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RECORDING: Becoming A Role Model In Your Community


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RECORDING: Becoming A Role Model In Your Community

What We Know, What We’re Learning

Everyone can be a role model for their community. Priscilla Katerena happens to be both a role model AND a literal model! As an actress and plus size Black and Polynesion model, Priscilla has driven Pasifika representation in fashion, encouraged cooperation between Black, Indigenous, and Pacific Islander communities, and has joined grassroots social justice movements. Join her as she shares the lessons she’s learned along the way and how you can become a role model in your own community.

Priscilla Katerena

Bridget Finkeldey

Priscilla Katerena began her journey back in 2010 after assisting a close friend on set at multiple photo shoots. This friend inspired her to pursue a career as a curvy model. She booked a photo shoot with Damien Smith Photography to build her first portfolio and from these photos, she booked her first modeling assignment on My Black is Beautiful with Jennifer Austin, celebrity stylist.

She began booking runway modeling jobs locally during Los Angeles Fashion Week with such productions as POSH LAFW and Haute Curves LAFW. With ambitious goals to book her dream runway show, Priscilla with sheer determination began her pursuit to perfect her runway walk. After two years of failed castings, she finally booked FFWeek, the runway Oscar of Plus Fashion in 2014, 2015, and 2016. She quickly became known in the plus modeling world as the “polynesian model.” She’s been published in two International Magazines: Equanimity and Tropics Magazine. She’s also been featured on the cover of Soul and Salsa Magazine , Tightrope Magazine and Curvaceous Inc., a UK based publication. Recently, she graced the cover of Luxe Kurves Magazine March 2022 Boss Issue.

Priscilla is the creator of the #PolynesianExchange which featured and shed light on Polynesian Plus Models/Actresses such as Tracy McNeal, Veronica Pome'e, and of course herself. It featured designs by Polynesian Designer Nancy Elizabeth Thompson of LIFT. This editorial was featured on Daily Venus Divas and The Curvy Fashionista. Since the creation of the Polynesian Exchange, she was able to bring the conversation of diversity in the fashion/film industry for Pacific Islanders to the forefront. “This campaign was such a huge success that it inspired many young Pasifika girls to grow up and see themselves as beautiful and validated”, says Priscilla.

In 2018, Priscilla was able to live out one of her childhood dreams and booked a major commercial as a lead for JCPenney. Then in 2019, she was casted again as a lead for 3 of their commercials. In December of the same year, she booked a lead role for a luxury high end hair company, Mayvenn Inc. The commercial aired at the top of 2020 on various national networks. In October of 2021, Priscilla landed another major national campaign and this time it was with the brand Dry Bar for their launch at Ulta Beauty. She plans to continue being an inspiration for Pasifika people all over the world through visibility as a model, actress, and social influencer.

Noelle Johnson

Bridget Finkeldey

Noelle Johnson is a Global DEI Strategist and Trainer with over a decade of experience working in operations across industries and has been recognized for her expertise on mentorship and sponsorship. Noelle has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, NPR, and more.

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