Marjon Saulon joins “The Fire in Me” team as a Production Assistant. He is a senior at San Diego State University finishing his bachelor’s degree in international relations. He currently enjoys serving the Filipino community through his work as a staff member at the Philippine Consulate, San Diego County. Beyond his current goal in pursuing a legal education, he also writes about local and domestic issues concerning the community for the Asian Journal. During his free time, Marjon enjoys reading books while staying active in city politics and university affairs.
Tell us about yourself.
While I was born in the Philippines and lived there for six years, I actually grew up in a southern city in Taiwan for twelve years before I moved to the States for college. It was a unique experience where I got to learn the Chinese language and Taiwanese culture while receiving a U.S. education in an international school. I’m proud of my cultural identity being a mix of Filipino, Chinese, and American culture.
What inspired you to get involved in community work?
My first direct experience working for the community was when I interned for the Philippine Consulate in my hometown in Taiwan during the summer after my freshman year of college. I realized how much I enjoyed the feeling of being part of something bigger than myself. It inspired me to eventually work for several local government agencies in San Diego, where I got to learn the basics of how our criminal justice system works, and how politics affects the lives of everyday people. Ultimately, I was inspired to work for the consulate in San Diego after having read Barack Obama’s early memoir and how he began his career doing community work.
What have been some of your successes in your community work? What have been some of your challenges?
A few of the successes I’ve had have come in the small, rewarding aspects of the job. Helping people in particularly stressful situations over the phone feels like a success, especially for those who feel they have nowhere else to go for help. Some of the challenges includes having to patiently explain to distressed constituents the limits as to how consular offices can help solve their issues.
Writing about key organizations and community members within the Filipino community has also been gratifying. I once helped facilitate for the Honorary Consul to speak to an Asian studies class at SDSU on the roles and duties of the office, and students told me how empowering it felt for them to see successful Filipinos in person. Mentorship can be very powerful and educating the youth on how they can grow professionally and contribute to the community has been personally very fulfilling.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Domestic violence is an issue that initially spurred my interest in aspiring to go to law school and public service. During my internship at the Philippine Consulate in Taiwan, I once assisted our staff with a case involving an Overseas Filipino Worker. Hearing the stories of immigrants and their vulnerabilities first-hand made me realize how powerful a legal education can be in protecting those most in need of help. I hope community members can continue to share stories and educate the youth on critical issues that we don’t often hear about in the news.