Young Hero Award: Brent Sabati
Last October, Brent Sabati visited Tokyo with the U.S. Japan Council’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) 50 that selected 50 emerging leaders from the U.S. to meet with Japanese leaders in business and politics to further the relations between the two countries.
“During that trip, I was in awe at the thought of how much courage, hard work, and love it took for me to be back in Japan for an opportunity like this,” he said. “My great, great grandparents immigrated to Hawaii from Japan in hopes of building a better life for future generations. Now I was back in Japan, meeting and learning from some of the most prominent figures in the country.”
Born and raised on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, Sabati is Japanese and Filipino American. He moved to Colorado Springs in 2016. After graduating from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with a marketing degree, he worked in the financial services industry to explore his passion for business and personal financial management.
He said: “I’ve found it highly fulfilling to promote financial literacy and help people improve their financial quality of life.”
Sabati sits on the boards for Sakura Foundation, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Home Front Military Network (veteran/military services), Ithaka Housing (transitional housing), and Colorado Community Esports. He also participates in the Colorado Springs Mayor’s Civic Leaders Fellowship. He believes “community service and civic engagement are vital.”
“While Colorado Springs isn’t as large or diverse as Denver, I love to tell people about the growth of the city and the overwhelming support of diversity and culture that I’ve experienced,” he said.
He recently established the Asian Pacific Islander Business Community (API-BC) of Colorado Springs for Asian American organizations to network and support each other.
He recognizes he would not be where he is today without the sacrifices of his parents, grandparents, and generations before him.
“That’s why I view it as a privilege and responsibility to take advantage of the opportunity that was given to me, and to create those opportunities for my future family and the greater community,” he said.
Being involved in the AAPI community is important to him because of the opportunity to create a thriving AAPI community across Colorado that highlights heritage, culture, and a vibrant future. He said: “The Asian Pacific Islander community is still small in Colorado Springs, but it’s rapidly growing as more API businesses open. I think it’s a great place to be!”
According to Stacey Shigaya, Executive Director of Sakura Foundation, “Brent is a shining example of how young people in our community can make a difference. His ability to listen, collaborate, offer solutions, and work hard is admirable. He understands that many people in Japanese American and Asian communities have toiled for years to make a difference, and he has an innate desire to continue their legacy of dedication and perseverance to make life better for all.”
Sabati enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors with his partner Claire. He is an avid fisherman and loves ice fishing!