June 18, 2014

Angelica Jongco recently joined Public Advocates as Senior Staff Attorney and the newest addition to our Education Team. As a former law fellow from 2006 to 2008, Angelica is no stranger to the PA family. As you will find out, this Pillar and New Jersey native is thrilled to work towards making opportunities to dream big real for all our children.

Q: Why did you decide to join Public Advocates?

Because I share Public Advocates’ deep commitment to community lawyering, I’m excited to come to work every day to help build the power of low-income communities to push forward systemic change. Public Advocates’ approach to problem solving means there is never a dull moment. In this role, I get to engage in coalition building, policy advocacy and litigation towards ensuring that our institutions are held accountable to the people they serve. I get to work not only with the sharp lawyers and staff on our team, but with our brilliant and inspiring community partners. It’s especially gratifying to rejoin Public Advocates at this landmark moment for the organization — with the advent of new leadership — and for California’s public schools — with the transformational opportunity that Local Control Funding Formula represents to improve services for our students with the greatest needs and provide for robust community engagement. Finally, how often do you get to return to an organization that is so familiar and dear to your heart, one where you can count your colleagues as good friends? For all these reasons, rejoining Public Advocates’ team was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Q: What do you find satisfying about your field?

I feel fortunate to immerse myself in Public Advocates’ education equity work, which allows me to take on pressing issues that affect families throughout the state. It’s especially meaningful for me to be able to support our community partners in making a tangible difference for Oakland public schools — schools that sparked my husband Daniel’s lifelong love for learning, and where we plan to send our daughter. I already found this work compelling as a fellow in 2006 to 2008, but the urgency of our education equity work resonates with me all the more now that I am a parent.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside work?

Breaking bread (or scoops of ice cream) with friends and family. Making music with my spouse, Daniel, and our  2-year old, Kaya Grace. Visiting (virtually and in-person) with family in New York, New Jersey, Albuquerque and the Philippines. Cheering for the Golden State Warriors.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. 

— Frederick Douglass

Anything else you want to add: 

My parents immigrated here in the early 1970s from the Philippines. We named our daughter “Kaya” because it means “can” or “capable” in Tagalog. We want to raise her to believe that she can make her dreams a reality and that she can knock down any barrier in her way. But I believe that my commitment shouldn’t stop with my own child. I feel lucky to be able to work in a job that allows me to work towards making opportunities to dream big real for all our children.

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