Lyft News

APIDA Heritage Month Feature: Devin Armstrong

May 16, 2024

Meet Devin Armstrong (she/her), a Legal Operations Program Manager at Lyft and member of our UpLyft Ascend ERG. UpLyft Ascend aims to advocate for AAPI identities within Lyft, encourage and foster community, and facilitate professional development in the workplace and beyond.

In honor of Lyft’s “Sounds & Soul” theme for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month, Devin shares how creativity and celebration shows up in her traditions and daily life.

What is your role at Lyft, and how did you get into this field? 

At Lyft, I serve as a Legal Operations Program Manager, overseeing various aspects of the legal department's operations to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. My journey into this field was a blend of my legal background and my passion for optimizing processes and workflows. After gaining experience in previous legal roles, I realized the importance of streamlining operations to support the broader goals of the legal department. This led me to transition into legal operations, where I could leverage both my legal knowledge and operational skills to make a meaningful impact. 

How do you incorporate creativity into your daily life, whether it's through cooking, crafting, or other activities? 

Creativity infuses my daily life through various outlets. Alongside my role at Lyft, I am also a lead singer in a cover band, a poet, an artist, and a home cook. Although having so many extracurriculars makes life busy, my creative outlets are my favorite way to experience and connect with others. 

A traditional kamayan feast with Filipino food laid out on banana leaves.
Kamayan means “by hand” in Tagalog and a kamayan feast involves the food being laid out in a communal-style buffet on banana leaves instead of plates and instead of using utensils, you eat with your hands.

What is a cultural tradition or practice that speaks to the theme for APIDA? 

There’s no celebration too big or small that brings my family together for cooking, sharing a meal over conversation, laughter, and music. Growing up we always had a potluck spread, with more food being cooked in the kitchen, endless karaoke, and a packed house of family and friends. Gathering together as a family has always been at the core of it all and we have maintained the importance of the tradition to this day. 

When we’re feeling “fancy,” we’ll host a kamayan feast. Kamayan means “by hand” in Tagalog and a kamayan feast involves the food being laid out in a communal-style buffet on banana leaves instead of plates and instead of using utensils, you eat with your hands. There is an intimacy during this cultural practice of using one’s hands that creates closeness and camaraderie. We recently celebrated my brother’s 40th birthday with a kamayan feast and it was delicious!

What's a favorite recipe or dish that holds special significance for you and your family, and why?

Choosing one dish is extremely hard so I will narrow it down this way - a dish for my grandmother, my mom, and my sister:

  • Chicken Tinola is a Filipino soup dish. It involves cooking chicken in a ginger broth with chayote, fresh mulanggay leaves, and greens of your choice (I like to include spinach and bok choy). During college, my grandparents lived 20 minutes away from me and I would visit on the weekends. In the cold months, my grandma would make this dish for me. She passed away in 2019 and whenever missing her gets tough, I make this dish and the aroma fills my home with memories of watching her make it for me. We liked to always say to each other before eating, “there’s no taste like home.” 

  • Adobo is a classic Filipino stew that is typically made with meat (chicken, pork, or a combination), soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices. This dish allows for people to make it their own whether they enjoy it more savory or sweet. My mom makes the best version of Adobo, hands down. Her secret ingredient is love and she measures each ingredient with her heart. 

  • Sinigang is a traditional Filipino soup with a sour and savory flavor made by stewing meat or seafood in a tamarind broth with vegetables. My favorite spin on this dish is made by my sister, Kirsten. What makes this dish so popular is how tender the meat is and Kirsten uses an instant pot to get the perfect tenderized meat. Between the textures and the broth, Kirsten balances the sour and savory flavors so well that I am craving it at this exact moment I am typing about it.

I believe food is its own love language and I am so grateful my family has passed down this love language to each generation. As long as I’m alive, I will passionately help to inspire so that it is never forgotten.

Devin and her sister enjoy eating sinigang, a traditional Filipino soup