Joemari Felarca

How one HDFS student’s voice uplifts those around him

Originally from the Philippines, Joemari Felarca felt Iowa State University was the perfect place to pursue his degree. Not only because of the beautiful campus but also because Human Development and Family Studies allows him the opportunity to change lives. 

“I’ve experienced a lot of hardships, so I want to be an instrument of hope and serve as an inspiration by helping others. The best feeling in the world is knowing you made an impact and brought a smile to those that suffer,” Felarca said. 

Felarca got that experience through his internship at the Lutheran Lakeside Bible Camp. He was in charge of the assistant program coordinators, health coordinators and worship coordinators. 

“Having this internship was essential because I got the hands-on experience helping and interacting with children in the youth, so in that way, I knew it was the right career path for me,” said Felarca. 

Not only does Felarca enjoy being involved in his major, but he’s constantly involved in his singing journey. He started singing at four, and his passion for it has never left. 

“I experienced a lot of hardship in life back home in the Philippines, and I felt like singing was what kept me going because I was able to use my singing to express how I felt,” said Felarca. 

In addition, Felarca has been to many competitions, such as Cyclone Voice in 2018. Cyclone Voice is a singing competition highlighting Iowa State Students’ vocal talents. Felarca was able to be the first runner-up out of 16 finalists. 

“The experience was great, but meeting all the amazing singers was the highlight of that competition,” he said. 

He has also been in The Variety talent show, Halleluja Editions, and I Can See Your Voice on season two, where he was featured on national TV! 

“It fulfilled my dreams, but at the same time, I feel like it is a fulfillment for me to represent the Asian community because it’s about time to have more diversity in the media,” he said. 

As for his advice to future HDFS students…

“Keep your goal in mind. I encourage you to think about why you want to be in this field and to know your purpose: to inspire and change people’s lives.”

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