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Sammie Moncerate: Heritage, Positivity and the AASU

Sammie Jo Moncerate is an enigma. She’s intelligent, eloquent, witty and one of the brightest people you’ll meet in Tallahassee. It’s difficult to maintain an entirely serious demeanor around her, because she makes you feel like you’re talking to your best friend. Along with her sparking personality, she’s also determined to create a dialogue for change. She’s fiercely loyal; something that becomes evident the more you talk with her. She’s passionate about her life and open to any topic of conversation, naturally settling in to hear your side of the story before making assumptions.

Name: Sammie Moncerate

Hometown: Ocala, FL

Relationship Status: Single

Age: 21

Year in school: Senior

Major: Biochemistry  

Courtesy: Sammie Moncerate


Her Campus (HC): What are you passionate about?

Sammie Moncerate (SM): I’m passionate about people and about my heritage. My personality and my mood are heavily dependent on the people I surround myself with, going along with that it fits into my nature to want to work with others and support them. The people are the reasons behind a lot of my big decisions I’ve had to make in college, such as taking on a leadership position in SGA. My heritage is something I’m really passionate about because my parents immigrated from the Philippines, the culture and traditions were an integral part of my upbringing and to see other people my age sometimes have little or no regard for that type of background is hard for me to digest.

Courtesy: Sammie Moncerate 

Sammie’s trip to the Phillipines 


HC: Was there one particular moment that made you realize your passion?

SM: My passion for people has always been a part of who I am, even growing up. I think coming to college and meeting others my age with immigrant families that still share their traditions made me realize how much of a commonality it is while also bringing light to its importance.

HC: What organizations are you involved in that make you happy?

SM: I became a part of the Asian American Student Union my freshman year, and just never left! I’ve been given the incredible opportunity to serve as the Director at this school, which is insane (in all the best ways possible)!

HC: What’s your goal in life?

SM: To be doing something worthwhile that gives back to the community, which will then provide me with a happy life!

HC: What are you proud of?

SM: Moving three hours away from home for college. It was a big step for both my parents and myself, especially as an only child.

HC: What are your plans for the future?

SM: In the more immediate future, my plans are pretty open-ended, which is both risky and exciting to say, especially as a senior in college. I could see myself staying in Florida if the internship or job opportunity finds me, but I’m also keeping my mind to open new places!

HC: What’s an ideal day for you?

SM: It would have a mix of perfect outdoor weather, being productive for either work or school and quality time with roommates and/or close friends…dinner with good food is also a necessity.

HC: How do you remain positive?

SM: That’s actually an interesting question because staying positive is something that I’ve had to teach myself to embrace again. For me, there’s a lot of accepting what’s in the past—but not dwelling on it—and instead focusing time and energy to tomorrow and what can be done to change it/make it better! While at the same time accepting uncertainty, nothing in the future is perfectly planned out, life happens.

HC: Who has been the biggest influence on you?

SM: My parents. My mom and my dad have very distinct personalities and I can definitely see elements from both of them in myself. They’ve especially taught me about the importance of generosity and giving back, but also not to forget to take care of myself.

HC: What is your dream career? Why that?

SM: It used to be medicine; I’m not saying it’s not that anymore but earlier I mentioned how I’m keeping an open mind nowadays. Right now the only real requirement I have for my dream career is that it has to directly benefit humanity. That’s the only way I’d be able to devote myself to something for the rest of my life.

HC: How do you view yourself? How do you think others view you?

SM: An open, trustworthy and relatable person. I like when people tell me they feel they can come and talk to me about anything. I also like to think I can be funny on occasion.

HC: What’s one thing that inspires you daily?

SM: Music. There’s a Spotify playlist called “Tropical Morning” and that’s my go-to. Other things I listen to these days are some Korean pop music and my favorite Broadway musicals (such as Hamilton, Next to Normal).

HC: What do you want out of life?

SM: To be able to live everyday as a new adventure, an opportunity to learn, challenge myself, be happy with where I am in the moment.

HC: Do you think it’s possible to remain truly happy all the time?

SM: No. While I do believe in embracing a positive lifestyle and focusing on optimism, sometimes things need to go wrong in order for you to be able to appreciate what makes you happy day-to-day.

HC: Why are you involved in the organizations you’re in? What made you pick them in particular?

SM: I’ve talked about being a people person, so that’s what has kept me in AASU all these years. Some of the best friends that I’ve made through the organization I now call them sisters because that’s how close we are. And as Asian Americans especially, we find more commonalities in our upbringing than we think we have, so there’s a sense of community that stems from that as well. Also our cultures have the best food!

HC: Do you have one defining moment in your life that made you think, well, this is me?

SM: No, I like to think the person I am today is more of a sum of all my past experiences, instead of one dramatic event.

HC: What do you do to combat a society that is constantly tearing women down? Do you think it’s important to reverse the stigma that surrounds any degree of professional working women? Why or why not?

SM: In one regard, to challenge the traditional role of the stay-at-home occupation for women, that would personally just serve as another motivation for me to continue to strive to work hard to be another woman in that field. There is legitimacy in the leading by example and the power of even one person.

HC: What’s one thing you wish to improve upon? Could be related to you, or the world in general?

SM: Remind people (and this includes me on occasion) of the concept that every decent human being is deserving of respect.

HC: What’s the last thing that’s made you cry?

SM: In August my parents and I took a trip to the Philippines to visit relatives and explore the islands. The last time we were there was nine years ago. I cried on the plane leaving Manila on our trip back to the States.

HC: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?  

SM: I would erase the existence of food allergies; no one should be prevented from enjoying food that they might actually just because their body will react to it poorly. (Personally I’m allergic to shrimp, crab, and lobster and I’ve heard it’s pretty good).

Hi, I'm Amanda. I'm a Creative Writing major with an affinity for take-your-breath-away-sentences. I also like solid 80s rock jams and blogging about my feelings. I'm constantly hopeful I can one day escape to the moon. For now, I'm enjoying attending a wonderfully diverse school and take pride in my beautiful group of friends.
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