FACC’s NextGen Leaders Outreach Initiative
Excelsa De Jesus
FACC Young Ambassador (New York) - Excelsa is a young philanthropist, virtuoso performer, model, and beauty queen. She graduated from the American Musical And Dramatic Academy in Manhattan, NY majoring in Musical Theater. She was awarded by NY PIDC’s “Artist of Exceptional Ability,” as well as PACCAL’s “Entertainer of the Year.” Having done multiple solo concerts in NY, Florida, and the Philippines, Excelsa has shared the stage with famous celebrities such as Kristin Chenoweth in Broadway, Martin Nievera, Lani Misalucha, Pilita Corales, Regine and Ogie Alcacid, Gary Valenciano, Sarah Geronimo, Eric Santos, Morisette Amon, and Jose Marie Chan to name a few. Besides being the Miss Republic of the Philippines International 2018-2020, she has a very compassionate heart and makes annual trips to the Philippines for charity and missionary work. She uses her voice to uplift and inspires those around her to be the driving power of change.
FACC Young Ambassador For Health Affairs and Programming Events (Ellicott City, Maryland) - Katrina is currently a sophomore Nursing Major at Stevenson University in Owings Mills and a consistent honor student. She began singing at the age of 4 and taking piano lessons at the age of 7 and has loved performing ever since. At Archbishop Spalding High School, she was a part of many vocal groups, she accompanied other choruses on the piano, and performed in Spalding Musical Theatre productions every year. She won the Accompanist Award at the Festival Music Competition in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2016; the Maestro Award at the WorldStrides Music Competition in Nashville, Tennessee in 2017; and received the Outstanding Vocalist and Outstanding Musician Awards throughout all four years of high school. At the end of her senior year in 2019, she won the Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Award from the Cappies of Baltimore for her performance as the Drowsy Chaperone in “The Drowsy Chaperone.” At Stevenson University, she won first place at “Stevenson’s Got Talent” and top four competitors in the grand finals of the Baltimore Loves Talent on ABC WMAR 2. Throughout the first few months of quarantine, she was chosen to sing in a handful of virtual singing events and competitions. For the past few years, she has also been performing at many charitable organizations including FACC events. She also loved powerlifting as part of her health and wellness interests.
FACC Young Ambassador For Community and Programming Events (Leesburg, VA)- Lorenzo is from Ashburn, Virginia. He has a passion for theatre and has starred in several theatrical productions in Northern VA for the past 5 years. He is a Junior at Briarwood High School and is currently an active member and participant of the School's Chorus and Theatre program. He is proud of his Filipino heritage and is very excited to be part of FACC’s mission to help people with cancer.
FACC Young Ambassador For Community and Health Affairs (Glenmore, PA) - She is beauty, she is grace, she was crowned Miss Philadelphia 2020 and placed 3rd runner for Miss Pennsylvania 2020 sponsored by the Miss American Pageant Organization. Ms. Ficarra is the first Filipino-American to win the title in the pageant’s hundred-year history. She is an aspiring singer, dancer, actress, and model. Her Italian American father, Paul Ficarra, owns the Bartco Tech Corporation-Industrial Sales. Her older brother, Victor Ficarra, just graduated with honors at Penn State University and is headed to law school this fall. Her mother, Jeanilyn Ficarra, was born in Pugo, La Union, Philippines, and became the first civil engineer in her hometown. Jeanilyn is a role model for Elaine. She is a hardworking woman and President of a Filipino American charity organization. Currently, Elaine is a proud Drexel University biology major and Pennoni Honors College student as well as serving as a spoke person to break the stigma of mental health by talking about suicide prevention via Prevent Suicide PA. She started “The World Is Better With YOU In It,” an outreach program built on simple but life-saving conversations about how to spot a mental health crisis before it’s too late.
Jonathon Francis (Miami, FL)
FACC Young Ambassador For Community Digital & Marketing Team - Jonathon is a media and tech entrepreneur who was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List in 2014. He is the co-founder of Elite Daily, an online media publication for millennials, which was acquired by the Daily Mail in 2015, and is now the co-founder of Wing, an emerging telecom company based in New York City. After losing his father John to cancer in April 2021, he and his two brothers wanted to continue his mission of helping other cancer patients, especially with their mental health. Their father’s dream was to set off on a road trip across America to raise awareness, money, and inspire people fighting just like him. After learning about the FACC and speaking to the team, they knew they needed to be a part of it. Jonathon now serves as a Young Ambassador for the Digital & Marketing Strategic team.
John Paul San Pedro (Los Angeles, CA)
FACC Young Ambassador For Community Digital & Marketing Team - John Paul is an entrepreneur and merchandising expert who has worked with some of the most successful streetwear brands and entertainers in the industry. After losing his father John to cancer in April 2021, he and his two brothers wanted to continue his mission of helping other cancer patients, especially with their mental health. Their father’s dream was to set off on a road trip across America to raise awareness, money, and inspire people to fight just like him. After learning about the FACC and speaking to the team, they knew they needed to be a part of it. John Paul now serves as a Young Ambassador for the Digital & Marketing Strategic team.
Odessa Kay Tata Habana (New York)
FACC Young Ambassador of Music - ODESSA TATA KAY HABANA is one of New York’s most sought-after Sopranos; dubbed as “The Songbird” by her avid listeners— she is no stranger to the world of Classical music. She started singing in public at the tender age of 4 and began singing professionally at 13 where she graced various prestigious stages in Canada, Philippines, and the US, including Lincoln Center and the famed Carnegie Hall in which she debuted a solo concert in 2015. She is constantly booked to sing on different stages in different states. Kay studied in Canada where she took up Mass Communications, major in Journalism and minor in Italian Language. Her writing prowess is inarguably remarkable, but fate seemed to have chosen a different career path for Kay. To this day, music and singing consort her everywhere she goes. Happy and content with what she's achieved in her singing career, Kay simply hopes to be able to coach or train young kids who wish to develop a path in singing, especially those who have no means to pay for professional voice culture. Kay is also the owner/CEO of SweetHabana Corporation: a thriving, top-tier catering company in New York that has been around for almost two decades. In gratitude for her blessings, Kay promotes her original recording entitled “Thank You, Lord” which is available for purchase on Amazon, Googleplay, and iTunes. The song was composed for her by the world-renowned concert pianist, Ms. Rowena Arrieta. She specially dedicates this to God for His faithfulness in her life.
Lance Encomienda (Baltimore, Maryland)
FACC Young Ambassador - Pursuing a career in Real Estate to Help the Family Business. and at the same time getting into Child Behavior Education- Focus on Special Needs Children. Lance is a Volunteer at Feed the Homeless in Washington DC & Baltimore City, as well as Sunday School Ministry at His Church ( River Of Life Christian Fellowship). Lance helps His Mom with Fundraisings like Breast Cancer and Fundraising for the School for the Blind Philippines. He Competed & Won various Regional & International School competitions. In 2017 Regional 1st Place in Famous Speech, International 6th Place in Famous Speech, Regional 3rd Place in Group Bible Speaking. In 2018 Regional 1st Place Famous Speech, 2nd Place in Group Bible Speaking, International 4th Place in Group Bible Speaking, In 2019 Regional 3rd in Group Bible Speaking, 2nd in Choir Small Ensemble. He wants to continue to serve God by Joining the Music Ministry as Lead Guitarist. Helping His Mom For their Foundation "Mission For Vision" focusing on helping the Visual Impaired & mentally Challenge Children in the Philippines.
Gabriel "Gabe" Enconmienda (Baltimore, Maryland)
FACC Young Ambassador - Presently Freshman College at Liberty University, Lynchburg Virginia, taking Exercise Medicine/Dietician He was awarded a Full Scholarship (8 - Semesters). Gabe is a Worship Leader at River of Life International Christian Church, outside of taking Academic Courses Gabe is taking Classes in Worship & Christian Music. Gabe graduated Highschool at Royal International Academy with Highest GPA & Honors. He was the President of Student Council School Year 2020-2021. He is a Volunteer at Feed the Homeless in Washington DC & Baltimore City, He is a Volunteer at Feed the Homeless in Washington DC & Baltimore City, He competed & Won Regional & International School Competitions, 2017 International Competition He won 6th Place for Junior Preacher, 5th Place for Solo Piano, In 2018 Regional Competition He won 2nd Place on Physical Fitness, 3rd Place on Solo Piano. In the 2019 Regional Competition, He won 2nd Place Solo Piano, Ist Place on Act Play & in International He won 3rd Place on Solo Piano, 1st on One Act Play, 2020 Virtual Regional Competition He won 1st Place in Solo Piano, 1st on Solo Male Voice, In 2021 Regional He won 1st Place in Solo Piano, He won 2nd Place in PowerPoint Presentation, In 2021 International He won 3rd place Solo Piano, 4th in Expressive Reading, 4th in Table Tennis, & most of all the3rd CAP Award (awards on all categories with highest points). He helps His Mom with various Fundraising like Breast Cancer, Youth for Christ & The School for the Blind, Philippines, He's goal is to continue to serve God through Music & as a Worship Leader, continue to help others, especially the Blind Children in the Philippines. He also Helps His Mom with the Foundation called "Mission for Vision (Philippines) It's their Family Non-Profit Organization.
Ryan Marc Ferrer (Iloilo City, Philippines)
FACC Young Ambassador - Ryan is 20 years old and first year college student of West Visayas State University. He is a Student leader, and a Volunteer. As a young ambassador of Filipino American Cancer Care, Ryan believes that he is called to make a difference in the lives of others by using his voice to influence and promote awareness about this serious disease. According to him, those who are suffering and fighting cancer should know that at the end of the day, the triumph will ultimately be found in Christ. No one is alone in this battle. He said that cancer is a grave illness that has a wide range of effects on people's lives. It has numerous therapeutic alternatives, but the problem is that most individuals are ignorant of them and do not conduct frequent examinations.
Juan Sebastian Casem (Manila, Philippines)
FACC Young Ambassador - Sebastian Casem is a scholar currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Materials Engineering at UP-Diliman. His rigorous education in the sciences began in the 7th Grade at Philippine Science High School. This allowed him to gain a broader insight into the issues the field faces that overlaps with social aspects as well. Aside from his academics, he explores his creative side through dancing, singing, and writing. He also dabbles in freelancing with the goal of improving his skills in social media management and graphic designing. He aims to use his artistic side as a vehicle to bring information to the public. Through this he hopes to that people become more receptive to scientific knowledge which would guide them to making sound decisions and dispel misinformation. Sebastian believes that the stigma surrounding cancer must be shattered; it is possible to survive one. According to him, we have to shift the focus on getting everybody involved, i.e., getting checked for early detection. That way cancer- related healthcare is forced to become more accessible. Research aimed at developing inexpensive detection and prevention methods, possibly better treatments, will also increase.
Sebastian’s loving mother Ann is currently a breast cancer warrior/survivor.