Since the month of March is International Women’s Month, each week CALCASA will highlight some of the extraordinary commitments of the women in this office.

Villena Koumis

Having grown up in Tamuning, Guam, Villena never imagined she’d be coming to the US permanently, much less be involved in the Violence Against Women Movement.  When Villena came to the US in 1987 for her cousin’s graduation, her intent was to stay a few days to visit and later return home to Guam, however, things didn’t quite turn out that way. After convincing her father that staying in the US is what she wanted, Villena began to build her life here. After holding a few job positions at a local business, Villena was in search for a new job.  In September 2005, she began her journey at CALCASA.
As CALCASA’s Administrative and Library Associate, Villena is a great asset to the organization. Villena is extremely resourceful and helpful to all CALCASA staff and our members. She supports staff and events and is always ready to lend a hand.  Villena’s friendly personality and giving nature are some of the great qualities that make her a valued member of the organization.  She is always eager to learn and although she may not have the same direct advocacy experience in this field as other staff, her life experience is an asset to CALCASA and the work we do.
For Villena, being in this movement has provided her the opportunity to get to know herself. Villena shares that the movement has

Given me the opportunity to learn about myself and appreciate who I am. My experiences here have shaped who I am today and I can now say I understand myself much better. I have a deeper appreciation of my history and I have a better understanding of the value of being raised in the matriarchal Esuroi Clan.

Villena has grown from being a part of the movement. She is an empowered woman who stands up for herself and values who she is and how her experiences have shaped her.  A proud mother of two, Villena hopes her legacy to her children will be self-empowerment and to value who they are what were they come from.
In honor of International Women’s month, we honor Villena as a woman, a mother, a colleague and a friend.