Neille Apostol, Head of Workshop Committee
Born in Brussels, Belgium and raised in Pangasinan, Philippines, Mr. Apostol immigrated to California at the age of 7 and graduated from Lakewood High School with highest honors. He then pursued a double major in Biochemistry and French & Francophone Studies in Literature and Culture from UCLA.
In college, Mr. Apostol was heavily involved with Pilipinx student organizations such as Samahang Pilipino and Southern California Pilipinx American Student Association. He also worked as a research assistant at the UCLA School of Nursing, studying anal dysplasia screening methods in HIV positive men. Now a Bay Area transplant, he works in clinical supply management in pharmaceuticals for oncology medication. Outside of work, he volunteers with the Mabuhay Health Center, Volunteers in Medicine, and UCSF.
At UCLA, he was the recipient of the Martin-Turrill Memorial Award for Best Major — a merit-based scholarship awarded to the top 2 students nominated by instructors and faculty in the French department. Also, he is a research assistant at UCSF’s Emotion, Health, and Psychophysiology Lab that is doing research on the psychosomatic effects of social situations such as sexual orientation disclosure and stress.
Marycon Jiro, MS2, Workshop Committee Member
Ms. Jiro is a second year medical student and masters student at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP). She was also chosen to be a part of the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US), a program for medical students committed to serving marginalized communities in medicine. Driven by her passion in addressing systemic health inequities faced by disenfranchised communities, especially her Filipino-American community, and tying in her interest in eliminating eye health disparities, her thesis under her masters degree in Health and Medical Sciences within the UC Berkeley School of Public Health focuses on understanding the knowledge, attitudes, barriers, and practices of the San Francisco Bay Area Filipino-American community in terms of eye care. Her research will be funded by the JMP Thesis Grant and the UCSF PROF-PATH Summer Explore Program. Additionally, she is also a co-founder of the White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL) Berkeley Chapter, organizer for the Freedom School for Intersectional Medicine and Health Justice, National Conference Director for APAMSA, medical volunteer at UCSF’s Ophthalmology Shelter Clinic and medical volunteer at the UCSF’s Mabuhay Health Center.
In 2018, Ms. Jiro graduated from UC Berkeley with Distinction Honors, obtaining a BA in Integrative Biology and minor in Global Poverty and Practice. Here, she advocated for health and educational equity within marginalized communities and the Filipinx community at UC Berkeley. She also designed a research study looking at the potential of gamified virtual technology in addressing physical education budget cuts within low-income Bay Area school districts as a Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Fellow. Additionally, she worked at Kaiser Permanente (KP) for five years, mentoring disadvantaged youth interested in healthcare at the KPLAUNCH program as the Program Coordinator; analyzing patient satisfaction data for KP providers as a Research Assistant; and handling research projects concerning ethical issues within the 21 KP Northern California hospitals alongside ethicists as a Bioethics Research Associate during her gap year. Her immigration experience, family and culture drive her to continue “lifting as she climbs” and prioritize serving her first generation, minority and disenfranchised communities as a medical student at at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) and PRIME-US.
Marycon Jiro was awarded Most Outstanding Female Scholar Athlete out of 1000 students for James Logan High School’s (JLHS) graduating class of 2014. While maintaining Summa Cum Laude honors, she played varsity tennis singles and doubles all four years of high school, winning the Mission Valley Athletic League twice with her team and placing third overall in the Northern California Section Women’s Doubles. Notably, she was awarded MVP and Captain as well as helped coach the men’s junior varsity team. Marycon was additionally ranked top 100 in Girls 16 Singles in the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Other activities Marycon was involved in included international and local health advocacy work through Interact Club, American Red Cross Family Links Internship, and Kaiser Permanente LAUNCH Internship.
Lemuel Rivera, MS2, Workshop Committee Member
Mr. Rivera is currently attending the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine and is a member of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) PRIME program. He is currently interested in oncology/surgery/ortho surgery as specialties. He is one of the workshop coordinators for CYFAP (wohoo!). He is also the Class of 2023 student representative, medical student coordinator for the Mabuhay Health Clinic, social chair for the Latino Medical Student Association, and a member of HealthLink. He is involved in several research projects with topics relating to alcohol use disorder, physical therapy management and acute trauma. He loves to play basketball and eating Jollibee (spaghetti!!). He hopes to be a physician for California's Central Valley, specifically in Fresno, to address some of the health inequities plaguing this region.
Mr. Rivera graduated from the California State University, Fresno as a Summa Cum Laude with his B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Anthropology. He was involved in undergraduate research studying neurodegenerative diseases, worked as an ER scribe at a county hospital, served as the student body representative for his college for three years, and volunteered at a local free health clinic. He also served as a facilitator for two different high school summer programs for three years and interned for UCLA's Summer Medical and Dental Educational Program in 2016.
Mr. Rivera graduated as a Valedictorian at Clovis West High School taking 11 AP classes. He was a volunteer for the high school's Key Club and a participant for the Science Olympiad and Math team.