Friday February 1, 2019

By: Naiia Lajoie


Some sugar, a little spice, and a heaping dash of nice – these ingredients come together in the perfect culinary culmination, but not in the form of a puff pastry. Rather an aspiring pastry chef. Alyssa Sandra Guevara is a fulltime student at Long Beach City College where she is currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. The school’s website touts, “The Baking and Pastry Arts program provides students with the fundamental knowledge of Baking and Pastry principles and techniques to prepare our graduates for employment in Retail, Hotel, and Resort Bakery and Pastry kitchens”. In pursing this degree Alyssa is preparing herself for a career path that may potentially lead to airline catering, convention center and cruise line menus, supermarket sales, as well as restaurant, institutional, and hotel-type food operations. To get where she is now has not been a cakewalk though; it took grit, strength, and stepping-out of her kitchen & comfort zone.


Alyssa is the daughter of immigrant parents who came to the United States from the Philippines. Her father resided in Naic, a municipality in the province of Cavite, while her mother is from Manila. During high school, Alyssa was highly involved in an organization called Key Club, a student-led nonprofit. The club focuses on teaching and spreading four core values: leadership, character-building, caring, and inclusiveness. With her fellow members, they would often participate in community service through volunteer work. Her propensity for helping others is likely what lead to her next endeavor.


In 2017 Alyssa was discovered by the producers of MPUSA (Miss Philippines USA). In her they saw great potential and ultimately convinced her to join the pageant. It was during this first-ever pageant of hers that she was honored with the crown of Miss Young Philippines USA Ambassador, in addition to placing Second Runner-Up. The first-timer’s performance did not go unnoticed. After competing, Alyssa found herself receiving many invitations to participate in fashion shows.

Initially Alyssa’s dream was to become a pastry chef, and one day she intends to own her own bakery. “Ever since I was a kid, baking has always been a passion of mine” she explains. “However, throughout the past few months, I wanted to take professional modeling more seriously”. The more opportunities came her way, the more her interest in modeling took hold. Perhaps it was the challenge she encountered in having to step out of her comfort zone. “I have always been shy and soft spoken, but always felt the need to break out of my shell” she continues, “My goal is to continuously work on my confidence and learning to love who I am”.


Throughout her times on stage and in the spotlight, the inherent magnanimous nature of Alyssa never faltered. In fact, during the summer of 2018 she traveled to her parents’ native land of the Philippines for the first time. There she quickly began work on her charity “Pagmamahal sa mga Batang Naicenos”, founded in her father’s hometown of Naic, Cavite. The impassioned teen visited 500 kids at Jovita Yuvienco Elementary School and 300 more at the Naic Town Plaza, where she handed-out much needed school supplies, raincoats, and slippers.

The heartwarming experience left its mark on Alyssa, seeing how something so small could make so many so happy and grateful. The return to her parents’ own humble beginnings perpetuated her advocacy of giving back to the Filipino community, showcasing how small actions can make a big difference. Her own perseverance comes from the support of her family and friends. It is this network of love that motivates her the most, her future – continuing the legacy and leaving a lasting impression. “I work hard and do my best so that I can become successful and make my parents proud” she says. Well Alyssa Sandra Guevara, with your taste for generosity, there is no doubt you will cook-up a storm of success.

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