Young philanthropist in the making


Courtesy to Jefferson Awards

Patricia Manubay soaks up her success.

Community service is something more than just a hobby for many people, but one 18-year-old student from Skyline College found a passion in it.

Through community service, Patricia Manubay developed an organization devoted to creating positive change.

It all started at El Camino High School, when Patricia was a sophomore. She started doing community service in order to fulfill high school requirements and to look good on college applications. However, community service quickly became more than just a requirement.

That year, Manubay was also struggling with her mental health and finding self acceptance. She began looking for some outlet to help her.

“I was reaching out for things that would make me feel better about myself and in desperation, community service was kind of that thing,” Manubay said.

Eventually, Manubay became involved with Students in Action, an organization lead by the Jefferson Awards to train students into making impactful change through community service.

Through a service competition called Lead 360 also by the Jefferson Awards, Manubay competed under the Education Literacy category and won. From there she was able to create an organization called Dream Boxes. “Dream Boxes are boxes filled with school supplies, art supplies, a dream journal, and a letter of encouragement written by another student,” Manubay said.

“The purpose of Dream Boxes is to ensure that students have the right school supplies to be successful in school and the encouragement and support to pursue their dream”.

With Dream Boxes being solely the responsibility of Manubay, she sought more help through schools and volunteers, collecting donations in order to support the organization. Each box cost up to $15 to make.

Manubay has been able to donate Dream Boxes to several schools in the United States and the Philippines. This service gained some media attention as well, from news programs like Balitang America and KPIX CBS Channel 5.

After having a successful start with Dream Boxes, difficulties began. Manubay missed being able to collaborate with others and felt pressure build up working on Dream Boxes primarily by herself. This lead to Manubay cofounding Above Apathy with Tiana Valerio.

“Above Apathy is a youth lead organization created in the summer of 2016 that caters to passionately driven service projects,” Manubay said. “Above Apathy’s purpose is to challenge apathy through service and leadership to enact positive change.”

Currently the umbrella organization houses the projects Dream Boxes and YOUth Votes, a project dedicated to promoting youth involvement in politics, founded by Fredy Rivera.

As for Patricia Manubay, next semester she will be transferring early to either San Francisco State University or University of San Francisco.

She has also recently become Volunteer Director at NAMI: The National Alliance of Mental Illness.

Dream Boxes will be ending around December in order for Manubay to focus on other projects.

Above Apathy plans to focus on more projects in the spring relating to art, self care and mental health.