tireless advocacy for Pacific Islanders!

“As a first-generation Tongan American, I draw strength from my heritage, a constant source of inspiration in my community work. My lineage traces back to a chief navigator, Fulivai, an honored title bestowed by the Tu’i Tonga upon my ancestor from Samoa, who was a royal navigator of the respected ‘Fokololo ‘oe Hau’ Navigators clan.”

Celina credits her dauntless outlook on life to the fierce resilience and courage of her ancestors. She shared, “Their ability to chart unknown waters parallels my own mission in navigating the often complex societal structures of today, as I advocate for Pacific Islander visibility and rights. I strive to mirror the dedication and commitment of my ancestors, exploring new avenues and creating opportunities for our community.”

“Their legacy is not just a story of the past,” she stressed, “but a beacon guiding my present actions in all that I do. Their history of service is a testament to humility and selflessness, values I strive to uphold each day.”

Celina participated in the New American Leaders’ ANHPI Women Rising Training in 2022. The experience taught her how to use her voice and connect with people through her culture and heritage. 

She said, “It’s about understanding that my story resonates in our diverse nation. What really sticks with me is the organization’s dedication to boosting the voices of first and second-generation Americans and women in politics. It’s a powerful reminder that leadership is about paving the way for others.”