Elaine Abelaye-Mateo is an innovative social change executive with a passion for building meaningful relationships to create social good. Recognized as one of Sacramento Magazine’s 15 People to Watch, Ms. Abelaye-Mateo is known for her forward-thinking and strategic approaches towards solving community problems.
As the former Executive Director of Asian Resources, Inc., a Sacramento-based workforce development nonprofit , Ms. Abelaye-Mateo led a team of 25 employees, three offices, thirteen contracts and a $2M budget.
In 2011, Ms. Abelaye-Mateo was awarded the inaugural Equity Award from the Coalition on Regional Equity (a project of the Sacramento Housing Alliance) and in 2008, Ms. Abelaye was awarded the Community Reinvestment Act Panther Award by the California Reinvestment Coalition.
Ms. Abelaye-Mateo has served on the Board of several non-profit organizations and is currently serving on the Sacramento Region Community Foundation Community Impact Committee of the Board, and the Philippine National Day Association.
Ms. Yang has over 20 years of experience working with refugee and immigrant groups, nonprofit and private agencies in the areas of leadership and organization development, program design and delivery, culture and diversity trainings as well as public policy and community relations.
Recently, she served as a consultant working with The California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities statewide initiative on policy advocacy and strategic communications campaigns to advance the health outcomes of 14 communities across California. Ms.Yang formerly served as executive director of Stone Soup Fresno, a nonprofit agency serving Fresno’s Southeast Asian community.
Ms. Yang received an undergraduate degree in community and regional development from the University of California at Davis and a Master's Degree in leadership studies from Fresno Pacific University. She has served as vice chair of the California Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Affairs and a board member of the Central California Asian Pacific Women.
Sherrie Calibo is a recent first-generation graduate from Sacramento State's Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program, driven to serve the underserved. During their last year of undergraduate study, Sherrie interned for Community Housing Opportunities Corporation (CHOC), connecting residents at their Acacia Meadows Apartment Complex with beneficial community resources and advocated for residents in times of crises.
They were also a student in the first cohort of Sacramento State's Full Circle Project (FCP), a program with the intention of increasing graduation and retention rates among the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) populations on campus. Throughout their time as an FCP student, Sherrie mentored students from subsequent cohorts, guiding first-year FCP students in community engagement and social action pursuits relevant to their coursework. As a Lead Mentor, they co-coordinated trainings, workshops, socials, and meetings for the FCP Mentor Program. As a mentor within the FCP Mentor Program, they presented at the 2016 Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE) Conference on the importance of peer mentorship, sharing their narrative through their passion: spoken word.
Sherrie uses their spoken word poetry as a platform to help bring light to issues regarding social justice, culture, and identity. They have performed for several organizations and programs that serve a variety of underserved populations. By sharing aspects of their narrative through spoken word, Sherrie helps validate the experiences of those who have faced similar struggles in finding themselves and their voices after their identities have been suppressed and oppressed by a society that refuses to understand them.
Sherrie aims to pursue graduate studies within the next few years, exploring master's programs in social work, counseling, and public policy and administration, knowing that whichever program they choose, they will go on to serve the underserved.
Catherina 'Cat' Nou
Catherina “Cat” Nou has been a public policy leader for a decade. She previously served as Chief of Staff for a California State Assemblymember. Prior to joining the California State Assembly, Cat worked as the California Policy Advocate for the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) where she focused on policies impacting Southeast Asian Americans in California.
Cat was recognized for her work advancing the human rights of Cambodian women and girls with the Courage and Leadership Award by Devata Giving Circle.
Cat currently serves as the Chair of the SEARAC Board of Directors and Chair of the Cultural Advisory Council for the California State Fair/Cal Expo. She is the co-founder of Khmer Youth of Modesto (KYOM) and is the daughter and sister of refugees from Cambodia. Her family also established the “Nou Sarin and Sum Sim Leang Scholarship” in honor of their parents’ sacrifices, an annual scholarship awarded to high school students.
She graduated from the University of California, Davis and later obtained a Master of Arts in Higher Education at Sacramento State.