Cory Downs is a Sustainability Specialist with the City of Chula Vista and leads their residential energy and water efficiency and Climate Action Planning efforts. Cory's project includes the City's energy efficiency outreach events and tools, financing program, greenhouse gas inventories and Climate Action Plan efforts.
Cultural diplomat Dave Huxtable loves language and espouses language learning for the sheer pleasure it brings. Throughout his life, he has mastered ten languages…so far. He challenges the notions that learning a foreign language is difficult and that is requires special talent. Dave champions foreign language training for improved global understanding, neurological health, and optimum cognitive function.
Desiree Cuizon Fejeran
Desiree Cuizon Fejeran began dancing in the Bay Area and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from San Diego State University in 2008. She has performed internationally in Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, and Indonesia. Nationally, Desiree has performed with the Joe Alter Dance Group, the PGK Dance Project, and since 2016, San Diego Dance Theater. Desiree has also worked with independent and local artists including somebodies dance theater, Anne Gehman, Blythe Barton Dance, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, Lara Binder, Erica Beuchner, Khamla Somphanh, IsadoraNow, The Movement Initiative, and more.
Evan Garcia is the winner of the 2018 Chula Vista Elementary School District speech contest for sixth grade. Evan enjoys playing soccer and basketball. This talented young man is also a skilled musician who can be seen playing the ukulele and exploring ways to understand the natural wonder of fish-keeping.
Jahja Ling is the only conductor of Chinese descent to serve as Musical Director of a major U.S. orchestra, directing the San Diego Symphony for 13 years. During his tenure, he revitalized San Diego's symphony culture and directed the orchestra's first-ever Carnegie Hall appearance. With degrees from both Juilliard and
Yale, he founded two youth symphony orchestras and has performed for Queen Elizabeth II. Now retired, he teaches and inspires young musicians in great musical traditions.d
Jahja Ling is the only conductor of Chinese descent to serve as Musical Director of a major U.S. orchestra, directing the San Diego Symphony for 13 years. During his tenure, he revitalized San Diego's symphony culture and effected the orchestra's first ever Carnegie Hall appearance. With degrees from both Juilliard and Yale, he founded two youth symphony orchestras and has performed for Queen Elizabeth II. Now retired, he teaches and inspires young musicians in great musical traditions.
Jean Isaacs' choreography has been performed in eight countries, winning awards and critical acclaim from theatre critics, universities, and arts foundations. Co-founder of the San Diego Dance Alliance, Isaacs' work has been commissioned by the San Diego Opera, the La Jolla Playhouse, and other nationally recognized venues. Having taught choreography for 25 years at UCSD, Ms. Isaacs now directs the San Diego Dance Theater where she works with the region's most talented and accomplished young dancers.
Jennifer Purdie is one of the first American women to run a full marathon on all seven continents. Endurance Athlete, Personal Trainer, Toastmaster, Fitness and Nutrition Specialist, Jennifer has written for The LA Times, Tri-athlete, Success Magazine, Shape, and Running Times. Featured on Dr. Oz and Fox Sports, Jennifer is one of the few Ironman fishers with a funny bone. To relax, she performs stand-up comedy, and was a finalist in a recent LA Scripted Comedy Festival.
Jesse Chang has been a phenomenon since age 10. With a bachelor's degree at 19 and a master's degree at 21, she has accumulated over 30 top honors at competitions around the world. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall, in a 28,000-person stadium, or locally atthe San Diego Symphony, Ms. Chang dazzles audiences with commanding technique, and mesmerizes them with her charm and personality.
Joslyn Herrera is the fifth grade 2018 Chula Vista Elementary School District speech contest winner. Her dream is to become a criminal defense attorney because she believes that she can stand up for the wrongly accused and uphold justice.
Makenna Davis is the 2018 Chula Vista Elementary School District Speech contest winner for middle school. She enjoys public speaking and has a passion for theater arts.
Malesha Jessie Taylor has sung with the greatest symphony orchestras around the country in genres ranging from Opera to Jazz to Experimental. Her groundbreaking “Guerilla Opera”, a series of impromptu face-to-face engagements with local Brooklynites in bodegas, buses and barbershops, was so powerful and successful that it was brought to San Diego in 2016. Malesha now uses her celebrity from the world of performance to evoke social change through the arts.
Maresa Friedman is a high impact strategist A Wix Ambassador, Microtasking Expert, Google Trainer, Wife, and Mom, Maresa was recently named in the top 1% of Social Sellers on LinkedIn and voted Best of Strategy for LinkedIn ProFinder.
Dr. Brouker's distinguished military career culminated with his serving as Chief of Staff to Navy Medicine West, overseeing 10 hospitals with 800,000 patients. He transitioned to the corporate world, and as a thought leader/executive coach, he mentored organizations on how to build high-performing teams. Today, Brouker Leadership Solutions has impacted thousands of top performers in Fortune 500 companies, professional military organizations, and universities across the globe, opening their eyes to a new definition of leadership.
Mark Van Stone
From his earliest years, Dr. Van Stone was self-taught, ravenously devouring any book he could find. Earning a degree in Physics from Oxford, he initially worked in Gamma Ray astronomy. Then, studying calligraphy for the next 20 years, he became the recognized expert on Paleography.
The artwork of Mr. Maxx Moses promotes longevity, growth, and spiritual well-being. As a professional graffiti artist, his work instills an overall feeling of peace and serenity at his clients' locations. Both public and private ventures have received beautification awards and have inspired published articles due to the beauty of his projects. As a professor, he inspires and motivates young students with his innovative and engaging curriculum. He encourages the discouraged and moves them to action, achievement, and success.
Miguel Angel Aldrete is a local entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. Miguel, a senior at Olympian High School, has been inspiring students to take action for over a decade. Since the age of eight he has written and published two books, started his non-profit “Kids 4 Our World” and organized city-wide and international volunteering campaigns. Miguel continues spreading his message that anyone can make a difference regardless of how young they might be.
Minerva Briseno-Diaz emigrated from Mexico to California in 2001 barely able to speak English. Through 11 years of hard work, she earned her degree from San Diego State University, and attained the status of Certified Public Accountant.
Senka Hadzimuratovic considers herself one of the luckiest people on Earth. She had just turned six when she and her family escaped Bosnian capital Sarajevo, her hometown, mere days before the city was besieged for nearly four years. Senka spent the rest of her childhood as a refugee. Now an American citizen, Senka recognizes the importance of shedding light on what it means to be refugee during one's formative years – and why it is crucial to support child survivors of war. Senka volunteered at San Diego Refugee Tutoring, an organization providing holistic academic support to refugee school children. Currently, Senka is Head of Communications at Grammarly in San Francisco.
Trystan Loucado had the honor of studying ballet with Ahita Ardalan. He has performed the works of such great choreographers as Twyla Tharp, Robert Cohen, and George Balanchine, as well as the full-length classics. Trystan joined Nevada Ballet Theater in 2007, and has since danced for San Diego Ballet, Malashock Dance, Owen Cox Dance, City Ballet of San Diego, and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, touring internationally to 16 countries on five continents.
Trystan is currently a principal dancer with California Ballet and frequently solos with San Diego Dance Theater.
Victor Navone started with classical art training, then added self-study, lots of hard work, and a year abroad in France. The result: he has worked on over 10 Disney/Pixar feature animated films, and received several awards along the way. He has also worked on multiple video game projects, and has a viral video to his credit.
Ythaniel is the 2018 Chula Vista Elementary School District fourth grade speech contest winner. This young man receives academic awards for math yearly, and wants to be an engineer when he grows up.