Alumni Updates

Check out our 2006 alumnus, Andre Gomes, who overcame homelessness and is now studying rocket science at a summer internship at NASA.

NTLP has the largest alumni retention of any high school leadership program. Our alumni stay in touch offering support, friendship, college and job information. Here is just a sampling of what some of our alumni are doing now.

The ( ) after their names indicates the year they first attended NTLP.

Check our Fan page for get-togethers as they occur (sometimes spontaneously!)

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Adrian Perryman (09, 12) attends American River College while working on transfer requirements to pursue a career in teaching High School Drama. He currently works at CVS/pharmacy as a front store clerk.


Amanda Rogers (2011) is currently a student at Santa Monica College as well as a circuit coach at Curves.

Andrea Medina (00, 01) is at UCSB, majoring in Microbiology with an emphasis on Genetic Engineering. She received a special prize for best undergraduate research poster at the 2003 Native American in Science.

Aunalori Honeycutt-Taylor (95, 96) Graduated from San Francisco State and just received her Masters from San Diego State. She has moved back to the bay area and is working as a Consultant in San Francisco.

Bob Schmitz (96, 97, 98) Bob received his BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona in 2002, then proceeded to University of Wisconsin-Madison where he attained his Ph.D in Genetics in 2007. Bob is now a postdoctoral scientist at The Salk Institute in San Diego.

Brieana Lopez (06, 07, 08, 09, 10) currently attends the University of San Francisco where she is pursuing a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Communication Studies. She currently works as a recruiter for her university, where she actively engages with potential students.

Cami Lee (94) married Won Tchoi in 2008. They have a little girl and are expecting another in Fall 2013.

Carolyn Kaloostian (99 AZ) graduated from UC Riverside and is in the Bio Medical Program at UCLA.

Celexsy Stout Adame (92, 93) is now the University Enterprises, Director of Marketing Services at Sacramento State University.

Cheryl Edora (00) Graduated from UC Santa Cruz in ’06. Since then served for Americorps Public Allies and then later became involved with international environmental justice org Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES). Currently attending Drexel University working on her Masters of Public Health program and a post-grad Certificate in Global Health. In 2015, she will be going to West Africa for field work on non-communicable diseases.

Chris Hadlock attended NTLP in 1999 when he was a junior at Oakridge High in Shingle Springs. He returned to staff at St. Mary’s College in 2001. As a participant Chris impressed us during a talent competition and won the honor to perform his martial arts demonstration at our Closing Program. Already an accomplished martial artist, Chris had 3 Black Belts before his high school graduation. Today at 27, Chris is embarking on a year-long quest to pursue not only his 5th degree black belt but to get in the best shape of his life physically, mentally and spiritually. A walk though his interesting web site reveals the challenges he has set for himself in the year to come. Among them: 100,000 pushups, 100,000 sit ups, 100 hours of martial arts training, reading, journal entries, mediation and community service work. Chris has never taken his eyes off the achievement of his personal goals since we met him nearly 10 years ago and we’re impressed to see how far he’s come. Visit his web site: When you get there, be sure to click on the link “Private Training” to view Chris’s “money back guarantee for life.”


Chris Jones (00, 01) is currently at San Diego State Univ.

Christie Najera (01) will graduate this May with a double major: BA in Theater and BS in Chemistry in Biochemistry and was accepted to grad school in Theater at both Columbia and Yale. She chose Columbia because, duh, that’s where the Broadway shows are.

Christina Frailey (94 NCA) is currently a pharmacist.

Claudia Cooper (01-02) is attending Spelman College.

Cody Kopowski (04) graduated from the Oakland Military Institute in ‘07. He had plans to graduate from West Point in ‘11 with a degree in Engineering.

Dan Kim (93) is at Teacher’s College at Columbia.

Dan Medal (94) completed his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Dan’s daughter, Ashleigh attended NTLP in 2012!

Derlin Hsu (99, 00, 02) Derlin Hsu is currently in San Diego, CA working at a Board Certified Music Therapist. She is an active volunteer with NTLP. Currently, she works with peoples of all ages and abilities, including traumatic brain injury, hospice, infants and children in the hospital, individuals with developmental disabilities, and palliative care.


Eugene Canotal (98) graduated from UC Davis in 2003 and completed his Masters in Social Work from Smith College. While completing his Masters, he worked for the Chiang Mai Coordination Center for Protection of Children and Women’s Rights as a Social Work Intern in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He currently works as a clinical social worker for the County of San Mateo providing case management and counseling services to adults with mental health and psychiatric diagnoses.

Jake Dire (00 WA) graduated from Colorado State in 2005 with a degree in Marketing. He has traveled through Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, and is now back in Denver working again, that is, until he can go traveling again!

Jalin “Ja” Hsu (94)  graduated from Pomona College in 2000. For more than a decade, she has been teaching piano and voice lessons at the prestigious Marlborough School as well as at her own private studio. Ja is an active freelance singer on the Los Angeles scene. She sings with the versatile cover band Lounge-O-Rama. She also has the privilege of performing with Big Band Theory, which consists predominantly of genius JPL employees! Recently, Ja  began learning how to play bass guitar and tiled a bathroom for the first time!

James Burkhardt (94, 95) graduated from UCLA and has worked for a LA City Council Member representing Sun Valley & No. Hollywood. He also worked for Mayor James Hanh and currently is a Community Affairs Mgr for the Pacific Atlantic Grp.

Jane Lee (98, 99, 00, 01) and Aram Nadjarian (02) were both named as USA Today All Academic College Team members. Jane graduated from Northwestern and completed her Masters at Harvard. She is a business analyst for Deloitte Consulting.

Jason Fitzer (02, 03, 04) graduated from Chico State and completed his MA in Student Affairs at the University of Georgia.

Jennifer Louie-Abernathy (96) earned her MBA in May 2009 from the University of San Francisco. Jen currently works for Battea ¬ Class Action Services, LLC. as Vice President of Data Analysis analyzing trade data for claims eligibility in securities class action lawsuits.


Jerome Abaya (06, 07) graduated from National University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, and will begin his Master’s program (MBA) at Point Loma Nazarene University in September. He currently works under the Department of Defense, for the Military Ticket Program, which supports the morale of all service members world-wide.

Jorge Chen’s (93) company, Angelex Technologies, Inc. opened a brand new office on the UC Berkeley Campus on top of Top Dog and has been coaching at Menlo School.

Jorge Martinez (97) is a 2nd LT, currently stationed with the 4th CMMC in Iraq.

Josh Estes (00, 01 WA), married in 2007 and he and his wife gave birth to a baby girl in April, 2009. Josh works for Kimberly Clark in Washington and was elected President of his local union, Association of Western Pulp and Paper workers.

Juan Lepe (93, 94) is working for Schools Credit Union as a Manager in IT. He ran his first marathon this past summer for the Leukemia Society, in honor of his father.

JulieAnne Nagal (97) graduated from UC Davis in 2003 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science and from CSU East Bay with her Master’s in Business Administration. She worked for Touro University – CA as an Admissions Assistant, Toyon Associates as an Analyst, Contra Costa County’s Retirement Office in their Benefits department and currently works for San Mateo County’s Retirement Office in their Benefits department. In November 2012, she married her husband, Darius Nagal, who was adopted into the NTLP family in 2012.


Julie Alberty (01) is pursuing her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology at Loma Linda University.

Justin Knighten (01, 02, 03) graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 2007 with a bachelor in public relations and government. He is currently an Account Supervisor at Lucas Public Affairs, specializing in strategic communications, media relations and crisis communications, and serves as the media and public affairs director for the Harvey Milk Foundation.

Karen Roberts Barnash (95) graduated from San Diego State in 2000 and works for DreamWorks Animation where she holds the position Department Manager for CharTD and CFX departments. She is happily married and mom to two children.

Katie Allman (06, 07, 08, 09, 10) is currently studying for her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at Southern Oregon University, with a plan of getting her Master’s in Social Work. She currently works as a Sales Floor Associate at Kohl’s.

Kedra Frelix (95) graduated from UC Berkeley in 99.

Keiko Suda (92) married long-time beau, Brad in 2007 and just gave birth to their first child. Her wedding reception reunited alumni Raul Reynon (92) who married in 2006, is currently a manager at REI (and now a proud father) and Jessica Del Mundo (92) who is also married, has a one-year old and works for a PR Firm in Los Angeles.

Lauren (Garza) Nygard (01, 02) graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in 2006 and from the NewSchool of Architecture & Design with a Master of Architecture in 2008. She has been practicing construction management since 2009 and became a licensed architect in 2012. She also owns and operates Lauren Nygard Photography, a professional wedding and portrait photography studio based in Southern California.

Levi Considine (96) is a Logistics Management Specialist with the Department of Defense (usually based in San Diego) but is currently on a three-month development assignment at Pearl Harbor, Oahu. (Nice work if you can get it!)

Maranda Ward (98) graduated Spelman and earned her MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine.


Marcedes Fuller (02) was a young man in 2002, attending NTLP in Texas and stood out from the crowd as many of our Ambassador winners do, by impacting the lives of those in attendance in a positive way. Marcedes was just a junior in high school at the time. Today, he is a scholar senior at the University of North Texas and an entrepreneur with his own company, The Ultimate Decisions Consulting Group, Inc. As an accomplished speaker, Marcedes inspires audiences through his advocacy for empowerment, entrepreneurship and success. He has spoken to the US House of Representatives, numerous colleges and school districts, the Texas State Teachers Assoc., MTV and many others. Additionally, Marcedes gives back to the community as a mentor and has established The UDCG Partners in Education, a non profit geared to teach middle and high school students life skills, personal independence, financial management, college and career preparation, entrepreneurship and success.

Maria “Malou” Bayog (96) has her Masters in Nursing and her Ph.D from UC San Francisco. She’s a long-standing senior staff member of NTLP. (Maria also performed for many years with a Tahitian Dance Troup!)

Maria Gutierrez (00) is a Finance Major at Santa Clara University and plans to graduate in June ‘05.

Michelle Cua (97, 98) is obtaining her Masters at San Jose State in Computer Engineering.


Mike Patrick (Motivational Speaker, 92 and then some) has his own radio broadcast on Check out Mike at

Monica Gasca (95) graduated from Cal Poly SLO and is obtaining her Masters at UC Berkeley.

Nga Lai (92), another Swarthmore Grad has got just ½ year left before graduating Medical School. She is currently interviewing for emergency medicine residencies.

Nick Callegari (01) is an Engineering major at UCSB.

Noah Smith (93, 94) graduated from BYU in 2000 with a degree in Engineering. In 2002 is attained his Masters at CSUS in Geotechnical Engineering and is now a Principal Engineer with Neil O Anderson & Assoc. Noah is married and the father of three girls.

Paul Parsons, our resident entertainer and professional hypnotist has added a new dimension to his work. Paul is now helping businesses grow and busy business owners and managers find more time to relax with Focalpoint Coaching International, partnered with Brian Tracy International.

Raelena Gourley Crooks (97) received her MA in Occupational Therapy from Pepperdine University in 2007 and currently works for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. She recently married Micah Crooks who is serving in the armed forces overseas.

Ray Hah (98) graduated from Northwestern and attends Medical school there.

Rina Gonzales (94) graduated from UC Davis School of Law and passed the CA Bar Exam. She is an associate in Riverside. Rina is also a volunteer attorney at the Inland Empire Latinos Lawyers legal aid clinic, and recently bought her own home.


Ryan Brown (01) is a senior at San Jose State University, majoring in Sports Medicine/ Kinesiology, with a focus on Athletic Training. Ryan says “Because of NTLP, I became a better leader and gained a position on the CYC (California Youth Council), a spot which only 30 students from all over California are able to hold. I had the honor to hold that position for 3 years.

Ryan Gaytan (96) graduated from USC and owns his own printing company.

Sharlene Gayle Dwinell (97) graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Chemical Engineering and is attending UCSD for her PhD in Pharmacology.

Shyla Marie White (now Nibbe) (‘95) is touring as a professional Singer/Songwriter and offers vocal instruction in San Diego.

Sophia Coria (98) is currently working for a charter school in South Los Angeles. She is teaching Geometry at Alliance College-Ready Academy High School #5. The Alliance for College-Ready Charter has been recently featured in Huffington Post as a charter with two schools featured in the Top 10 Schools in Los Angeles, CA. Her daughter Samantha (12,) also and alumni of NTLP, will start her last year of junior high school this fall.

Stephanie Delp (98) is a Psychology Major at UCLA and participated in an internship in DC doing Research at the Department of Education.

Stephanie M. Flores (00, 02) has been living in Los Angeles for the past three years to further her career in the entertainment industry. She is the Assistant Director on Ser! a one woman show that World Premiered November 2013 in Los Angeles.

Stephen Takeuchi (02) Graduated from UCR with two BA’s in Political Science and Asian Literature and Culture. Currently Attending CSUSB for MA in National Security Studies, working in the import/export industry, and started up an export company with college friends. Slowly working towards my goal of helping make this world a better place for all. Stephen adds, “NTLP was a huge factor in my transformation to the person I am today. The group leaders and fellow participants opened my mind and inspired me to become a better person and a better leader.”

Susanne Barsotti (94) received her Masters at Univ. of Michigan and is now working for Lockheed Martin in Colorado. Susanne married David Brown in 2004 and has two children.

Vincent Jones (93) resurfaced after many years away. A Swarthmore Graduate, Vincent worked as a Field Rep for Senator Barbara Boxer and was Director for the Center for Health Justice, before coming on board to help NTLP with its visability and fundraising. He is currently with Common Cause.


Wendy Fan (95) graduated from MIT in 2001 and is currently working on her Masters.

Wynnelena Canio (96) attends Dominican College for Medical School.

Yilin Hsu (92) is a music teacher and singer. She once received the Best Performance Award and the highest judges score out of 17 finalists at ETTV Top Idol! She is married to Josh Wentlandt.