2021 Cohort2021-06-09T23:14:41+00:00

Deepika Joseph

As an Indian Catholic, coming into this program has opened my eyes as to how it can be applied in my country where Christians are a minority. I commit to use my skills as an IT professional to represent Christ in my dealings with people, holding up moral values on the technologies I work on. My immediate approach would be to work with my home parish to create and contribute funds to bear the expenses for the underprivileged Catholic children to receive their First Holy Communion. My long-term goal is to organize a non-profit group for the youth to grow in the Roman Catholic faith, build a Christ-centered community, and serve God and those in need.

John Wiley

I am launching Dream Big Mastermind, a coaching program that helps young adults and teens to establish goals and develop the skills, habits, and the drive to attain those goals. A survey of colleges showed 10% of the incoming freshmen are prepared to do the work. Upon graduation only 20% of the students are prepared to enter the workforce. How prepared are those who did not to go to college? Dream Big Mastermind’s mission is to help this demographic to live a life on purpose becoming the person they aspired to be. I will apply my new TLI leaderships skills to my commitment helping our future leaders, to attain their goals.

Daniel Selmeczy

Last year I founded TAM NOVA, a professional coaching program for Catholic leaders. I joined TLI because I was curious to see what other Catholic leadership programs were doing. My leadership commitment is to continue building the Kingdom of God through TAM NOVA. We offer transformative coaching, collaboration, and, ultimately, unique creation of unprecedented results. We believe that all humans are renewed, developed, and sanctified through bold, creative, and risky work. Our program is designed for participants to explore where they’re underestimating themselves and to learn what they’re capable of as co-creators with God.

Christopher Sanchez

Since its inception the Catholic Church has held values that called for the sanctity of life and dignity of all human beings. These values are critical to the Catholic way of life and society as a whole. However, we have seen these values compromised in the policy making process. That is why I commit to creating a Catholic youth policy seminar for high school students from underserved communities that will teach how to be a Catholic advocate for their community. Now more than ever it is important that the Catholic voice be uplifted, inserted in policy making at every level of government. The goal is to first start a pilot program in one region of California with no more than 40 participants. Participants will learn Catholic teachings and how it integrates into policy and advocacy. Then participants will engage in advocacy with elected officials at various levels of government.

Amy Rodriguez

As a digital artist, I desire to use the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed me with to advance the kingdom of God here on earth. With the grace of God, my leadership commitment for the near future is to author and illustrate a series of children’s books that inspire a love for Jesus Christ. My long-term commitment is to allow the Holy Spirit to work through me and guide any media projects I may undertake in the future.

Gina Perez

I am thankful for the gift of TLI, which has allowed me to further discern my place in the world that surrounds me here in my community. My leadership commitment is as multi-faceted as is the community where I live and work. I will continue to be a voice on the importance of intersectionality of the Catholic-Chicano identity. This lens in my graduate thesis. I will use my TLI lessons and be a voice in committees in my school/work campus. Finally, my main goal is to join a board within the mental health field and be a Catholic voice in an organization.

Noelle Patno

I seek to design and to implement a ballroom dance curriculum focused on deliberate teaching of Theology of the Body concepts through dance. The goal is to promote opportunities for young adult Catholics to interact in healthy and positive physical interactions to counteract the hookup culture and to promote the understanding of our bodies as sacred gifts. This dance curriculum would be designed for the gap between confirmation and marriage. The structured environment aims to develop healthy friendships based on mutual respect for each other’s’ movements and physical expression with self-control: an experiential understanding of Theology of the Body.

Mauricio Nunez

I was brought back to our faith at a beautiful retreat center in the middle of the Los Angeles metro area. The serenity of that center was as impactful as the activities of those ministering the retreat. By profession, I consult on corporate real estate strategy. Therefore, I commit to advising Catholic and other faith-based organizations on maximizing real estate assets and fundraising for capital improvements. My ultimate goal is to contribute to preserving and expanding physical places of worship.

Megan Nobert

I’ll be committing to serving on the Advisory Board of IBUS at SFSU, my college. I just created a curriculum and am starting outreach for a new mentorship program that I worked with my professors on to create in which mentors will offer career coaching to students and alumni. I will join at least one Catholic networking organization post-graduation pending further research as well as continuing discernment of where God wants me to take the nonprofit I started. I started a new Facebook group for California Catholics, as it continues to be fruitful, I will be using this to organize young Catholic adults.

Bryan Martin

Blended families are becoming much more of a reality, and the church is going to have to better understand how to deal with them. It is a very difficult issue. I commit to becoming a resource to new couples that are setting out to get married into a blended family. They will face many challenges unforeseen now, which are clouded by the ‘honeymoon’ stage of life. You are already marrying into a family, and not starting a completely new family out. More attention needs to be given to the children, so they are not left with generational wounds they end up passing on down to their own children.

Carolina Manalac-Bentancourt

My leadership commitment is dedicated to an up-and-coming Catholic classical school, The Good Shepherd Academy, which was inspired by our late Good Shepherd, Fr. Luis Marx, and faithful homeschooling parents. I honestly believe that God has placed TLI in my path which is the reason why I came back on board with the school. The Good Shepherd Academy pledges itself to the pursuit of truth, the love of the good and the cultivation of beauty for the sake of the student’s minds and hearts to form good citizens for our nation. I am committed to be a board member of The Good Shepherd and will apply what I learned at TLI to this school.

Ifeanyi Ihenacho

As my leadership commitment I plan to write a short book of meditations and spiritual reflections about the Lord’s Prayer. It will discuss the seven capital virtues, gifts of the holy spirit, and other elements of faith as they relate with each petition to our Father. I primarily intend for this book to stimulate deeper reflection upon the mysteries of God.

Monica Garcia

Through TLI, I have come to appreciate and recognize the importance of faith formation. I was drawn to The Divine Mercy devotion. This last year I have been faithfully praying the Holy hour Chaplet and studying Jesus’ teachings. As a graduate of TLI 2021, I commit to promoting and teaching the authentic forms of the message and devotion to The Divine Mercy. I will encourage people to live out the message of Mercy in their daily lives through forming Cenacles in Ventura. Once a year (before Lent) I will host a Ventura County Divine Mercy Conference to reach a wider community in preparation for celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. In addition, I will offer support to grow new Cenacles County wide.

Stanley Dicdican

For my Tepeyac leadership commitment, I would like to start an after-school program at my local parish educating and enriching kids about the Faith. I have seen from my faith journey the beauty of after-school program helping kids learn about the faith and evangelize others by their examples. With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I plan to bridge the gap between scripture and today’s society and the importance of standing firm in the faith. I plan to expand the program to eventually get the parents involved as well as to reinforce the church of the home.

Veronica Fernandez

I have always been passionate about protecting the unborn. Years ago, I dreamed of having a non-profit to assist teenage pregnant mothers in crisis to provide them with shelter, education, parenting classes, and assist them with a career path to choose to keep their babies and provide for them. After doing some research, I realized that at least three organizations offer these services in Orange County; however, they are not supporting the expecting fathers. My husband and I recognize that the expecting father plays an essential role in saving unborn children. I would like to team up with an emergency pregnancy center to expand its services and assist expecting fathers with finding a job or a career path so they can provide for their families and choose life.

John Fernandez

I want to help young men who are facing an unplanned pregnancy be able to support their family. I believe that if we can wrap our arms around these young men who are facing an unplanned pregnancy, grant them job skills and or continue education we can help them choose life. I have not been able to determine if an organization like this exists, but I have begun some discussion with the Respect Life group at our Parish and I have a few action times from that meeting. Granting a young man the dignity of quality employment and as well as a clear understanding of the dignity of life, would be great steps to help them choose life and come closer to Christ.

David Ciarametaro

While in prayer during the retreat, the Lord made it clear that He would like me to pursue something which has been on my heart for some time, which is acting. So, my concrete leadership commitment will be to audition for some time during the next few months. This may not seem like a tradition leadership commitment, however, I believe that leading in the area of the arts and entertainment is important, especially considering the amount of influence the entertainment industry exercises over our culture, so I would like my leadership commitment to be in this area.

Jamie Cappetta

Thank you for the TLI experience. As the newly elected President of the South Bay of Los Angeles Legatus Chapter, my leadership commitment is to help grow the membership, strengthen the community and develop a strong list of speakers who will provide orthodox formation of Business Leaders. Along with Legatus, in October, I will be invested into the Order of Malta and will commit to giving myself in service to their mission.

Cristofer Barajas

As we come out of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that everyone lives in community with one another. I also know that God made us for himself and calls all Christians into a relationship with Him. As a graduate of TLI, I plan to join my home parish council to work to build up the Body of Christ focusing on those two key elements: community and relationship with God.

Jean Paul Afif

In reflecting upon my TLI experience and what commitment God would like me to make to Him, to myself, to my family, my community, our TLI leadership, and my classmates – I have decided to accept a volunteer position to join the board of directors for TLI nationally. I have given to prayerful discernment, reflection, and direction in arriving upon this decision. Working to advance TLI’s mission statement and program is something that God through the Holy Spirit is asking me to do, and a commitment which I am confident I can keep to honor and praise His glorious name.

Claudia Vargas

Trusting in God’s infinite providence and in our Blessed Mother’s powerful intercession, I commit to promoting a culture of life and respect for human dignity through prayer and action, by means of educating and creating awareness of morally permissive reproduction methods and techniques – according to the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. Furthermore, I commit to honoring married couples struggling with infertility; to accompanying them in carrying their cross; and to assisting them in finding solutions to the spiritual, emotional, and financial burdens they experience in the challenging and sometimes lonely journey to becoming co-creators with God our Father.

Salvador Valldeperas

The TLI program has impacted me positively both in terms of professional development and spiritual growth. I believe in the mission of TLI. As my leadership commitment I will become a facilitator for one of the national tracks of the program. I look forward to serving God through impacting other Catholic professionals and providing for them what TLI provided for me.

Benjamin Ranieri

I commit to giving to, and participating in, an organization that combats sex trafficking, with the intent to join a board on this type of organization. I’ve already started. Combating this injustice is a high priority. Further, I will take leadership roles in other boards and organizations, both Catholic and secular.

Augustine Payne

This Leadership Commitment is something I will try to do in thanksgiving for all that God has given to me through this TLI experience. The first gift is that I will strive to live out the call of charity in the public square more fully than before. I would like to start a podcast to talk about political issues from the Catholic perspective, or possibly becoming more involved in political campaigns. The second gift is to serve God in Finance. One concrete way will be educating myself about investing according to Catholic principles and identifying ways that the industry can grow. With God’s grace, this and much more can be accomplished. AMDG

Leticia Ortega

My leadership commitment is to provide encouragement or affirmation to individuals I encounter to share their God given gifts and talents in society. In life discouragement is present at different stages but as a believer in Christ, I trust in Him, and He gives me hope. This hope is what I want to use for encouragement. An example is when Jesus entrusts Peter with His Church even after all his imperfections but what God cared more about was his heart. My goal is to help transform lives from a state of discouragement to encouragement for the glory of God.

Anthony Nuccio

I commit to educating young Catholics in the beauty and truths of our shared faith by listening with an open heart, inspiring a desire to learn, and being a witness as they discover God’s love and mercy because of their innate human dignity.

Nathan Nasby

For my leadership commitment I aspire to make healing the political and social divisions within the Church in America a focus of my apostolate as a lay Catholic. As my experience with others has taught me, regardless of whether one chooses to vote Democrat or Republican, we all need our faith in order to navigate this world. The world, even before the pandemic, has introduced many social changes which not only contradict the Catholic faith, but the fabric of the entire society which has allowed us to work together for so long. Now it is the time to remind the faithful that we are one united Catholic Church that will continue, for years to come, to provide such a beautiful alternative to the Secular movement.

Stella Ritah Nabukeera

Besides working with the teenage mothers to help them discover their inner worth, unveil the hidden potential and live out their life dreams; I am committing to helping in formation, pastoral care and mentoring of young adults that commit to full time evangelization in our Holy Trinity Covenant Community.

Belinda Mooney

Archbishop Jose Gomez stated: “The motive and measure in everything we do is our concern to promote the flourishing of the human person.” I will use my gift of writing both Catholic and secular materials, make presentations, and individually help people (consulting and coaching) with putting the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes into practice for a right, ordered life pleasing to God. I will help people further their prayer life by writing about the Works of Reparation through Devotion to the Holy Face, Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart, and Praying with the Doctors of the Church.

Sara Majkowski

My Tepeyac Leadership Goal Commitment is to author a written work evaluating the current status of Catholic education in Canada. The written work, which will be a long essay or a book, will address various aspects of Catholic education, including sacramental and spiritual life, moral formation, academic rigor and the need for boldness in speaking the truth (especially in response to modern errors). Though my plan is to comment on Canadian institutions in general, I may need to narrow the focus to the status of religious education in the province of Ontario specifically. The written work will nevertheless shed light on current issues facing Catholic educational institutions worldwide.

Andrew Jambor

Upon reflecting upon the TLI experience I will serve to uphold life from conception to natural death through things such as being involved in the pro-life movement and being a hospice volunteer. I will also seek out boards to serve on that uphold life, serve the needs of others, and help preserve the environment. In addition, I will strive to be the best husband I can and future father while seeking out God in my daily life.

Jesus Gomez

I pledge to actively practice and display Virtuous Leadership in every opportunity whether at work, in the Non-profit organization (St. Luke Productions) where I’m part of the board, at our Parish, as a lead Lector, as part of the Archdiocese pastoral Council, with my children, etc. I also pledge to deepen my faith according to God’s call and to use all I learned at TLI to become a mentor, a speaker and an advocate to the next generation NW catholic Hispanic leaders in conjunction with the Seattle Archdiocese.

Make Gallitelli

I will work with the Archdiocese of Seattle to create a comprehensive Spanish glossary. The glossary will not only include terms but also expressions and will be available online to all archdiocesan employees and clergy. I will work on the standardization of terminology for consistency throughout the Archdiocese, as well as in improving the quality of translations in all archdiocesan resources. Promote the translation of all homilies into Spanish to have them available to parishioners who do not speak English (in Parishes with no Spanish Mass available). In addition, I will reach out to the Catholic Schools office to get involved in the project Diversified Learners and help develop a plan to increase inclusion of students with learning disabilities or differences in Catholic Schools.

Cecilia Estrada

Often in the public discourse, we lose the essence of what our faith teaches us beyond the black and white understandings on different issues. I want to help reshape conversations to bring focus to root issues in hopes of finding solutions. This may mean focusing on what causes a woman to walk through the doors seeking an abortion, what it means to be a woman in light of the gospel or why people seek to immigrate at great risks. To do this (1) I will work with others involved in the work that addresses dehumanization, (2) continue my education on this topic, (3) actively work on adult formation programs in my parish targeting this topic, (4) work on the theology of the feminine genius and (5) be faithful to God’s call.

Jesus Espinoza

My mission is to be independent of the world and dependent on God. I am passionate about standing up for the weak and speaking truth, even though it may be controversial or unpopular. I believe God is leading me to work for the vulnerable through my current healthcare position or as a representative of my community. I must be a leader in my household first before I can lead others. Therefore, I choose to do God’s will in my home with my family unit and serve on a board or elected position for God alone.

Arom Burgueno

Tepeyac Leadership Institute has inspired me to share its knowledge of leadership. In the following school year, I will begin a book club with my colleagues at a public school using Virtuous Leadership by Alexandre Havard. Through this I hope to foster conversation about true leadership and open the door to a book club grounded in the Great Books model. This club will meet once a week among the faculty at the school to foster Socratic discussion and their intellectual development in the good, the true, and the beautiful.

John Broughton

My wife is an African American of protestant background. Since I reconnected with my Catholic roots a year ago and have been faithfully attending Mass every Sunday, I haven’t felt a connection or feeling of acceptance, resulting in a reluctance to take my entire family to Mass. This feeling is one that even my wife picked up on and we’ve talked about it. It’s an area I think I can help in to foster better relations among all ethnicities at our church. I’d do this by first conferring with the Pastor and formulating a plan to embrace all racial ethnicities and encourage them to attend our church, facilitating events that cultivate relationships with our community, which is rich in diversity. We will explore creating a committee within the church dedicated to this cause.

Monica Servin

The pandemic has impacted everyone around the world, and with that it brought a lot of grief. Being inspired by the Holy Spirit, my own grief experience and seeing the increasingly big need to accompany individuals with their recent losses, I will commit to start a Grief Support group in my local community; with the intention to provide a space to make grief more bearable and help those to find solace in seeking help from the Lord during this difficult time. I will also commit to recruit participants from my area to join the TLI program in the future cohort.

Jennifer Sentz

As a survivor of spiritual abuse, it is my commitment to be a voice and resource for those who have experienced similar suffering. When grooming and abuse occurs at the hands of consecrated religious, victims can confuse the nature, characteristics, and attributes of the abuser with God’s and the Church He established. By telling my story with a supporting curriculum, I hope to bring those still hurting back into a healing relationship with God and the Catholic faith.

Rene Sanchez Meza

My leadership commitment is with God and myself. I would like to keep growing spiritually by reading more about my faith and catholic issues. The Tepeyac Leadership Initiative program has created in me a need for more knowledge of my faith as well as the way in which other issues are related to my faith. I will commit to read at least three books a year on topics related to my faith with the objective of growing spiritually. Also, I will promote the TLI program to help other people find the information to growth in their faith as I did.

Eric Salazar

I work for RDF, a secular nonprofit with Catholic values. Learning from this intersection I want to take my experience working with secular nonprofits and expand RDF’s support of faith-based nonprofits nationally. Providing technical assistance, resource, business development and exploring investment opportunities for faith-based nonprofits thru the San Juan Diego Institute. I hope to maximize their impact and evangelization. Faith based nonprofits are on the frontlines of the increasing antagonism toward faith in the US. Creating networks and connections with secular nonprofits to reach a broader audience and reinforcing Catholic values through charity will help reinvigorate faith for many.

Elena Rodriguez

TLI has taught me among many other things how much value we can add to our community and society if we get involved and raise our voices. Knowing that we have the tools to impact our community is priceless, especially when you are an immigrant. Our community needs prepared people that can bring back Catholic/Christian values to the public square. My commitment with TLI, myself and God is to continue to work on the prolife service but this time not just in a personal/individual level but also get more involved and support politicians that are also prolife. To start a nonprofit that will aid children in foster care in Mexico. To participate in an advisory board for a Catholic organization. To actively promote among fellow Catholics, especially Hispanics, their participation in TLI.

Nate Raso

I commit to creating a council – possibly calling it the Concilium – my goal is to educate Catholic leaders and organizations on each other’s duties/programs/outreach and create dialogue and communication, so that we can better facilitate working together. In a time in which Christendom is under attack we should be working together – financially and spiritually to enrich our faith. We need to unite in our causes and help each other’s businesses, non-profits, and outreach programs to not just survive but thrive. I’ve spoken to the Catholic foundation, CEA, Andre house and the Knights so far.

Victoria Ramsay

TLI has reassured me there’s plenty of good people working as an army for God. I commit to being part of that army, specifically to defend the unborn. I intend to create a branch of my business named Transactions for Life, donating $1200 out of each transaction to support pro-life organizations and/or produce materials, both in Spanish and English, to bring awareness as to what abortion is and what abortion does.

Mary Massell

My experience with TLI has inspired me to commit to a work that serves the pro-life mission. Over the last fifteen years, I have witnessed firsthand how sharing basic biological and moral truths can open hearts and change lives. Our culture has lost the ability to have a rational discussion regarding the nature of the unborn. So many lives are destroyed based on misinformation or ignorance. For my commitment, I will produce a documentary exploring what it means to be a human person. This topic was explored through many different lenses throughout my TLI experience. I hope to illustrate the inherent dignity of every human person and infuse the culture with the ideas and language that will enable them to recognize that truth.

Karla Martinez

TLI has been an incredible opportunity and next step in my leadership and faith journey. For my leadership commitment, I will focus on assisting the Diocesan Catholic Campaign for Human Development office in establishing and participating in an Advisory Committee that will propel the mission of CCHD forward in the Diocese of Phoenix. CCHD works to break the cycle of poverty by helping low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities. Through this commitment, I will be able to help others discover the great gift of our Catholic Social teaching and our baptismal call to service.

Eric Mariscal

My constant prayer on my leadership commitment, and discernment of where I can be the most effective, has brought me to apply for membership to the Diocese of Phoenix’s school board. My son has attended Catholic school for the past four years. I have witnessed firsthand some of the reasons why parents may give up. If accepted into the board, I will be obedient and committed to it. In any instance, I will actively support Catholic education. I believe if we can bring as many children as possible to Catholic education today, we will have a well-formed laity leading the secular world tomorrow.

Veronica Lopez

Participating in TLI has reenforced my passion in service and helping others. Thus, I have decided to make a commitment to deepen my support to working with survivors of domestic violence. I have reached out to the managers at Chrysalis Domestic Violence Shelter. I am asking for the opportunity to work on providing strategies and solutions for both advocates and clients, based off the needs and urgencies that often arise as we work with this population. I have also joined one of the agency’s committees and we meet monthly. This will keep me informed of issues and changes happening within the agency. I will be able to provide support and influence how we move forward as we help this vulnerable population. My plan is to eventually be admitted onto their board.

Vanessa Jehling

As a speech-language pathologist, sibling of a brother with a disability, and daughter of God, I am committed to lead others to the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Catholic Church. TLI has provided invaluable information and connections which have deepened my faith and desire to lead all souls to Heaven. With God’s grace, I am committed to leading as Assistant Director of Marketing through Young Catholic Professionals and assisting with RCIA at St. Timothy’s. Additionally, I will seek to help families of children with disabilities by providing sibling support and creating an inclusive environment in all opportunities.

Nathaniel Hightower

After listening in to what many of my peers have proposed as reference points, my leadership commitment is going to be centered around reaffirming my faith in my everyday life and giving more of myself to various Catholic causes around the valley. I believe my free time can be put to better use by helping those who need it.

Christopher Gonzalez

As Catholics, we see our theology and teachings as a framework for our lives and the world, living and working as God intended. We are gifted certain talents and graces to go out into the world and act. I commit to using my talents and sharing these graces with others by building relationships with my local elected officials to connect, share, and serve when there is an opportunity. My commitment is to seek opportunities on boards and commissions that require appointments by my elected officials and to remain open to the possibility of running for office one day.

David Edwards

I commit to spending at least four hours each week developing and implementing an array of services for Catholic men and their families who have suffered the impact of pornography addiction and other unwanted sexual behaviors. Milestones include within the next month, a men’s weekly therapy group, within the next year, a 3-day intensive workshop for sexual addictions, and within the next 3-5 years, the establishment of a Center, operating from a Catholic-Christian understanding of the person, dedicated to providing integrative support for the formation of Catholic families and their individual members through education, counseling, and retreats.

Chrysanthe Cupone

God has brought me to TLI. Although at first it seemed to be for my own spiritual growth, it’s clear now that my natural teaching abilities and leadership traits make me want to share the experience to help others learn and grow as well. Therefore, my commitment will manifest into two actions that I feel I can make an impact. First, I commit to pursuing the growth of TLI’s reach through fundraising, advisory/board work and leadership training. Next, I commit to developing a Catholic social group for single parents with the goal of bringing disenfranchised Catholics back to the church to feel God’s love and support.

Gilbert Arvizu

My leadership commitment is to empower other Catholics in my community and workplace. I have learned through TLI the importance of Catholic leadership, and the Catholic values that are lacking in the social environment where we live, work, and play. This requires me to get to know my coworkers and community members better, an area where I have lacked, and to develop the personal relationships necessary to empower my fellow Catholic brothers and sisters.

Juan Arvizu

I have been blessed by participating in the TLI program. The level of expertise of most speakers is impressive. I hear most of my peers talking about getting into boards, districts, or political campaigns. I do not see myself scaling up those fields. I see myself going down to parishes and educating Catholics at the parish level. I have decided to commit myself to developing a program where parishioners can experience the CCC in their personal lives, and more importantly, creating a community of faithful Catholics willing to give their lives for Christ, our savior.

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