When Karla Gregorio’s father visited the United States, he brought back stories of his positive encounters. Inspired by these tales, Ms. Gregorio yearned to move to the United States and experience the country for herself.
Born in 1984, Ms. Gregorio was raised in Iloilo City, a city on the southeastern side of the Filipino island of Panay. She grew up surrounded by family and a great sense of community. Karla’s father inherited American citizenship from her great-grandfather—a Kentucky native who moved to the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.
When she finished high school, her father petitioned for her permanent residency, and she arrived in San Francisco in 2001. Upon her arrival, Ms. Gregorio quickly realized what she left behind in the Philippines; she missed her community and her culture. Karla moved around the Bay Area, staying with extended relatives she barely knew. Two years later, she enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley where she earned a Political Science degree.
Since then, Ms. Gregorio has worked for several nonprofit organizations, striving to help her fellow immigrants any way she can. She currently works for Upwardly Global—an organization which aims to reduce employment barriers for immigrant workers. Ms. Gregorio resides in San Francisco, California.