Name you’d like me to use: Derlin Hsu (pronounced “Duh-ling Shoo”)
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
High School: St. Francis High School
Job/Current City: Music Therapist, San Diego, CA
When/where were your NTLP camps?
– Mount St. Mary’s ’99 and ’00 (NorCal) and Chapman University ’02 (SoCal)
Who was your favorite speaker (if you remember or you can skip)?
– Scott Greenberg
What is your favorite NTLP memory?
– When another teen participant, now an NTLP staff member had pretended to be on crutches the entire weekend of NTLP, did a spoken word at the talent show, at which point, he dropped his crutches, and made us realize we ALL treated him differently in one way or another because of his crutches. The NTLP staff at the time were also completely surprised and unaware of this staged, and poignant, gesture. My mind was blown!
What did you learn at the program?
– Amidst the confusion and fear of being one’s self in high school, I learned that an intentional space and culture of positivity, compassion, openness, and acceptance WAS possible. I found my own potential to be a positive influence on others; I gained the confidence to be myself; I learned to take initiative in a group setting; I learned to be proactive in checking my thought patterns to accept others without judgment. I learned very foundational principles that continue to influence my everyday values and decisions as a music therapist and human being!
How has the program evolved over the years?
– I think the heart of the program remains the same — we’ve created a culture that is extremely positive, uplifting, and provides the ideal environment for people’s true, and best, selves to open and flourish. However, the parts that have evolved are the alumni staff, of course, the dance, what we do to reach out to new participants with the advent of the internet, and increased clarity of our mission and core principles.
Why are you still involved in NTLP and what is your role with NTLP?
– I am still involved in NTLP because it has taught me to be a better person. I am happy to help NTLP continuing thriving in order to benefit the next wave of teenagers. Also, NTLP folks are my second family!
– I am on the NTLP Alumni Outreach Committee, whose goal is to support NTLP’s Mission and CORE values through connecting, enriching, and empowering our alumni beyond the three-day weekend. The Alumni Outreach Committee does this through get-togethers, reunions where alumni can reconnect or connect for the first time in recreation, staff training opportunities, and creating a space where alumni can share their own life knowledge, wisdom, and expertise with others. We strive to help keep the NTLP family connected!
What is one of your favorite quotes?
– “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” Goethe