Saipan-born Asia Hilario, who was recently honored as its Woman of the Year by a women empowerment organization in South San Francisco in California, continues to make waves after being chosen as one of guest speakers at Imagine Talks.
Hilario was one of the 20 speakers that talked about leadership and life lessons at the 6th annual conference of Imagine Talks this year that was held at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center last Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.
She shared the stage with celebrities and business people like Mark Dacascos of John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum; JuJu Chan, a Hong Kong born American actress; and Moscow International Ballet Competition gold medalist Miko Fogarty, among others.
Imagine Talks is a fast-growing annual leadership conference known for bringing together successful entrepreneurs, celebrity entertainers, and Asian-American community leaders from around the world.
Hilario, who was named Woman of the Year last year by Women on the Rise, is currently based in San Jose, California. She is a lifestyle blogger advocating women empowerment, mental health, and wellness. She is a crisis counselor for CrisisTextLine, and a brand ambassador for Kuros, an organization whose mission is to enhance the safety and mobility of women around the world.
In an earlier interview, Hilario said that by lifting other women, an entire community and society can elevate. “Women are powerful beings, who can do incredible things, and by empowering them (giving them resources, offering support, encouraging them, educating them, giving them a voice) we can change the world.”
Part of her advocacy is trying to break the negative stigma around mental health. “I’m trying to de-stigmatize seeking mental help for those who need it. The more we talk about mental health, the braver people will be to not only seek help, but to speak about it as well. The biggest struggle I’ve had in the past was feeling like I was alone in my struggles. I want to use my voice to make sure that no one else feels that they’re alone in their struggles,” she added.
Hilario was born and raised in Kagman II on Saipan and is the daughter of Robert Hilario and Lucille Camacho Hilario. She is the granddaughter of Luis Salas Camacho (familian Mang) and Fermina Mendiola Camacho.
“We are all proud of Asia. …It is her hope to inspire the young people of the CNMI,” Lucille Camacho Hilario said in an email.
“It was so cool to see Asia’s pictures on the walls of the event, including the wine giveaways. There were 19 other speakers from different parts of the world. Famous speakers included Jet Li, Mark Dacascos, Juju Chan, etc. This was a rare event where Asia successfully represented her people,” she added.