Women’s History Month – How Cheryl Ongteco hopes to inspire the next generation
October is Women’s History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and girls throughout our history and recognize those who are making an impact today.
As part of this celebration, we’re spotlighting some of our incredible team members who are making their history possible, every single day.
This is Cheryl Ongteco’s story.
As the youngest sibling of 3 women, Cheryl truly values the meaning of family. “Family bond for us is everything. I’m Filipino and I come from a very big family where weekly get togethers and potlucks were a regular occurrence,” she shared.
Following in the footsteps of her mother’s passion for baking, Cheryl and her eldest sister co-own The Creative Cakery Bake Shoppe, a business they’ve been running for 10 years. Alongside baking, Cheryl is a classically trained pianist, hula dancer as well as an active volunteer.
“It’s important for me that my kids understand that they are privileged to have the life that we do, so we do what we can to volunteer inside and outside of our community.”
Be it donating toys and essentials to children in the community or participating in a food drive, every year they find an opportunity to give back. “One of the biggest goals I have as a mother is to raise my kids to be genuinely good people with kind hearts and it’s a big deal for me to lead by example,” Cheryl says.
In particular, she highlights her mother, who left her home in the Philippines at just age 24, as a prominent female figure in her life. “I cannot fathom what it took for her to leave the only home she has ever known to move to the other side of the world where she had nothing, no sense of home, no safety net – only the dream of a more prosperous life for her family,” she further explained.
Cheryl aims to inspire the future generation of women wherever she can. Here at Rogers, she sits on Rogers Women of Colour committee, as Creative and Branding Lead and is also part of Rogers Mentoring Program.
For Cheryl, Women’s History Month means honouring the women in her family, each and every day; Honouring her mother’s strength in overcoming cancer twice, her grandmother’s palpable warmth, her sisters and cousins who double as best friends and her aunts who feel like second mothers.
As a mother herself, she hopes to instill the same kindness and generosity she experienced as a child, in her children. “If they live that in everything they do, then hopefully it will spread and they will touch lives of countless amounts of people and implore them to do the same.”