InvestEd's sharp and spirited team includes social entrepreneurs, engineers, bankers, and corporate professionals. Our diverse backgrounds all converge on a shared experience - we all know what it's like to struggle with education.
Carmina brings the team together, ensuring we have the best strategy in the fight for financial inclusion in higher education. In May 2017, she was included in Social Enablers’ Top 100 Most Inspiring Social Innovations and Entrepreneurs around the world. Her recent work involved fundraising for international non-profits in the fields of college access and success and youth unemployment. In the past, Carmina has started several initiatives- she co-founded Watson Institute Philippines, a summer entrepreneurial program for youth innovators, entrepreneurs and student leaders; Peace is Simple, a global non profit organization that advocates for United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and People Power Against Corruption, a non-profit that fights corruption using technology and non-violent methods. She has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philippines and an Entrepreneurship Certificate from the Asian Institute of Management.
Carmina started her InvestEd journey back in college, where she first became aware of the challenges faced by students from low-income families. Due to the lack of financing options, a lot of her peers had to work part-time jobs on top of the heavy academic workload in order to sustain college expenses. In the process, she witnessed many of them fail to reach their potential or even drop out of college. InvestEd was born out of Carmina’s dream to create a truly inclusive college financing option for Filipino youth.
When she has time to zone out, she plays soccer and reads sci-fi and fantasy books.
Mel joins InvestEd with a developing career in social entrepreneurship, with her core advocacies being education, women’s empowerment and world hunger. Committed to her passion for education, she previously worked as a preschool teacher in the Alphabet House Creative Learning Center. A true social entrepreneur, Mel also worked as an Advocacy Officer for Sinaya Cup, a Philippine social enterprise that helps marginalized women in rural areas access eco-friendly hygienic products. She was also a volunteer for Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya, a non profit organization that delivers renewable technologies to urban poor in resettlement communities. Mel graduated Cum Laude in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Philippines and was also an Oblation Scholar, having been part of the Top 50 out of 70,000 UP Entrance Exam takers. When Mel isn’t working on her advocacies, she likes to read, knit or try to do new crafty things even if she is creatively challenged.
Karen is a quality control and methods improvement professional. She has engineered more efficient systems in multiple industries including the Philippines’ premier hospital and the country’s biggest water services provider. Karen works closely with our COO in ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of InvestEd’s daily operations through strategy, policy and practice implementations.
Karen draws inspiration from her parents, who sacrificed a lot in order to give them the best education they could have. On weekends, Karen is on a tennis court or at the beach- spending quality time with friends and family.
As a serial project manager and six sigma practitioner, Mimi ensures the quality and strategic execution of InvestEd’s operations. She currently manages several of her own businesses and works as a program engineer for one of the country’s biggest utilities company. In the past, Mimi has also worked on process improvement and product development projects in various issue areas including agriculture, public health, and water and sanitation. Back in 2013, Mimi won Rexona and Rappler’s Do More Awards for the Challenger Category. A year after that, Mimi was recognized as part of “30 Under 30 Young Achievers” by Meg Magazine. She is also a former triathlete, and won a bronze medal for the Philippines back in the 2007 Southeast Asian Games.
Mimi had to give up her sports career to finish her engineering degree and would do it again, because education gave her the platform to realize her full potential. In her free time, she is a triathlon coach for kids and young adults.
Claro brings years of operations consulting, engineering and banking experience to InvestEd. He currently handles customer feedback and process improvements in one of the country’s leading universal banks. In the past, Claro has consulted for medium to large companies and was also an instructor of systems simulation, engineering mathematics, and methods engineering for students in the University of the Philippines. He holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering with specialization in Operations Research and has also won national engineering competitions back when he was an undergraduate.
Claro believes that giving everyone access to higher education can help solve society’s most pressing problems. When he isn’t tinkering with excel spreadsheets, Claro is either out meeting new people or writing in his blog, “Engineering the Philippines”.
Ro taps into five years of corporate experience in finance, marketing, data analytics and project management as InvestEd’s business officer. Ro graduated Magna Cum Laude and top of his batch in Business Administration at the University of the Philippines and is presently taking his Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Toronto. Ro’s advocacy has always been education- aside from four years of volunteer work in child development and teaching programs, he also founded Squala, a school management system with an online classroom, web enrolment, and real-time attendance tracking.
Back in college, Ro needed four scholarships just to finish his degree. InvestEd is Ro’s way of helping individuals who were like him- those who were unable to maximize college due to financial struggles. In his spare time, Ro is in the gym lifting weights.