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ELSA MALAPIT SARGENTO was born in Bangui, Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. Being the daughter of a
school principal and community leaders: Sotero and Carmen Malapit, she led a privileged lifestyle in an
Elsa earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1965 at Northern Luzon Teachers’
College, Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. In 1970, she completed her Master’s Equivalency at the
Philippine Normal College in Manila, Philippines. She taught for ten years in the Philippines and married
Angel Jose Sargento, a police investigator, and an accountant.
On January 5, 1974, Elsa migrated to Anchorage for an opportunity and found out that it went hand in hand
with hard work. At first, she worked menial jobs while improving her English. In her effort to pursue her
teaching career, she received her Master's Degree in Education from the University of Alaska Anchorage
in 1977 and School Administrative Certificate from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1981.
From then on her outstanding involvement with school and community led to various awards, namely,
Racial Justice Award and Presidential Award from the Filipino Community of Anchorage, Alaska (1996),
Delta Kappa Golden Award (1997), Chinook Teacher of the Year and BP Teacher of Excellence Award
Certificate(1998), Fil-Am Showtime Outstanding Achievement Award(2000); recognized and honored by
Anchorage Municipal Assembly as a participant in winning for Anchorage the “All America City” award
Elsa taught in elementary schools in the Anchorage School District for 23 years before retiring in
1998. She continued to serve the Filipino- American community and various volunteer services in the
city of Anchorage and in the State of Alaska. She was past president and currently an advisor of Bridge
Builders of Anchorage- a non-profit organization bridging the different racial and cultural groups with a
goal of creating the very first city without prejudice.
As the 2003 founder, first president and Chairman of the board of directors of the Alaska Federation of
Filipino Americans, Inc. (AFFA), she led the federation in the belief that “rather than limit our focus to
traditional minority issues like immigration policy and foreign aid to the Philippines, we must focus on
mainstream domestic issues like education policy, health care, and tax reform, and that we have a moral
the obligation to intermix with mainstream society by sharing our experiences, our weaknesses, our
strengths to cause a change that will benefit mankind.”
In 2003, because of her distinguished leadership, dedication and services to the community, Alaska
Governor Frank Murkowski appointed her as the Executive Director of the Alaska State Community
Service Commission. Its goal is to promote volunteerism and ethics of service in Alaska.
On November 13, 2004, Elsa was inducted into the Asian Academy Hall of Fame in a Knighting Ceremony
in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is the first Filipino Alaska woman to receive this honor. She stood
among seven recipients selected from across the world to become the newest inductees.
On September 22, 2006, Elsa was honored as one of the Twenty Outstanding Filipino Americans in the
The United States and Canada in a ceremony held in Washington, DC. She was recognized for her dynamic
leadership and unwavering support to activities enhancing a positive Filipino American image in the
The United States and Canada.
On August 17, 2013, she received the Bridge Builders Founder’s Award in a ceremony held at the
Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska. She was recognized and honored for her steadfast
leadership, courage and commitment benefiting her community and all cultures in our great city and
On November 21-23, 2014, she was one of the 15 members of the Walker-Mallott Education Transition
Team who worked and came together to provide guidance and perspective for the new administration
on priorities for public education.
On September 15, 2016, Governor Bill Walker appointed her as Policy and Program Specialist- cultural
liaison to work closely with Alaska’s diverse populations. She has worked relentlessly on outreach to
Alaska’s minority and ethnic communities to connect them to many of the critical services and
departments. She has put together outreach for emergency disaster preparedness, knowing your legal
rights on immigration, knowing your labor rights, knowing your rights as tenants and landlords,
veteran’s benefits, educational resources, language support. These programs have targeted specific
populations in many that enhance their participation and understanding, including translators and
department heads. They have been extremely well received and generally leave departments with
expanded contacts and know-how for doing better outreach in the future. Most state departments have
failed in the past to reach minority groups, often due to language challenges and distrust of the minority
On May 4, 2017, Elsa was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame Class of 2017. She was
honored and recognized as an educator and leader in the Filipino- American community in Alaska, as
well as president and board member of Bridge Builders of Anchorage. The Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame
is dedicated to honoring women whose contributions have influenced the direction of Alaska across all
fields of endeavor from any part of the state.
Elsa has co-owned Manila Realty Inc. with his late husband, Angel Jose Sargento, Real Estate Broker.
Angel and Elsa had helped Alaskans with their real estate needs for over 35 years. But because of
Angel’s passing on December 18, 2017, Manila Realty is no longer in business.
Elsa has just joined Real Estate Brokers of Alaska and is part of the Sargento Group.
Elsa has lived in Anchorage, Alaska with her family for 46 years. She has been married for 46 years and a
widow on Dec. 18, 2017. She and Angel have 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren.
HARD WORK is the hallmark of Elsa Sargento. She has balanced family and career with community
service work for over four decades in Anchorage, Alaska.