Regina Santiago

From: Manila, The Philippines  Current City: Roseville, MN
"There was a lot to gain from coming here…I never lived in a place where I had really deep roots. That’s what I wanted to do here."
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Having moved around the world, Regina Santiago has often felt a sense of being “in between” countries and cultures. After spending so much time in the U.S., she has found a place to lay down her roots.

Born in the Philippines, Ms. Santiago grew up in big household. She had two older siblings and dozens of pets throughout her early childhood. After she finished fifth grade, Regina moved to Indonesia with her parents; her siblings had moved out of the house. It was very difficult to adjust to a new country without her siblings and pets.

Ms. Santiago attended an international junior and senior high school. Her guidance counselor—a Minnesotan—encouraged Regina to consider applying to colleges in the U.S. She followed the advice and decided to attend Macalester College. Although she was excited to begin this new chapter of her life, she was sad to be so far from home. With the help of technology like Facebook and Skype, Ms. Santiago has been able to stay connected with her family.

For the past several years, Ms. Santiago has been a grade school teacher at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. As a teacher and an immigrant, she finds it critical to be open with her students about her journey. She hopes to encourage her pupils to feel comfortable sharing their own stories.

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