Our staff is accompanied by a team of talented interns that help us throughout the year. From mentoring the Project groups to coordinating special events, they contribute to the Center For Tomorrow's Leaders from beyond the classroom.
Journalism: Using the Star Advertiser’s Raise Your Hand Column as a platform, this group will strive to elevate student voice through print media. The group will also work with local schools to facilitate round-table discussions on local news to boost critical-thinking skills.
Alumni Engagement: This group will work to bring alumni together for special networking events and career-building exercises, including a job shadow day.
Program Mentorship: This group will mentor current Ambassadors in their projects. They will also team teach lessons and support CTL staff in the classroom.
Marketing: This group will be responsible for CTL's marketing efforts through social media, website and e-news and special events, including creating promotional material.
Civic Engagement: This group will work with current CTL students and alumni to build greater awareness and engagement in the political process. This will include, among other things, blogging, lobbying for bills, educating peers and staying up-to-date on current events.
Our Current Interns:
Kenneth Go - Journalism
Kenneth Go is a student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa studying English. He currently serves as the President of the Manoa Debate Union and competition has taken him all across the world, including the Netherlands, Mexico, and Canada. Additionally, he works as a Resident Assistant (RA) on campus. Kenneth was part of the Fellows Class of 2015 as he was the Communications and Finance Director for Fahrenheit 73. As an intern, Kenneth edits the "Raise Your Hand" Column in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has been working on the project since its inception. Whenever he's not studying, reading, or interning, you could probably find him trying new things. He's recently learned how to surf and skateboard!
Michelle Jay Bonilla - Journalism
Michelle Jay Bonilla attended President William McKinley High School and graduated in 2017. During her senior year at McKinley she served as the Student Body Corresponding Secretary. She currently attends Kapiolani Community College as a freshman and is looking towards Nursing as her major. In her free time, she enjoys talking to her friends, listening to music, and reading.
Kara Tanaka - Alumni Engagement
Kara Tanaka is a senior at the University of Hawaii at Manoa pursuing degrees in Marketing, Management Information Systems, Finance, and Management. During her collegiate career, Kara has been on board for the American Marketing Association as Executive Vice-President and Vice President of Alumni Coordinator, represented Shidler in the Milgard Invitational Case Competition on Social Responsibility, and studied abroad at Keio University in Japan. Kara is passionate about service, travelling, marketing, and more!
Sophia Ramirez - Alumni Engagement
Sophia Ramirez is currently a freshman at Kapiolani Community College pursuing her Liberal Arts degree in Business Administration. One day she hopes to attain a career in the Hotel/Tourism industry. A graduate from Roosevelt High School in 2017, in her free time Sophia likes to keep up with Kpop, find new "hidden gem" food locations, and hang out with friends at the beach. After college, she hope to travel to either East Asia or Europe. Her favorite quote in life is "There is no such thing as impossible, only the possible." We never know where we will go in life unless we take the first step.
Rob Topenio - Program Mentor
Grace Leon - Program Mentor
Grace Leon is a 2017 graduate of President William McKinley High School. She was a part of many activities there, ranging from tennis, CTL's Ambassador program, yearbook, and more. As an intern, she assists Ms. Lahela with CTL's schools programs in and out of the classroom.
Nghi Lu - Marketing
Nghi Lu is currently a freshman at the University of Hawaii at Manoa studying Biology. She graduated from President William McKinley High School in May 2017 and aspires to be a dermatologist. During her senior year in high school, she served as the Student Body Vice President and was a part of CTL's Ambassador program, focusing on homeless youth. Excelling in graphic design, she creates artistic promotional material as an intern.
Nathalie Eshelman - Marketing
Nathalie Eshelman is currently a senior at President William McKinley High School. After she receives her high school diploma, she will continue her studies at Rochester Institute of Technology where she will major in Media Arts & Technology and Business Administration. One of her goals is to become a CEO of a marketing company in Hawaii. Some of her hobbies include having photo shoots with friends, editing videos, swimming, and writing. Nathalie is readily photographing events for CTL and at her school. As an intern, she hopes to learn marketing skills and express herself artistically.
Melanie Constantino - Marketing
Melanie Constantino has recently committed to University of Hawaii at Manoa studying Business. She will be graduating this May from Sacred Hearts Academy where she was apart of her senior council. She also enjoys going to church and volunteering to be a leader. Melanie is able to share her insights with the future generations in many different stories. Melanie enjoys going out to find a new adventure to photograph. A photo is worth much more than any words.
Herman Lau - Marketing
Herman Lau is a freshman at the University of Hawaii at Manoa majoring in Civil Engineering. He graduated from President William McKinley High School in 2017 where he served as the Class Vice President. There he was part of CTL's Ambassadors Program since 2015, working on several Project groups such as the Lokahi Project. As an intern, he assists the CTL staff in creating promotional material such as the CTL website, as well as photograph special events throughout the year.
Donavan Albano - Civic Engagement
Donavan Albano is a freshman at the University of Hawaii at Manoa studying Biology. He graduated from President William McKinley High School in 2017 where he served as the Class President. Through CTL, he and his project team members were dedicated to combating homelessness. Hosting the “Housing Hope” Landlord Summit in 2016 and being a founder for Project End the Trend are some of his accomplishments. As an intern, he seeks to foster leadership in students who have gone through the program and inspire them to take it to the next level.
Naomi Franklin - Civic Engagement
Naomi Franklin is a freshman at Kapiolani Community College. She graduated from President William McKinley High School in 2017, where she became affiliated with CTL through the Ambassador's program. Naomi was also her class' Vice President. Among her hobbies is photography as well as videography, fueling her passion for film. As an intern, she has advised future projects on including more students in CTL.