2020 Cohort – Phoenix

Cesar Verduzco


My commitment is based on my faith and participation in Tepeyac Leadership Initiative program. I’m taking action to launch myself as a political candidate based on my Catholic Values. First, I will run for a seat at a School Board to learn and gain experience. Then, I will enroll in the new American leadership program for new candidates seeking a higher office. Once finished, I will prepare the path to seek an office in the city as a city council. All this will give me the foundation to become a state representative. What comes next I put it in the hands [...]

Cesar Verduzco2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Eileen Sullivan


I plan to reach out to other Catholic Professionals in Flagstaff and create awareness of the new TLI Online platform, soon available nationwide. As a lawyer, I am committed to representing indigent defendants with dignity and respect. I am committed to seeking justice in the cases that I am appointed. I am committed to always remembering Pope Francis’s words, “There is a need in every case for the assistance of God, who is the source of all reason and justice.” I am committed to serving as a Catechist at San Francisco de Asis, my new parish. Pope John Paul II said [...]

Eileen Sullivan2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Jorge Sandoval


TLI has re-ignited my desire to do great things for Our Lord and Our Lady. As an executive, educator and evangelizer, I can positively impact thousands of youth in South Phoenix. I commit myself to form virtuous young leaders through educational and evangelization programs. They will be inspired to live a life of the seven virtues, collaborate on service projects for those in need, and produce good fruits in their families and communities. I will be a strong pillar for Mary Town/ESPIRITU and continue the legacy of Reyes Maria Ruiz. All for Jesus through Mary in union with St. Joseph!

Jorge Sandoval2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Mariana Rodriguez


Pope Francis said, “Being a Christian entails promoting the dignity of our brothers and sisters, fighting for it, living for it.” Through the grace of God, I am committed to support catholic based organizations that strive to affirm the dignity and rights of migrants. I plan on donating and volunteering with these organizations, as well as advocating for just policies. Lastly, I intend to practice the virtue of courage to carry out my commitment through adversity and fear. I will keep my heart open to God’s will for me.

Mariana Rodriguez2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Shelly Potter


I am passionate about my vocation as a health care provider and I desire to contribute to the common good through my profession as a Catholic Physical Therapist. My current mission is to serve those aging in Arizona through leadership and advocacy. I will do this through involvement in the American Physical Therapy Association, specifically with the Arizona chapter of Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialists. I will contribute to the local community through participation in health screening events for the elderly focusing on prevention of chronic disease and falls. In addition, I commit to involvement with the Phoenix Catholic Medical Association. I hope, through ongoing [...]

Shelly Potter2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Gerardo Peña


I deeply care about the sanctity of life and dignity of the human person. I desire to lead a prolife focused non-profit organization and share my acquired leadership abilities, knowledge and passion for the underserved and underprivileged. This year I will request a meeting with Bishop Olmstead and offer to serve on a diocesan committee or board in my need to develop stronger community and diocesan connections and increase networking opportunities. This will support me to successfully reach my eventual goal of executive leadership.

Gerardo Peña2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Refugio Payan


The Tepeyac Leadership Initiative program has awakened my desire to personally grow in my Faith, my relationship with God and Parish engagement. It has inspired me to become a Virtuous Leader. As a graduate of the TLI 2020 Cohort I will commit to help promote and grow the Catholic Faith within the Families I serve by creating a virtual networking group that will help them grow spiritually and bring awareness to honor their human dignity and support their well-being. I will also Volunteer to support the Catholic Charities mission in helping and advocating for Immigrant and Refugee families.

Refugio Payan2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Elizabeth Moore


The rights of preborn children are THE social justice issue of our day. So much evil comes out of banishing their humanity from the mind of society. The innocence of children is also preyed upon in our schools through inappropriate and harmful sex education, which research shows leads to earlier sexual activity and increased abortion rates. I pledge to defend the rights of the innocent through pursuing volunteer and board service opportunities for nonprofits with this same aim. TLI has also placed the desire in my heart to serve in public office and I am beginning conversations with professionals who can [...]

Elizabeth Moore2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Fernando Marquez


Participating in TLI has opened my eyes to the number of youth that lose interest and move away from our Catholic faith, especially when they leave their family. My TLI leadership commitment is to have a stronger prayer life and better understanding of our faith, to ultimately become a mentor to youth. I commit to working with our youth by taking a more active role in my parish and joining a board that involves my commitment. 

Fernando Marquez2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00

Elvia Lish


I am blessed to work for St. Vincent de Paul. There I have experienced the true impact of what can occur when a community comes together to help vulnerable populations. Diabetes self-management education programs play an essential role in improving health outcomes in populations in need of health care resources. Yet programs like this are not readily available in the Phoenix area. Today my TLI commitment is to expand our mission to heal and become an advocate in increasing access to diabetes management programs. Thus, promoting dignity and advancing the welfare for every person in our community impacted by diabetes.

Elvia Lish2021-02-18T16:13:24+00:00
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