Poor Pinay from Squatter’s Area, Now President of American University

Coming from a poor family of 7 children living in the slums, the future was dim for Astrid Tuminez. Even at a young age, she knows that she lives a life of poverty as she and her family could barely eat. Who would have thought that in the future, she would become the first female president of an American University? Wow!

Astrid would have ended up repeating the cycle of poverty and living in the slums, if not for kinds Catholic nuns who sent her and her siblings to school. She was 5 years old when nuns arrived at their house and offered to send them to school so they can have a better future.

Photo credit: Gulf News

At 5, she was still too young to know that this would be her ticket out of poverty, but she was excited to go to school and learn something. While they remained poor, Astrid was able to go to school.

I was raised in the slums of the Philippines and I was five years old when Catholic nuns offered me and my siblings a chance to go to school. So that changed the entire trajectory of my life,” Astrid shared.

After she graduated from elementary, the nuns sent Astrid to Union High School of Manila. In 1982, she was given the opportunity to study in the United States. She would complete her Master’s Degree for Soviet Studies at Harvard University; later, she also got her PhD for Political Science and Government at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology!

Raised in the slums in the Philippines, who would have thought that Astrid would become Dr. Astrid Tuminez and be voted as the first female president of the Utah Valley University (UVU) in the United States?

Photo credit: Utah Valley University

Aside from being the school’s president, Astrid remains as the regional director for corporate, external and legal affairs at Microsoft Southeast Asia! She also holds the position of adjunct professor at the National University of Singapore, Lee Kuwan Yew School of Public Policy. Definitely amazing feats considering her childhood, huh?

Out of an impressive field of candidates, Dr. Tuminez rose to the top in the search for the next president to lead UVU,” explained Utah Commissioner of Higher Education, David L. Buhler.

Congratulations! We’re all impressed…

Source: Gulf News