A Rookie Playmaker and Voice for Dreamers and Underdogs

Levi Strauss & Co.
December 23, 2015

Patricia Manubay wants young students to dream big and dream often. For this eighteen-year old and recent graduate of El Camino High School in South San Francisco, her own dream was realized when she took on a leadership role in her community to battle bullying and support education. She has been selected as one of five Rookie Playmakers drafted by Levi’s®, in partnership with the 50 Fund, the legacy fund of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee.

“Getting drafted by Levi’s as a Rookie Playmaker is a big honor and feels like a dream,” said Patricia. “It especially means a lot to me because growing up I was bullied a lot through elementary and middle school. I was never really accepted or even supported by my peers. To see all groups like Levi’s support and celebrate service doers, especially the underdogs, makes me feel not only proud of myself and the leader I’ve grown into, but also proud of every other young person out there who continues believing in themselves even when it seems like no one else is.”

Patricia began to take a stand against bullying when she was a junior in high school and founded the Students in Action (SIA) team at her school.

“I attended an SIA competition and listened to all these amazing service stories and projects these students were doing,” Patricia recounted. “I knew I wanted to change the world, but I never knew how until I was there. A few months later I started an SIA team at El Camino High School with less than 10 students.”

Patricia served as its first president, and the team has since earned multiple national awards for engaging students as active community members. The team’s school-wide anti-bullying campaign themed “You Are Not Alone” and #ChallengeApathy have been met with incredible success, and the team’s numbers have grown exponentially.

She’s since gone on to join the Jefferson Awards Foundation, a prestigious, long-standing organization dedicated to activating and celebrating public service, and was accepted to the THINK BIG team. Now, she’s focusing her efforts on her newest idea: Dream Boxes. A Dream Box is filled with school supplies, art supplies, a dream journal, a book, and a letter of encouragement.

Patricia thought up Dream Boxes with the goal of ensuring that young students not only had the tools they need to be successful in school, but also the encouragement and support to pursue their dreams. She’s already donated 150 Dream Boxes, and Patricia’s Rookie Playmaker grant will support her work with her previous SIA team to bring more Dream Boxes to the Bay Area.

To get to know Patricia a little better, we asked this young leader what president she would want to have a meal with. Her answer?

“I would definitely have dinner with the one and only Barack Obama. Having a conversation with him about education would make my life. I admire him for his public speaking skills and the way he leads. On a side note, President Obama reminds me of a cool dad and I think he would appreciate some of my jokes.”

Patricia, we think your dream is in reach—congratulations!

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