The Center for Tomorrow's Leaders, under the primary direction of Katie Chang, is led by an outstanding network of professionals, educators and volunteers.
Katie Chang, Executive Director
Katie Chang is the Executive Director of the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders, an organization dedicated to empowering a new generation of leaders in Hawaii. Katie is a proud alumnus of the very first class of CTL Fellows. Since her appointment in 2011, Katie has expanded the CTL from its flagship Fellows program to include the innovative Schools program which offers leadership development directly to Hawaii’s high schools. She is a certified presenter of the nationally-acclaimed Student Leadership Challenge which is the foundation of the program. Prior to joining the CTL, Katie worked as an advisor for the US/UK Fulbright Commission in London, UK. She also served as an intern in the Hawaii State Legislature and Governor’s Office. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Pepperdine University.
April Nakamura, Associate Director
April Nakamura is the Student Activities Coordinator at William McKinley High School and the volunteer Head of Training for the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders. Born and raised in Kaneohe, she graduated from Castle High School and received her Bachelor’s degree from UH Mānoa. She began her career at McKinley High School where she taught various subjects in Social Studies. She was also actively involved in extra-curricular activities, including class advisor and head coach for the Cheerleading Team. She also chaired McKinley High School’s 150th Anniversary Committee. In her volunteer role at CTL, she trains and mentors CTL staff, spearheads the development of curriculum and advises the Executive Director.
Lahela Manning, Programs Coordinator
Lahela Manning was born and raised in Honolulu and is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools. She moved to the mainland in 2007 for voluntary church service and decided to return to work towards her bachelors degree. She attended UNLV for a year and then transferred to Dixie State University in Saint George, Utah, where she earned a Bachelors of Art in Psychology. After graduating, Lahela continued on as an event and academic advisor for DSU’s Multicultural/Diversity center leadership program. She has also had the opportunity to work in mental health with at risk youth in the Washington County area of Southern Utah.
Hailey Pedersen, Student Leadership Facilitator & Special Initiatives Support
Hailey Pedersen was born in New York City, and raised in Honolulu, where she attended and graduated from Roosevelt High School. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, and her Master’s of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Throughout her time at UH Mānoa, she was involved in various activities including Mānoa Peer Advisors and the UH Rainbow Warrior Dance Team. She is also the head cheerleading coach at Roosevelt High School.
Sheena Choy, Student Leadership Facilitator & Special Initiatives Support
Sheena Choy was born and raised in Honolulu and is a graduate of Mid-Pacific Institute. She received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Pepperdine University and holds an undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management from the Straus Institute for Dispute Studies Resolution. She is passionate about connecting cultures, and has explored Asia as a student,
intern, homestay participant, and teacher. As a proud alumnus of the 2012 Fellows class, she is excited to come full circle to grow with Hawaii’s rising generation of young leaders.
Joy Yoshida, Student Leadership Facilitator
Joy Yoshida was born and raised in Kaneohe and is a graduate of Hawaii Baptist Academy. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, she returned home to Hawaii where she taught the 4th grade at Windward Nazarene Academy for 15 years. She is actively involved in her church as the Elder for the Middle School and High School ministries as well as a vocalist on the worship team. Joy has a heart to see the youth of Hawaii step into their roles as the leaders of tomorrow by becoming passionate and educated about leading today
Joy Matsuura, Student Leadership Facilitator, Big Island
Joy Matsuura was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. She is a graduate of Hilo High School and has three children. She is excited to work with the Center For Tomorrow's Leaders, because of her love and passion to see Hawaii's keiki to strive and accomplish educational and life goals that will bring our 'aina to a brighter future.
Jen May Pastores, Marketing Specialist
Jen May Pastores was born in Guam and grew up living in different countries before moving to O'ahu where she attended Moanalua High School. She studied at UH Mānoa and California State University, Northridge where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District and later supported a high school after-school program as Director of Leadership Development in Visalia, California where she was recognized for her innovative work in youth engagement. She is also a local documentary photographer and artist, and enjoys storytelling for CTL.
A big mahalo to our wonderful intern team!
Our staff is accompanied by a team of talented interns that help us throughout the year. From helping with our marketing efforts to coordinating special events, they contribute to the Center For Tomorrow's Leaders from beyond the classroom.