Member Spotlight: Violeta “V.” Ware

headshot of an bi-racial person with a tree and a window in the background
February 24, 2023
The Asian Network at Yale (ANY) would like to welcome one of our newest member, Violeta “V.” Ware.
V is a project manager for Capital Project Management at Yale’s Facilities department, overseeing the development and execution of various projects to improve the university’s infrastructure and facilities. 
How are you connected to ANY? 
I currently serve as the co-chair for the group’s Social Justice and Member Outreach sub-committees.  
What do you like most about being part of ANY? 
Being a part of ANY has given me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of Asians from different cultures and backgrounds. As a minority in this country, it’s common for people to gravitate towards others from the same country and being a part of ANY has helped me connect with other Asians at Yale. ANY has events that showcases diversity of Asian cultures. I went to Games Night event in January and learned about new games, food, and cultural practices that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. 
Being a part of ANY has also allowed me to bring a different perspective to the social justice sub-committee. As a half Black woman, I have been able to offer unique insights on what it means to be Black in America and how we can support each other as Asian Americans. 
What is your ethnic background and what does being Asian mean to you? 
My mother is originally from Olongapo, Philippines, and my father is from Connecticut. Being half Filipino fills me with pride, knowing that I came from a rich and vibrant culture. I am a first-generation college graduate, and I am proud to have uplifted my family’s reputation through my achievements.  
The meaning of being Asian to me, varies depending on the room I am in. In some settings, I might feel like I’m part of a community that understands my experiences and struggles, while in others, I might feel like an outsider. As a minority in America, I sometimes feel like I’m not “Asian enough” or that I don’t fit into the “Asian American” mold. Being Asian means embracing my unique heritage and being proud of who I am. 
What challenges have you encountered as an Asian American woman and how did you overcome them?  
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as an Asian American woman is people’s stereotype about me as timid and afraid to speak up about what I can bring to the table. In my previous roles and being the only woman in construction companies I worked for, I often felt like my opinions and ideas weren’t valued. I had to break through the cycle of being afraid to speak up and remind myself that being assertive doesn’t have to mean being aggressive. I work to find the right balance between being confident and being respectful. 
What career advice do you live by? 
I live by, “always have a trajectory and never pass up an opportunity you might regret not taking.” As a first-generation college graduate, I know how important it is to have a plan and to be open to new opportunities. My parents worked the same job most of their lives, and I have the freedom to change and choose which path I would like to go for myself. I try to stay focused on my goals and keep an open mind when it comes to new opportunities. 
Tell us some fun facts about you. 
In addition to my professional and ANY-related pursuits, I also own a graphic design business and enjoy painting and contemporary art.  
I am also the first “out” person in my family, which has brought awareness and understanding to my loved ones about the LGBTQ+ community. When it comes to deciding what to wear, I try to be unapologetic and wear what’s comfortable instead of what’s expected.
Written by Joanna Carmona with contribution from Ben Walter and Francis Garcia