Photo by Arielle Canoza

Photo by Arielle Canoza

Humans of UCSF: Behind the Myth

Columnist
School of Dentistry

“In 2008, I nearly failed out of UC Berkeley. At the time, I was a heavy drug user, having lots of anonymous condomless sex with other guys, and isolating myself from the people who loved me.

“Although I was enjoying life immensely, I also knew I couldn't continue like this without consequence. Through self-reflection and the compassion I found at the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center (APIWC), I began living my life in a different way.

“Nearly a decade later, I'm a Program Supervisor at APIWC. I manage several HIV prevention and treatment programs seeking to help men who are just like me.

“I was invited to UCSF to sit on a panel about dismantling the Model Minority myth. Some would say my story is proof that we are not a model minority. But, dismantling the myth shouldn't be about pointing how ‘bad’ and ‘oppressed’ Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders can be.

“Destroying the myth means working together in combating a system of racism and white supremacy.”

Nate Cedilla

Program Supervisor at APIWC, UCSF’s API Culture Night Guest Panelist

Humans of UCSF is a student-run photography and multimedia project aimed at showcasing the faces we see on campus. We want to paint a picture of the diverse experiences of the UCSF community and get a glimpse of our shared humanity. We would love to hear from you! Please reach out by emailing synapse@ucsf.edu to connect with a columnist.​