President, Philippine National Day Association
Since 2015, Rosie Dauz has been a member of the Philippine National Day Association, an organization that works to empower and promote equity in the Filipino community. She was elected as its president in spring, around the time COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
In April, unemployment in California shot up to 15.5 percent due to businesses laying off workers to adhere to the state’s stay-at-home order. So PNDA stepped in by launching the Sacramento Region Filipinx COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Grant, providing $125 to individuals and $250 to households to help ease the financial uncertainty the public-health emergency caused. “A lot of our population are health care workers (working on the front lines) … and a lot of them are possibly undocumented workers,” Dauz says. The nonprofit distributed 138 grants, totaling $17,250.
Dauz, 30, a Roseville native who now lives in Sacramento, works as a community relations specialist for Golden 1 Credit Union, connecting and overseeing nonprofits and other businesses for grants and scholarships. She’s been with the credit union for three years, but when she was still in college, she thought she’d serve the community in a different way by becoming a nurse. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health science from Sacramento State, but right before graduating in 2013, she was hired at My Sister’s House, an anti-domestic violence nonprofit in Sacramento that has an emphasis on serving the cultural needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander community.
“Always remember your roots and the people who helped you get to where you are today. There’s a famous quote from José Rizal, a Filipino hero, that always resonates with me. ‘He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.’”
“I hadn’t really been brought up with a lot of Filipino background,” Dauz says, so working as the organization’s communications and volunteer organizer connected her to the culture and gave her the professional experience that led her to leave My Sister’s House in 2015 for a job at public relations agency Moroch Partners, where she aided in its giving “funds to other nonprofits, other underprivileged communities” for the company’s clients. She says, “That was a really neat experience, kind of being able to navigate through that and yet giving back to the community, and that’s probably where I found more of a passion for community relations and trying to find companies and businesses that will give back.”
Dauz continues to volunteer and serve as a committee member at My Sister’s House. In 2019, she chaired the organization’s annual 5K fundraiser and annual Fashion for a Cause fundraiser. She also helps run its social media outreach; during the stay-at-home order, those experiencing domestic violence can be in even more danger, so “letting people know the helpline is still available” through social media is key, she says.
Being isolated at home can also be challenging on people’s mental health, so PNDA hosted a videoconference with a guest speaker for young people in eighth grade through college age on how to cope with being separated from their social groups. “The Asian Pacific Islander community, they’re not really talking about the mental health issue,” Dauz says, because it’s still not socially acceptable, “and then with COVID-19 happening, I think it was even more of a reason to check in with the youth.”
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