Marlena Vaifale was born in Upolu, Samoa. Marlena, her younger sister and parents immigrated to the United States in the mid 80's. In 2003 she visited the country of her birth.
Marlena states that her first trip back to Samoa was "a culture shock" she returned to the states more appreciative of her roots, inspired and empowered to help her Pacific Islander communities locally and abroad. Marlena decided to put college on hold at 20 years old and work full time to financially support her family.
Marlena is employed in local government at the County of Orange Social Services Agency, she approves or denies CalFresh (foodstamps) and Medi-Cal (Medicaid) cases. She is a volunteer Board Member, a Covered CA Certified Educator, Certified Enrollment Counselor and a Pacific Islander Navigator at the Pacific Islander Health Partnership. Marlena is a trained American Red Cross Disaster Volunteer. Marlena intends to return to school fall 2016 majoring in Human Services.