Leaders 4 Life Fellowship

What is Leaders 4 Life?

The mission of the Leaders for Life (L4L) fellowship program is to enable highly motivated Take Stock in Children Scholars that have demonstrated strong leadership skills, moral character, and academic success, to excel in a university environment by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to empower then to develop to their fullest potential. The ultimate goal of the program is to eliminate the financial burdens normally associated with a university education and allow the fellows to devote one hundred percent of their attention to their studies and personal development.

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L4L is sponsored by the Asofsky Family Foundation in partnership with Take Stock in Children

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Each year more than 100 of Take Stock in Children's top students from across Florida apply for the L4L fellowship program. Following a highly competitive selection process, only six high school seniors are chosen for this prestigious honor that enables those well rounded academics to obtain resources for postsecondary success. Another eight students are selected as L4L fellowship program semi-finalists and receive a MacBook Pro to bolster their achievements both in and out of the classroom.

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63 L4L fellows have been awarded since the program's inception

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The L4L fellowship provides funds for housing, meal plans, computers, books, supplies, and all other college-related expenses, leadership training and internship opportunities

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L4L fellowships are awarded each year in Tallahassee, FL

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L4L fellows have worked and interned at the following companies: Google; BlackRock Capital; Bank of America; Deloitte & Touche; Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, FL; Ashland Technologies; MB Media & Designs; Verizon; Microsoft; Honeywell; Wells Fargo; Universal; Chevron; Boeing.

Meet the Leaders for Life Fellows

Esther Destiny Ukachukwu

Vanderbilt University
Seminole High School
Seminole County

Esther “Destiny” as she likes to be called, earned a 4.60 GPA, and ranks 37th of 1,030 seniors at Seminole High School.  She has a great love for the arts and participated with the school Marching Band and Ensemble as well as organizing Art Therapy projects to create awareness of mental illness and improve people’s lives.  With over 350 community service hours she also started a project called Happy Hygiene providing basic healthcare products for Ronald McDonald House in Orlando.  Her recent endeavor, Destiny & Co. was formed to create works of art, sell, and donate all proceeds to community organizations.  Destiny is active with the Science National Honor Society and is the Multicultural Club President. She is an intern at the Center for Pain and the Beautiful Minds Academy, volunteers with the American Red Cross and babysits as well. 

Destiny plans to pursue majors in neuroscience and business, attend medical school and eventually become a neonatologist.  She would love to open clinics across the Sub-Sahara Africa to specialize for women and babies to combat the increasing maternal and infant mortality rates.  Destiny has been accepted to Vanderbilt University.

Myles Summerlin

University of Central Florida
Booker High School
Sarasota County

Myles graduated from Booker High School with a GPA of 4.45 and is 33rd in his senior class of 320 students.  At an incredibly young age, he developed a passion for TV and movies; how they are made and written.  At Booker High, Myles joined the Visual Performing Arts Film and Animation department to help learn as much about the performing arts as possible over his four years in high school. As a part time employee, Myles worked at an auto upholstery company and participated in Student Government and the Men of Distinction. He takes part in the Sarasota Film Festival, is a CFES Ambassador and volunteers with the Suncoast Blood Bank. He is attending the University of Central Florida to study film.

Veronia Sadek

University of Florida
Spruce Creek High School
Volusia County

Veronia was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Spruce Creek High School where she ranked 12th of the 557 seniors with a GPA of 4.72.  At school she participated as a National Honor Society member, Spanish Honor Society, World Language Festival, Beta Club, Orchestra Solo and Ensemble and Key Club.

Veronia served as the vice president of the Orchestra Leadership Training and participated in the FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County’s Schools’ Tomorrow’s Leaders Program which inspired her to take on additional responsibility and gain new confidence.  She loves to volunteer in the community as an intern at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, church, community clean up and works 10 hours per week at the Port Orange Public Library.  Her dream college, the University of Florida, will be her new home in the fall to major in chemistry and eventually become a trauma surgeon.

Roche Earle

University of Florida
South Plantation High School
Broward County

Roche attended South Plantation High School. His weighted GPA of 4.94 ranked him 12th of 515 peers. When he is not working part time at Panera bread, Roche was incredibly involved with the Engineering Program, Mu Alpha Theta Math Club as Secretary, and the Marine Club at school.  He has also been an active member of the Caribbean Voice Newspaper, advocating for poor children in Jamaica through writing and fundraising for school supplies.  He has accumulated well over 250 hours of community service through the Marine Club, the City of Sunrise Summer Camp, and the Special Olympics.  Roche would love to study dentistry, particularly Orthodontics. His plan is to attend the University of Florida.

Jasmine Calderon

Emory University
Pahokee High School
Palm Beach County

Jasmine attended Pahokee High School and ranked #1 of 112 seniors.  She had a weighted GPA of 4.6, received an academic award as having the highest GPA at her high school and is her class valedictorian.  She was active as Student Body President for the Student Government Association, served as Vice President of the Debate Club and has been in the National Honor Society for three years. Jasmine also participated with the Women of Tomorrow, Spanish Honor Society, Interact Club, Dreamcatcher Club as well as played soccer and softball and excels in American Sign Language.  She loves to volunteer at her church and the Pahokee fishing tournament. In addition, she works 15 hours per week as a mentor for First Serve USA.  After achieving a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Emory University in Atlanta, Jasmine will eventually attend law school to become an Environmental Lawyer. 

Emma Sullivan

Wellesley College
Collier County

Emma attended Naples High School and was ranked 8th of 462 senior students and attended Florida Gulf Coast University as a dual-enrolled student. Emma was as a volunteer stage manager at Gulfshore Playhouse as well as the founder of Story Lab at Gulfview Middle School, an after-school creative writing program.  She co-founded the literary magazine at Naples High School, works part time as a Barista at Starbucks, and has self-published two volumes of poetry. Currently in her first year at Wellesley College, Emma is pursuing a Creative Writing degree and interns for WZLY, the student radio station. She established “Secrets Between Girls,” a new student publication, and her nonfiction writing is published in Counterpoint, the Wellesley College student life magazine. 

Jacob O’Neil

University of South Florida
Highlands County

Jacob graduated from Sebring High School in Highlands County.  He graduated ranked 27th out of the 281 students in his class and carried a 4.26 weighted GPA.  At Sebring High, Jacob participated on the junior varsity football team, the Peer Leadership Team as Co-captain.  He was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program, dually enrolled, took AP classes and was on the Honor Roll.  Jacob is currently majoring in Business Finance at the University of South Florida. He plans to serve in the U.S. Military and later start his own business.

Haley Campbell

University of South Florida
Citrus County

Haley attended Crystal River High School and ranked 14th in her senior class of 310 students with a weighted GPA of 4.5. She attends the University of South Florida in Tampa with a major in Behavioral Health (with a concentration in Adult Community). She hopes to become a counselor and work one on one with individuals. She loves interacting with people and having meaningful conversations with them. She is uncertain of the concentration of counseling but has many options.  Her favorite part of attending college during a pandemic has been the great opportunity of speaking one on one with many individuals with different beliefs and from different walks of life on controversial topics. She sits outside one of the dining halls with two chairs and a poster that reads "Let's Talk," with a controversial topic inserted after “Talk” (be it abortion, morals, or Jesus). You could say it's her favorite hobby!

Kristopher Ganesh

University of Florida
Lake County

Kristopher attended South Lake High School and stayed busy as the Executive Board President of the Student Government Association as well as President of both the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. He graduated weighted GPA of 5.11 and ranked 1st in his senior class of 420 students. Kristopher also volunteered with the Key Club, Homecoming and Prom committees, and Science Fairs as well as participated in RWDC where his team placed 1st in Florida and competed nationally in D.C. He put in two years with the NJROTC as well as volunteering for the Clermont Youth Council and Steam fit. He currently attends the University of Florida where he studies business.

Samantha Malak

University of South Florida
Pinellas County

Samantha attended Palm Harbor University High School and attended the International Baccalaureate Program there. She ranked 25th of her class of 539 students and carried a 4.5 GPA. Samantha studies at the University of South Florida, majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Psychology. With a strong desire to help her community, Samantha assists feeding the homeless and started two non-profit organizations to help with sports and tutoring.  She has over 500 volunteer hours at Morton Plant Mease Dunedin Hospital. Samantha plans to attend medical school and become a physician to further pursue her passion to help others.

Gisselle Nava

Florida Gulf Coast University
Collier County

Gisselle ranked 14th out of 453 students in her class, had a weighted GPA of 5.28 and was dual enrolled at Florida Southwestern State.  Gisselle was a member of the Key Club and a student at the Immokalee technical college patient care program. Gisselle’s love for science and helping others is evident by her enrollment as a four-year scholar of the SSTRIDE (Science Students Together Reaching Instructional Diversity and Excellence) Program through Florida State University. Gisselle currently attends Florida Gulf Coast University and plans to major in Nursing. At FGCU, she is involved in the TRIO SSS (Student Support Services) Program and the Latin American Student Organization (LASO). She has also received the opportunity to learn more about the medical field through her internship with the Immokalee Foundation’s Healthcare Pathway Program.

Ryan Rowe

Wellesley College
Broward County

Ryan graduated with a 4.85 weighted GPA from Sheridan Technical High School and ranked 9th in her class of 120 students. She is attending Wellesley College to major in International Relations and minor in Computer Science. Ryan was very active in Student Government Association, as a Congressional Debate coach, and as an App-titude intern for the Museum of Discovery of Science. Ryan also interned with the Nyah Project to help educate youth through leadership and cultural immersion. 

In college, she facilitated Wellesley's 2020 freshman orientation as an Orientation Coordinator and is a member of AGORA political society. Ryan also works as a computer science peer tutor, where she focuses on computing for the socio-techno web. Last but not least, Ryan serves the campus art community as a student visitor assistant at the Davis Art Museum.

Leonardo Gutierrez

University of South Florida
Collier County

Leonardo ranked 15th of his class of 150 students, maintained a weighted GPA of 4.9 and while attending Lorenzo Walker Technical High School.  He represented his high school and the state of Florida in the National Congress of Science and Technology Leaders in Boston, Massachusetts.   Leonardo is currently pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of South Florida with a GPA of 3.3 and is enrolled in the USF Judy Genshaft Honors College.  He has also volunteered at several events sponsored by the Society for Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) as well as the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE).  Leonardo also enjoys his time playing beach volleyball, learning to play the ukulele, and learning some of the Japanese language in hopes of visiting Japan someday.  

Jefflyne Desilme

University of Central Florida
Monroe County

Jefflyne graduated with a 4.25 weighted GPA from Key West High School.  She was ranked 19th out of 259 in her graduating class.  Jefflyne attends University of Central Florida, to major in Legal Studies, minor Political Science-prelaw, and eventually enter the field of Law. She will specialize in Immigration Law.  At Key West High, Jefflyne worked 30 hours a week and also volunteered as a peer mentor, belongs to the Beta Club, Zonta Club, and Habitat for Humanity. She also volunteered with the First Haitian Baptist Church Holiday event and ESOL Parent Night assisting with translating at her school. A dual enrolled student, Jefflyne also completed AP classes. Hard work and determination allowed her to travel to Vietnam with The Experiment in International Living for a month.  Jefflyne plans to graduate in spring of 2022 and attend law school.

Sadie Campbell

University of Florida
Citrus County

Sadie attended Crystal River High School where she ranked 9th out of 301 senior students with a weighted GPA of 4.6 Sadie is studying Nursing at the University of Florida.  Her love for children shows with the weekly volunteer work she does at Baby Gators, a childcare service at UF.  Someday she wants to give back by serving as a missionary working with children.  Sadie is a member of Circle K International, a student led service organization where volunteers throughout the community work at the Humane Society, Jungle Friends, Retirement Home for Horses and Days for Girls.  She also volunteers with Adopt-A-Street where she and other students have a designated street that they clean regularly.  She also is a member of the UF Student Nursing Association where she Co-chairs on the executive board.  Sadie belongs to Gator Christian Life church and is also becoming certified in early childhood studies. 

Amy Albandoz

University of Florida
Highlands County

Amy was an International Baccalaureate student at Sebring High School and ranked 2nd of 324 in her graduating class.  She had a weighted GPA of 4.57 and spent much of her time as the Drum Major for the Sebring High School Marching Band. As an IB student, Amy spent her time tutoring multiple subjects, volunteering, as well as participating in several school organizations such as Mu Alpha Theta, National Art Honor Society, and National Honor Society.  She also worked to organize fundraisers in order to raise money for those in need of medical and financial assistance. In 2019, Soup Up the Arts raised over 20,000$ to help multiple families meet the demands of medical bills. Amy is currently majoring in Architecture at the University of Florida and is minoring in sustainability and urban planning. She is working with Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars as a mentor for the 2020-2021 school year, helping first year students manage their first year at UF. 

Marie Sintulaire

Florida State University
Palm Beach County

Marie is attending Florida State University to study Finance.  At Glades Central Community High School, with a weighted GPA of 5.2, she ranked #1 of 242 graduating class.  In her senior year of high school, Marie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Palm Beach State College with an AA degree.  During high school, Marie was active with Student Government, Leadership Grow Palm Beach, teaching Sunday school and playing piano at First Haitian Baptist Church, as well as taking the role of principal for the First Haitian Baptist Church Youth & Development Center after-school program.  Marie accumulated over 1300 community service volunteer hours.  As a sophomore at FSU, she serves as a research assistant in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). Her experience in the program has inspired Marie to begin training to become a UROP Leader in the Fall.  She hopes to achieve her degree and give back to the community of Belle Glade someday.

Victoria Estevez

  • University of South Florida
  • Palm Beach County

Victoria was an International Baccalaureate student and dually enrolled at Forest Hill High School. With a 4.2 GPA, she was ranked 38th of her 627 graduating classmates. She was an honor roll student, served as president of her high school’s Health Occupations Club, a member of the National Honor Society, and president of Students Against Melanoma. Victoria now attends the University of South Florida and is pursuing a concurrent degree track in Biomedical Sciences and Psychology. Victoria is a pre-medical student interested in pursuing a career in surgery. She currently holds a 3.92 GPA, is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, is the President and founder of USF’s travel student organization and is a Trip Leader for the Bulls Service Break Organization at USF. She is currently pursuing an honors thesis project in Cognitive Neuroscience and serves in two chair positions for the USF Ambassador organization.

Amelia Wood

  • Florida Polytechnic University
  • Brevard County

Amelia earned a 4.2 GPA at Titusville High School. Ranking 38th of her 280 senior classmates, she was dual enrolled and graduated with her AA degree. Amelia is currently attending Florida Polytechnic University where she is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Data Science. She is currently working in a Data Science internship with Draken International, based out of Lakeland, FL.  Amelia has enjoyed many extracurriculars while in college such as acapella singing with Acapoly and participating in fitness events like Pi Day runs.

Shauna Norwood

  • University of South Florida, Class of 2021
  • Hardee County

Shauna attended Hardee High School and with a 4.2 GPA she ranked 13th in her class of 284 seniors. Graduating high school with an AA degree she was involved with the National Honor Society, Key Club and Future Business Leaders of America, softball team, Collegiate Program, Team Adrenaline and Physical Science Club.

Shauna is currently attending USF with a major in medical laboratory technology and a minor in infection control with a 3.46 GPA. She will graduate from a program at Tampa General Hospital to complete the final year of her bachelor’s degree. Shauna is still involved with Cru at USF and exploring options possibly working with an organ transplant laboratory or an oncology lab after graduation in August 2021.

Michele Velez

  • Florida International University
  • Seminole County

Michele attended Winter Springs High School where she had a 4.1 GPA and ranked 67th out of her 488 senior classmates. She started volunteering at the Advent Health hospital during her second year of high school and continues to volunteer during breaks, in addition to shadowing medical personnel. Michele currently attends Florida International University and is majoring in nursing. She has been on two medical missions, the most recent in Colombia. In between classes, Michele maintains a high level of campus engagement, from being the secretary of SHARP, an Honors College based club, to participating in CURE, an organization dedicated to the advancement of healthcare knowledge. She is also a Florida AHEC Scholar, where healthcare students have the opportunity to advocate for medically underserved populations.

Asia Lavender

  • Florida State University, Class of 2021
  • Lake County

Asia Lavender is a senior currently enrolled at Florida State University majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Religion.   She is a senator in the Student Government Association, President of the Unconquered Scholars program, a member of Garnet and Gold Key Leadership Honor Society.   Upon graduation, Asia will be working with the Direct-Action Research and Training Center as an Associate Community Organizer. She is scheduled to graduate in July 2021. 

Adriana Amaris

Rice University

Lee County

Adriana attended Fort Myers High School where she had a 5.1 GPA and was ranked 20th of 456 students in her graduating class. She was an active member of Mu Alpha Theta - Math Honor Society, the Chamber Choir, Science National Honor Society, Health Occupations Students of America, Pay it Forward, Scholar’s Club, orchestra, Rho Kappa - History Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and served as co-president of the Fort Myers Science Association. She also tutored chemistry and volunteered at a local hospital. Adriana now attends Rice University in Houston, Texas where she is majoring in Anthropology with a Concentration in Archaeology and Minoring in Energy and Water Sustainability. She plans to attend law school post-graduation for her career as an Environmental Lawyer. 

Anthony Vigliotti

  • University of Florida
  • Charlotte County

A Take Stock in Children scholar, Anthony Vigliotti is currently a student at the University of Florida planning on earning a degree in biochemistry. Later, he intends to further his education to obtain a Doctor of Applied Chemistry. During his time at UF, Anthony has engaged in multiple research projects and even a medical entrepreneur venture called Balimmune. With a background in chemistry and heavy focus on health sciences and genetics, Anthony hopes to enter the field of medical research and development to create new pharmaceuticals and treatments to fight disease on a genetic level.

Corey Smith

  • Florida State University, Class of 2021
  • Lee County

Corey Smith was dually enrolled at Florida Southwestern College where he had a 4.87 GPA and was ranked 8th of 431 students in his class. Corey volunteered at the Lee Memorial Hospital in the Radiology / Oncology department as well as helped with their annual blood drive. He also helped to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, fed the homeless and participated in the Take Stock in Children STRIDES for Education 5K. He was involved with the JROTC program and on the JROTC Drill Team /Leadership Team, the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir and Youth Ministry. Corey was also a member of the National Honor Society and held office as Parliamentarian and Secretary. He attends Florida State University studying International Affairs and Public Health and plans to graduate in spring of 2021.

Liz Parra

  • Florida State University, Class of 2020
  • Broward County

Liz Parra graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science at Florida State University in Fall 2020. Liz held Software Engineer internship positions at Diverse Computing, General Motors, and Microsoft. She is currently working full-time at Microsoft as a Software Engineer under the Cloud + AI organization. During her freshman year, she volunteered her time teaching programming classes to middle and high school students at the Palmer Munroe Teen Center. Liz has held research programmer positions at FSU’s Center of Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies and in Machine Learning with an academic professor. She built and organized FSU Tech Interview Prep, where she provided one-on-one career development events for students on technical mock interviews, resume building, networking tips, and more. She also held leadership positions at TechNole and Developer Student Club by Google Developers where she organized workshops on technology and professional development for students of all backgrounds at FSU. During her last semester, Liz took the initiative to partner with CodePath, a nonprofit that offers free courses to universities with the mission of increasing diversity in the tech industry. As a CodePath Technical Program Manager, she led and taught an iOS application development course and coding experiences by completing a 9-week technical training, marketed the course, and managed class operations. She has participated in tech and career development programs such as Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Code2040, CVS Health Externship, Goldman Sachs Virtual Insights, and Wallbreakers. She has also participated in Hackathons and coding competitions such as JPMorgan Chase Code for Good, ACM Coding contest, InNOLEvation Challenge, and HackFSU.

Tien Nguyen

  • University of Florida, Class of 2021
  • Collier County

Tien Nguyen is in his last semester as an undergraduate in Business Administration with a specialization in Agribusiness and a minor in Disabilities in Society. His four years at UF consist of studying abroad Fiji to learn about Sustainability and Ecotourism, going to Ecuador and Peru with MEDLIFE organization, serving as a mentor for TSIC Alachua county, and consulting for small businesses in Panama with Global Business Brigades. After graduation, Tien plans to attend the University of Florida graduate program in Fisheries and Aquatic Science. During his last semester in 2020, he was able to secure a lab position with a UF graduate Professor name Frank Chapman to run a snapper and grouper project. Tien is applying to local scholarships from Collier County in hope of financing for his master’s degree. After his 2 years in graduate school, Tien plans to come back to Naples, Florida to start his sustainable fish farm with his two business partners. The fish farm will grow red snapper and goliath grouper to feed Florida’s fish market.

Karla Menchu-Saban

  • Florida State University
  • Highlands County

Karla Menchu-Saban was dually enrolled Palm Beach State College where she was ranked top 5% of her class out of 628 students with a 4.24 GPA. She challenged herself by taking AICE and AP classes. Karla kept active with activities such as Secretary of the S.H.A.P.E. Club, VP of the Medical Honor Society, Chief of Staff with the JROTC Wing Staff, Johnson Scholars, Trio Talent Program, Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society and Marching Band. Karla enjoyed volunteering with the community by offering translation services and is a certified medical interpreter and CPR.  Karla attends Florida Atlantic University majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Health Administration and serves as a Take Stock in College Student Ambassador. In addition, Karla served as Secretary for the National Society of Leadership and Success, participated in the Career Living Community, and interned for the Office of Leadership Education and Development (LEAD). Currently she serves as the Co-Director of Records for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Secretary for Blood Pressure Screening Association (BPSA), an Elite Owl Leadership Ambassador, and a Peer Academic Coach. She gives back to the community as a mentor with Take Stock in Children and a chaperone for Palm Beach County schools. As a First-Gen college student, Karla is making the most of her college experience.

Maria Gloria

  • Florida State University, Class of 2021
  • Highlands County

Maria was ranked 10th amongst 158 high school classmates with a 4.35 GPA. Now, she is a student at Florida State University, majoring in Finance and Management Information Systems, with an anticipated graduation date of May 2021. 

During her time at FSU, Maria has had the opportunity to be a part of the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE), which is a department at FSU that supports the journey of first-generation, low socioeconomic, minority college students.

One of her highlights at FSU was studying abroad in Valencia, Spain, taking business courses, and volunteering at a local middle school teaching students English. Upon returning to Tallahassee, she began to get heavily involved on campus interning as a Senior Mock Interview Mentor for the Career Center, serving on the Student Leadership Council for the College of Business, becoming a brother of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, joined Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, and working as a consultant and promoted as a Team Lead for the FSU Consulting Group. During summer she has had the opportunity to participate in various programs with elite universities such as the IDDEAS program with Stanford and Berkley, and the PLUS program with Duke Law, two programs that are catered to minorities seeking to pursue a higher-level degree. In the midst of the pandemic, Maria was able to secure a summer experience as a CARE Summer Bridge Program Ambassador where she was able to help bridge the gap from high school to college for over 300 incoming first-generation minority students. Post-graduation, Maria plans to attend law school, receive her Juris Doctorate and subsequently work in corporate law.

Allysa Quick

  • Florida State University, Class of 2020
  • Marion County

A Take Stock in Children scholar, Allysa Quick hails from Marion County and attended Vanguard High School. Allysa earned a 4.57 GPA and ranked 49 in her senior class of 390 students. She participated in the International Baccalaureate Program, as an AP Scholar, in the National Honor Society, and a Take Stock Ambassador. She also belonged to EcoKnights and a Literacy Club. Allysa donated her spare time to multiple programs such as UNICEF, Rise Above Project, and Conservation International. 

Allysa graduated from Florida State University in May of 2019 with dual honors.  In her time at the university, she volunteered in the ABHC lab, where she participated in research presentations and recently coauthored a published manuscript. She now works for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as a research associate. She hopes to gain additional experience in this position while applying to Psychology PhD programs.  

Sierra Pelham

  • Graduate Education: University of Central Florida
  • University of Central Florida, Class of 2018
  • Desoto County

A Take Stock in Children scholar, Sierra Pelham is from DeSoto County and attended DeSoto High School. Sierra had a 4.28 GPA and ranked 12 in her senior class of 237 students. She belongs to a variety of community service-based clubs at her school. These clubs include the Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Ensemble, Sub Debs, Robotics Club, Interact Club, Musical Theatre, and the Journalism Club. She was the Secretary of both Mu Alpha Theta and Ensemble, the Publicist for the Robotics Club, and held the Lead Role in Musical Theatre. She worked as a Ghost Orchid Team Member and Hostess. In her spare time, she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, her local Take Stock program as an Academic Coach/Peer Counselor and at her public library. She attended the University of Central Florida, College of Social Work and received her MSW, Master of Social Work degree in 2020. 

Hannah Kilbride

  • Florida State University, Class of 2020
  • Boston University, Class of 2024
  • St. John's County

Hannah Kilbride is from St. Johns County and attended Pedro Menendez High School where she earned the title of Valedictorian of her senior class. Hannah graduated from Florida State University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology.

During her time at FSU, Hannah was a member of various organizations including the Pre-Dental Society, Saving Smiles, Take Stock in College, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, and the FSU Baseball Bat Girls. Hannah also volunteered at the Kearney Center Homeless Shelter’s Dental Clinic, where she helped dental professionals provide patients with free dental care.  She has traveled to multiple parts of the world serving on mission trips providing free dental care to members of the community.

Hannah is currently studying to obtain her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She is actively involved in the Boston community, organizing Oral Health Education presentations for local primary school children and collecting oral health supplies for local shelters. In her free time, she enjoys running along the Charles River and exploring the city of Boston.

Michelle Johnson

  • Florida State University, Class of 2020
  • Union County

A Take Stock in Children scholar, Michelle Johnson is from Union County and graduated from Union County High School. Michelle had a 4.5 GPA and ranked 5th in a class of 142 seniors. Michelle has kept busy with multiple school and community activities, a part-time job, and has even managed to receive some college credits. She has completed an AA degree at Florida Gateway College, she participated in the Regional Science and Engineering Fair taking home 1st place in the Medical and Health science category and completed a research project at the University of Florida in the Summer of 2015. She graduated in spring of 2020 and is working in the nursing field.

Paisley Greer

  • University of Central Florida, Class of 2020
  • Citrus County

Paisley graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S (Bachelor of Science) (Bachelor of Science). in Entertainment Management and B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Computer Science/Digital Arts) in 2020. Throughout college, she worked for companies like Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Creative, and AV/lighting company, ZIO. After graduation, she went on to travel the country and work in the production realm of well-known shows with networks like CBS, ABC, TLC, OWN, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Netflix. She is a strong believer that the media we consume has one of the most important effects on our society. On the side, Paisley operates her own award-winning film production company, Paisley Entertainment LLC, where she focuses on creating moral and influential films and documentaries. In 2019/20, she travelled to New Zealand and produced a documentary about entrepreneurship around the world. She plans to continue to pursue a career in the film/TV industry, grow her entrepreneurial ventures, travel the world with an open mind, and make a difference on society through the art of the lens. 

Mary Ling Green

  • Florida State University - Class of 2019
  • Master of Social Work, 2020 
  • Marion County

Mary is from Marion County and graduated from Forest High School/Marion Technical Institute in 2016. She graduated with her Bachelor of Social Work in 2019, and recently her master's in social work in Fall of 2020. Also, she has attained a certificate in Leadership in Executive and Administration Development in Spring of 2020. Currently, she is working in the field as a therapist with children in the K-12 school systems across three counties. Mary continues to raise guide dog puppies in training for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. She is on her fourth puppy, Parsnip. She is still actively working with youth with special needs with YoungLife Capernaum. She looks forward to traveling again soon as she has been to ten countries, including her study abroad in Australia during her undergraduate thanks to Leaders for Life! Fun fact: She and Hannah Kilbride, another 2016 fellow, were roommates for two years at FSU and remain close friends.

Christian Vallejo

  • Emory University, Class of 2019
  • Collier County

A Take Stock in Children scholar, Christian Vallejo is from Collier County and graduated from Palmetto Ridge High School. He attended Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and later Emory University. Christian graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in biology and philosophy from Emory University in May 2019. Currently, Christian is a clinical research coordinator at Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana. Christian is deeply passionate about immigrants and minority health, spending his free time volunteering at local free clinics as a medical interpreter. He hopes to become a physician someday.

Alexis Smith-Barnes

  • University of Florida, Class of 2019
  • Sarasota County

A Take Stock in Children scholar, Alexis Smith is from Sarasota County and graduated from Pine View School and was enrolled at the State College of Florida. She earned a 4.83 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society. Additionally, she was a member of National Hispanic Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta in high school. She attended the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. She is an alum of Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority. In that past year she has married, and her husband and she welcomed their first daughter, Dawsyn Elena Barnes, in May of 2020. Alexis is currently working at a Title I middle school in Lake County and pursuing her professional teaching license to teach early childhood education.

Keilly Pulgar

  • University of South Florida, Class of 2019
  • Master’s degree candidate, University of Miami
  • Hillsborough County

Keilly Pulgar is from Hillsborough County and graduated from Braulio Alonso High School third in her class of 515. A cancer survivor, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February 2011 and underwent chemotherapy for 2.5 years until being declared cancer-free in May 2013. She used her experience as a patient to explore different career paths in the healthcare field while in college. She graduated from the University of Florida in August 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education. She is now a graduate student in the University of Miami's master's in health administration program and hopes to work in hospital management upon graduating in December 2021.

Gabriela Cruz

  • University of South Florida, Class of 2019
  • Master’s degree candidate, University of South Florida
  • Marion County

A Take Stock in Children scholar, Gabby Cruz is from Marion County and attended the Career Academy through Marion Technical Institute.  She graduated in 2015 and attended the University of South Florida where she graduated in 2019. Gabby received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science with a concentration in Biological Sciences. After graduation, Gabby served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the health sector for Peru as a Community Health Facilitator. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her service ended in March 2020 and she came back to the U.S. and started her master's degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida with a concentration in Global Health Practice. On top of being a full-time graduate student, she works two jobs as a contact tracer for COVID-19 in the state of Florida and Missouri.

Lucero “Luci” Torres

  • University of Central Florida, Class of 2018
  • Highlands County

Lucero “Luci” Torres graduated from Lake Placid High School in Highlands County in 2014. She attended the University of Central Florida where she was the Vice President of ALPFA, a business organization for Hispanic students, a teacher's aide at UCP of Central Florida, a school for children with special needs, and completed internships with Boeing and Verizon. She graduated in May 2018 with summa cum laude honors and a Bachelor’s in Finance. She currently works in the Global Treasury & Financial Services division of Microsoft in Seattle, Washington. 

Kevin Tierney

  • United States Air Force Academy, Class of 2018
  • USAF Pilot 2020
  • Volusia County

Kevin Tierney graduated from Spruce Creek High School in Volusia County with a 4.3 GPA.  Kevin served as JROTC Battalion Executive Officer, Civil Air Patrol Cadet Commander and was a member of the SCHS Track Team and the Physics Club.  He recently graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado where he took part in a diverse curriculum compositing different types of Engineering, statistical analysis, management, psychology, as well as English and History classes. Kevin spent the final three semesters on the Academy’s Dean’s List, Academic GPA of 3.0 or above. Kevin commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with his bachelor’s degree in Military History and Minor in Russian, and graduated from Air Force Pilot Training in Laughlin AFB, TX in June 2020. He practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is an avid fan of General Aviation.  He holds the rank of First Lieutenant and lives in Wichita, Kansas.

Jacquelynn “Jacqui” Shelton

  • University of South Florida, Class of 2017
  • Pasco County

Jacquelynn “Jacqui” Shelton hails from Pasco County where she attended Gulf High School and graduated with an International Baccalaureate diploma as well as an AA degree. Jacqui graduated from the University of South Florida in 2017 with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. She then moved to the Salt Lake City, Utah area where she worked with oil refineries and terminals to implement and sustain programs establishing compliance with the EPA's air emission regulations. She now works as a data analyst at TD Williamson, inspecting international pipeline integrity to ensure pipeline safety and stability.  When Jacqui is not at work, you can find her on a run, camping with her husband in a national park, or trying to make the perfect loaf of banana bread.  

Daniella Rossi

  • University of Florida, Class of 2018
  • Martin County

Daniella Rossi graduated from Jensen Beach High School in Martin County.  She was dual-enrolled and participated in various extracurriculars like sitting on the exec. board for clubs and societies and was a member of the sailing and track teams.  Daniella is an Industrial, Organizational Psychology graduate of the University of Florida, class of 2018 and currently works as a Senior Onboarding Specialist for a software company in Gainesville, Florida.  She manages the tech company's internship program, orients and trains new employees, and leads professional development opportunities for existing employees. Reach out anytime!

Jorden Holland

  • Graduate Education: Texas A&M University
  • University of Florida, Class of 2017
  • Doctoral Candidate, Texas A&M University

    Jorden Holland hails from Okaloosa County and attended Collegiate High School in Niceville.  She ranked #1 in her graduating class of 101 and held a 4.65 GPA.  She received her AA degree while attending Collegiate High School and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa at Northwest Florida College.  A Bright Future recipient as well as the Pell Grant, Jorden received many academic honor awards.  She graduated from University of Florida in 2017, Summa Cum Lade and is studying Developmental Genetics for her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University and teaches biology as a doctoral candidate.   

Jovani Hernandez

  • University of Florida, Class of 2020
  • Highlands County

Jovani Hernandez is from Highlands County and graduated with a 4.96 GPA, ranked 2nd in his graduating class.  He was dually enrolled in college while completing his high school diploma.  Jovani was the president of NHS, varsity soccer co-captain, and a member of Key Club.  He also worked as a part-time math tutor. Jovani attended the University of Florida and majored in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Jovani interned with Delta Air Lines in Atlanta, Georgia for three semesters within their technical operations division, working on helping improve the reliability of the fleet. He also served as the Mechanical Project Manager for the UF solar vehicle racing team, Solar Gators. He graduated in May 2020 from UF with a dual Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Jovani currently works at GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio as a Manufacturing Engineer. 

Katty Pierre-Charles

  • University of Central Florida, Class of 2017
  • University of South Florida, Class of 2018
  • Manatee County

Katty Pierre-Charles hails from Manatee County and graduated from Manatee High School.  There she was a member of the MCSAC Youth Leadership Academy, Marching Band, JROTC, and a Teen Hospice volunteer.  She was awarded the Bright House Youth Service Award and placed 1st in the Lockheed Martin Manatee Regional Science and Engineering Fair.  Katty had a 4.5 GPA and graduated as an AP Scholar.  She graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2018 and is currently working at I3 Microsystems in St. Petersburg, in the field of microelectronics. She enjoys giving back to the community by mentoring for Take Stock in Children.  

Wade McDonald

  • University of Central Florida, Class of 2017
  • Citrus County

Wade McDonald attended Lecanto High School in Citrus County where he earned a 4.32 GPA as a dually enrolled student at the College of Central Florida.  During high school, Wade was a member of the National Honor Society, Kiwanis Key Club, Future Builders of America, and Phi Theta Kappa.  He was also awarded President Obama’s Community Service Award, Eisenhower’s People to People Award and the Boy Scouts World Conservation Award.   

Wade graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree (Cum Laude) in Mechanical Engineering. He was a student leader committee member for the Engineering Leadership Innovation Institute (Eli2), UCF Founders Academy’s 2017 entrepreneur student of the year for the Young Entrepreneur and Scholars (YES) Program, and a LEAD Scholars Program graduate. Wade also interned as a performance materials/technologies mechanical engineer for Honeywell in Louisiana, an audio/video design engineer for ZIO in Florida, and a ride mechanical engineer for Creative at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.  

Wade is currently employed as a Florida and New England Commercial Lighting Manager at ZIO in Winter Park, Florida. Wade’s team designs and commissions creative lighting control solutions for hospitality, education, and entertainment markets. Wade constantly seeks to learn more about the industry and strives to lead his team every day!

Kaylee Mancillas

  • University of Central Florida, Class of 2017
  • Hardee County

Kaylee Mancillas graduated from Hardee Senior High school in 2013 with a 4.53 GPA. While in high school, Kaylee was dual enrolled at South Florida State College, National Honor Society President, Student Council Class Vice President, and a member of the School Advisory Council and Lionettes. Kaylee went on to attend and graduate from the University of Central Florida with a Finance B.S.B.A and a minor in Real Estate in May of 2017. During Kaylee’s time at UCF, she joined Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Career, interned at Bank of America in Charlotte, NC in the Finance Management Analyst Program (FMAP), and interned at Jackson Wealth Management in Lake Mary, FL. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and the Financial Management Association and was the recipient of the UCF Pegasus Bronze Scholarship, a Florida Bright Futures Academic Top Scholar, and was awarded with the UCF Dean’s List and UCF Certificate of Outstanding Academic Achievement certificates. During Kaylee’s senior year at UCF, she received and accepted an offer to return to Bank of America in Charlotte to participate in the 2-year rotational FMAP program. Kaylee is currently an Assistant Vice President in Global Banking Finance and is actively involved in the Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA) at Bank of America and ALPFA Charlotte. While in Charlotte, she has been a volunteer at her church and a Heart Math volunteer at a local elementary school.  

Benjamin Carpenter

  • University of Central Florida, Class of 2017
  • Deceased, December 2019
  • Hillsborough County

Benjamin Carpenter graduated C. Leon King, International Baccalaureate High School in Hillsborough County.  He participated in the Tampa Thunder Soccer Team as captain, a member of the NHS and French Honor Society he also founded the non-profit company, “Ben’s Mends” and was awarded the Ernst & Young, “Youth Entrepreneur of the Year” and Xerox’s “Award for Innovation and IT.”  Ben held a 6.32 GPA and graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2017.  He worked his “Dream Job” as an Associate Show Mechanical Engineer with Disney Imagineering, Orlando, Florida until his passing in 2019.

Esther Benette

  • Florida State University, Class of 2016
  • American University, M.Ed., Class of 2020
  • Palm Beach County

Esther Benette graduated from Glades Central Community High School in Palm Beach County. While in high school, she dedicated herself to serving her community through volunteering at the First Haitian Baptist Church Youth & Children Development Center. This helped to ignite her passion for education. Esther continued her educational studies at Florida State University. While at Florida State, she began to see lot of the inequities in our current education system and her passion for education grew. She knew she needed to work towards making a positive impact on the current education system. Esther graduated from Florida State in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education. Upon graduating from Florida State, Esther was offered a teaching position at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida. She has been teaching math at Lincoln for the past five years. Esther received a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Education Policy and Leadership from American University. She recently started a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Curriculum & Development. She plans to use these degrees to continue working towards making positive changes in the education system through policy and curriculum development.

Daniel Pierce, MD

  • Florida State University, Class of 2016
  • Florida State University College of Medicine, Class of 2020
  • Escambia County

Daniel Pierce was the Vice President of his senior class and the valedictorian at J.M. Tate High School where he earned a 4.64 GPA.  After graduating in 2012, he went on to enroll at Florida State University with a double major in Exercise Science and Psychology where he was highly active in student leadership prior to earning his Bachelor of Science in 2016.  Four years later, Daniel graduated from the Florida State University College of Medicine with his Doctor of Medicine and matched into a urology residency through the University of South Florida.  Daniel now lives in Tampa, FL with his wife working as a urological surgery resident primarily at Tampa General Hospital while also serving as a Captain in the United States Air Force Reserves. 

Thuy Nguyen, MD

  • University of Florida, Class of 2016
  • Florida State University College of Medicine, Class of 2021
  • Manatee County

Thuy was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States in 2001. With the support of TSIC and L4L, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in applied physiology and kinesiology. During her time at UF, Thuy served as an official representative of the Honors Program through her participation in Honors Ambassadors. Her clinical experience primarily stems from her intensive involvement with the Mobile Outreach Clinic (MOC), first as a volunteer and then as the volunteer coordinator. Thuy worked under Dr. Edward Chan as an undergraduate assistant and then as a University Scholar to elucidate composition and function of novel subcellular macromolecular structures called rods and rings. Her research was published twice in 2016. Additionally, Thuy’s senior thesis focused on physical activity interventions in underserved populations, particularly the MOC patient population. In her free time, Thuy enjoys running and reading. She is currently a fourth-year medical student at the Florida State University College of Medicine with strong interest in public health, policy advocacy, addiction medicine, and women’s health. She is pursuing Emergency Medicine and hopes to incorporate all her interests with clinical medicine for a rewarding career.

Alfonso Mejia

  • University of Florida, Class of 2016
  • Broward County

Alfonso Mejia attended Charles W. Flanagan High School in Broward County.  He was a member of the National Honor Society earning a 4.93 GPA, served as Class President, and founding member of the Spanish National Honor Society.  In 2012, Alfonso began his studies at the University of Florida majoring in finance with a minor in entrepreneurship. During his time at UF, he was involved within business school student organizations such as Florida Leadership Academy, Heavener Leadership Challenge, and the Undergraduate Consulting Club. Aside from campus involvement, Alfonso also studied and interned abroad in Madrid, Spain and was part of the Management Leadership for Tomorrow Career Prep Class of 2015, where he was able to secure internships with both Wells Fargo and Google.  

Alfonso graduated cum laude from UF in 2016 and shortly after began his career at Google as an Associate Account Strategist in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he helped businesses make best use of the Google Ads product to increase revenue and awareness. Currently, Alfonso is now a Partner Operations Manager at YouTube in San Francisco, California where he works with the top Latin American/US Hispanic content partnerships as a solutions consultant. 

Tyler Dwyer

  • Graduate Education: The University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, Class of 2018
  • University of Florida, Class of 2016
  • Clay County

Tyler Dwyer earned a 4.37 GPA at Keystone Heights High School. He was the Academic Team MVP and was selected to attend Florida American Legion Boys State. Tyler was also a member of the National Honor Society at KHHS. Attending the University of Florida, Tyler graduated in 2016 and went on to receive a master's degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tyler is now working as a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Mohawk Valley Health System Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in New York. 

Vanessa Colchado

  • University of Florida, Class of 2017
  • Polk County

Vanessa Colchado graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at Bartow High School in 2012. She was Key Club President and French Club Historian; she also volunteered as coordinator for a canned food drive, was a summer camp counselor and ran cross country.  Vanessa attended the University of Florida and graduated with a master's degree in Accounting in 2017. After graduation, she earned her Certified Public Accountant license and worked at public accounting firms including Deloitte and Purvis, Gray & Company. Throughout college, she had been an active e-board member of an immigrant rights advocacy organization called UF Chispas. Vanessa now works as a financial investigator at the Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC) - a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of farmworker rights. Vanessa's hobbies include reading, sewing, brushing up on her French, and finding ways to give back to her community.

Ha Tran, MD

  • Duke University, Class of 2015
  • Florida International University
  • Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Class of 2020
  • Santa Rosa County

Ha Tran is from Santa Rosa County where she attended Pace High School. She earned a 4.0 GPA and ranked 5th out of 454 students. Ha was honored with many awards at Pace including the President's Education Award Program, Annual Mathematics Tournament for Santa Rosa, the Dean's Scholarship for Harvard Summer School and was voted to student government association. She attended undergraduate school at Duke University in 2015 and recently graduated from Florida International University, College of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine degree, specializing in pediatric medicine. Ha will be working in Washington, D.C. at a children's hospital to complete her residency.

Cami Rincon

  • Harvard University, Class of 2015
  • MBA Candidate, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton College of Business 2021
  • Broward County

Camila Rincon attended Pompano Beach High School and earned a 5.08 GPA, ranking 2nd of 285 students.  She was an AP student, dually enrolled at Broward College and received many awards including: Advanced Placement Honors Scholar, Student Government Award, Best-All-Around Student Principal’s Award.  Her senior year she served as the Student Advisor to the School Board of Broward County. She was also very involved with her school's student government and Key Club, and she was an active volunteer for the Broward County Teen Court. Camila graduated from Harvard University in 2015 with a degree in Economics. She started her career at BlackRock in New York City and is currently an MBA Candidate at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.    

Valiece Long

  • University of Florida, Class of 2015
  • Louisiana State University, Master's in Medicine, Class of 2017
  • Creighton University, Pre-Medicine
  • Pinellas County

Valiece Long graduated from Clearwater High School in Pinellas County. She earned a 4.42 GPA there while staying active in the National Honor Society, Spanish NHS, Mu Alpha Theta, key Club, Ecology Club and Youth in Government. Valiece graduated from the University of Florida in 2015 with a degree in African American Studies and proceeded to attain a master's degree from Louisiana State University in Biological Sciences. Valiece is currently attending Creighton University in Iowa taking a Pre-Medical track.

Michael Burris

  • University of Florida, Class of 2015  
  • Lee County

Michael attended South Fort Myers High School and was the Historian for the National Honor Society, AP student, and x2, 400m, track & field state champion. He fell in love with digital design in his TV Production class eventually leading to getting certified in Adobe Photoshop, illustrator, & Premiere in the 9th grade. Earning a 4.22 GPA Michael was accepted to the University of Florida and became a L4L Fellow sealing the deal on his college decision to attend UF.

Michael studied Film & Design while also being a member of the University D1 Track Team. Since graduating Michael has spent the past five years helping small businesses & corporations define their brand identity through digital mediums. He has built a career at the intersection of content and user interface design, helping clients craft not only their story but also the pages and campaigns within which they tell them. His mission is to create fun, immersive experiences that help users make sense of the digital products they use on a daily basis. Today, Michael works in Charlotte, NC in digital design.

Angela Alford

  • Florida State University, Class of 2015
  • University of Southern Mississippi, Class of 2019
  • Okaloosa County

Angela Alford, AP student with a 4.2 GPA, graduated from Niceville Senior High School in Okaloosa County.  She participated in the National Honor Society and held leadership positions in her high school’s wind ensemble and marching band. Receiving many music honors, Angela performed at Carnegie Hall in NYC, marched in the 2008 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA.  Angela also volunteered with the American Cancer Society, the Hosanna House, and local food pantries.  

Angela was accepted to Florida State University and graduated in 2015 with honors and received a BA degree in Family and Child Sciences.  After graduation, Angela moved to Mississippi to complete her graduate coursework at University of Southern Mississippi. Throughout graduate school, Angela remained active with the National Association of Social Workers, became President of the Student Association of Social Workers, and worked as a graduate and research assistant. In May of 2019, Angela graduated with honors with her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. She is a licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in Mississippi and currently pursuing her clinical licensure (LCSW). Angela is a social worker at the Center for Violence Prevention in Pearl, Mississippi where she provides individual and group therapy services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.  

Where are they now?

Ha Tran

2011 Leaders for Life Fellow

Duke University, Class of 2015
Florida International University
Herbert Werheim College of Medicine, Class of 2020
Santa Rosa County

Ha Tran is from Santa Rosa County where she attended Pace High School. She earned a 4.0 GPA and ranked 5th out of 454 students. Ha was honored with many awards at Pace including the President’s Education Award Program, Annual Mathematics Tournament for Santa Rosa, the Dean’s Scholarship for Harvard Summer School and was voted to student government association. She attended undergraduate school at Duke University in 2015 and recently graduated from Florida International University, College of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine degree, specializing in pediatric medicine. Ha will be working in Washington, D.C at a children’s hospital to complete her residency.

Esther Benette

2012 Leaders for Life Fellow

Florida State University, Class of 2016
American University, M.Ed., Class of 2020
Palm Beach County

Esther Benette graduated from Glades Central Community High School in Palm Beach County. While in high school, she dedicated herself to serving her community through volunteering at the First Haitian Baptist Church Youth & Children Development Center. This helped to ignite her passion for education. Esther continued her educational studies at Florida State University. While at Florida State, she began to see lot of the inequities in our current education system and her passion for education grew. She knew she needed to work towards making a positive impact on the current education system. Esther graduated from Florida State in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education. Upon graduating from Florida State, Esther was offered a teaching position at Lincoln High School Tallahassee, Florida. She has been teaching math at Lincoln for the past four years. This spring, Esther received a Master of Educaiton (M.Ed.) in Education Policy and Leadership. She plans to use this degree to continue working towards making positive changes in the education system through policy and/or the curriculum development. Esther also plans to begin a doctoral degree in Education in the near future.

Kevin Tierney

2014 Leaders for Life Fellow

United States Air Force Academy, Class of 2018
USAF Pilot 2020
Volusia County

Kevin Tierney graduated from Spruce Creek High School in Volusia County with a 4.3 GPA. Kevin served as JROTC Battalion Executive Officer, Civil Air Patrol Cadet Commander and was a member of the SCHS Track Team and the Physics Club. He recently graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado where he took part in a diverse curriculum compositing different types of Engineering, statistical analysis, management, psychology, as well as English and History classes. Kevin spent the final three semesters on the Academy’s Dean’s List, Academic GPA of 3.0 or above. Kevin commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with his bachelor’s degree in Military History and Minor in Russian, and is now studying at Laughlin AFB, Texas to be an Air Force pilot. He promoted to First Lieutenant in May 2020 and is slated to earn his Air Force Pilot Wings in June 2020.

Lucero "Luci" Torres

2014 Leaders for Life Fellow

University of Central Florida, Class of 2018
Highlands County

Lucero “Luci” Torres graduated from Lake Placid High School in Highlands County in 2014. She attended the University of Central Florida where she was the Vice President of ALPFA, a business organization for Hispanic students, a teacher’s aide at UCP of Central Florida, a school for children with special needs, and completed internships with Boeing and Verizon. She graduated in May 2018 with summa cum laude honors and a Bachelor’s in Finance. She currently works as a Finance Manager in Global Finance Services at Microsoft in Seattle, Washington.

L4L in Pictures

Mary Green, 2016 L4L fellow, at a reception with Dr. Elizabeth Swann from Nova Southeastern University and Mark Asofsky.

Meet our L4L Fellows



Learn more about Leaders 4 Life

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