by LYDIA COBB | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Making College Possible

Tipin Johnson finds jury selection interesting. As a county clerk in a civil department, she is assigned to the Honorable Richard E.L. Strauss in San Diego Superior Court. “I like to hear people’s points of view from different walks of life,” she revealed. Her own walk includes her husband of 29 years, Steve, and their son NJ. The Johnsons have resided in Crestmont since 1990.


She grew up in a poor family in the Philippines. Tipin had completed two years of civil engineering courses, but when it came time for her brother to attend college, the parents had a traditional choice to make. “My father explained that he could not send us both to college, and said that since I’m a girl, when I get married, my husband would provide for me,” she shared. After she supported her siblings in their collegiate pursuits, Tipin eventually obtained a degree in business administration and accounting.
Last year, Tipin and her friends discussed ways to meet more often. The older generation had begun a tradition of celebrating their Philippine hometown fiestas in Orange County. They wanted to give back to their communities, here and abroad. They desire for their children who are born in the states to connect with their native culture. “More importantly, we want to be able to foster higher education for poor but deserving students in our hometown through a scholarship program,” added Tipin. The founding members registered Gapan City Association of Southern California (GAPASCA) and obtained its 501(c)(3) status.


“I know how it feels to want to go to college and not be able to afford to,” shared Tipin. The association’s first anniversary ball is on June 13 (, where $1,000 can send a student to college for a year. She just returned from a GAPASCA scholarship banquet in the Philippines to formally award 12 scholarships and 24 incentive awards. It was also a time to reconnect with relatives and friends.

Back in PQ, she’s a parishioner and volunteers at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church. She chaperones NJ and his friends to campouts with Boy Scout Troop 622. Tipin feels blessed to give more than to receive, because she understands how much we need to help one another to succeed.

Name: Tipin Johnson
Profession: Courtroom Clerk, San Diego Superior Court
Family: Husband – Steve; son – NJ
Hobbies: Gardening, scrapbooking
Favorite Places in 92129: Our home, OLMC