APIDA Heritage Month Spotlight: Jeremy Dela Paz
Jeremy Dela Paz is the definition of a committed leader on the NC State campus. From holding positions like orientation leader with New Student Programs to being the current president of the Asian Students in Alliance (ASIA) council, Dela Paz’s mission is to make NC State more inclusive and welcoming for all students, with a special interest in the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American population.
Hailing from Durham, Dela Paz is currently in his final year at NC State. He will be graduating with a B.A. in communication media with a theater minor. In addition to his ASIA role, he is also president of the Filipino American Student Association, and NC State’s Chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon, a multicultural fraternity.
Dela Paz exemplifies what it means to be an extroverted student leader and self-describes his personality as “best experienced in person.”
His answer to “tell me about yourself” is, “I think me telling you who I am doesn’t do me any justice. I want you all to experience it first hand.” In other words, Jeremy would love to meet every person on this campus.
Most recently appointed co-chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month planning committee, Dela Paz is bringing together all of his passion for communication, community and culture to celebrate Pan-Asian identity on- and off-campus at NC State.
Read on to learn more about this year’s APIDA Heritage Month and what Jeremy and the committee hope to accomplish.
What is APIDA Heritage Month and what does it mean to you?
APIDA Heritage Month has been a way for me to push my limits as far as logistics and planning as a leader on campus. In a larger sense, it gives people a platform to voice their opinions and identity. It gives them a stage to show NC State who they are.
This year’s theme is around identity, and I believe knowing your identity gives you permission to be your authentic self.
Now that I am the co-chair for the month, I am being intentional about bringing in as many individuals as I can to celebrate their culture and NC State culture. I want to be able to provide people the outlet to practice and experience their culture out loud.
What are you looking forward to during this year’s APIDA Heritage Month?
Honestly, I am most looking forward to a lot of involvement from the APIDA community. Numbers aren’t everything, but in this case — when we’re trying to celebrate the whole continent of Asia — and we need as many people from the Asian community to showcase our broad diversity. I want APIDA Heritage month to provide us with an opportunity for networking, knowledge and doing something you typically wouldn’t find on campus.
What is an event you don’t want people to miss?
I want to highlight our keynote speakers — but they should attend as many events as possible! This year’s keynote speakers are a duo who do a podcast. My hope is for them to help bring attention to the experience of Asian Americans, as opposed to always focusing on being foreign. They’re two funny and genuine people whom I am excited to meet.
What else do you want people to know?
For all my friends who identify within the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American diaspora — NC State is a home for you to develop and grow in whatever identity you have. There is a place for you and we want you to feel welcomed and included in what we are hosting.
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month celebrates the collective accomplishments, stories and experiences of those with Asian or Pacific Islander origins.
This year, our theme is “Pieces of Our Identity,” inspired by students wanting to honor all parts of their identities as APIDA students, including their race, religion, gender, sexuality, ability and beyond.
We invite the whole campus to join us throughout APIDA Heritage Month.
For more information, contact Marcela Torres-Cervantes, assistant director for community outreach and engagement in Multicultural Student Affairs.