It is difficult to summarize 80 years of experience in just a couple hundred words, as Brian has dedicated
his life to philanthropy.
Born in Washington, DC, Brian graduated from Georgetown University and soon after joined the US
Public Health Service. During the 1960’s, Devine became quite the political activist, as an outspoken
advocate for civil rights and the anti-war movement.
Always fighting for a more equitable world, Brian worked on John Kennedy’s Campaign, the 1963 March
on Washington, and became President of the American Federation of Government Employees Union.
In 1970, Brian helped run Toys R Us and Petco, always prioritizing the most ethical policies that created
management opportunities for women and minorities — which were largely nonexistent at the time.
Brian continued to support others through the Devine Scholar Program, and theater outreach programs.
He founded the Petco Foundation, which has since distributed $300 million to animal welfare
Eiffel Sunga is a senior at Bonita Vista High. She was born in the Philippines and migrated to the United
States when she was just five years old. As a once shy and introverted kid, Eiffel found comfort in
writing, storytelling, and poetry. She used writing to express herself in a way she couldn't verbally.
Though non-traditional, she found a love for poetry through music. At its core, song lyrics are simply
structured poems. Though she doesn't own very many poetry books, she has a long catalog of songs as
inspiration for her writing. Ironically, English is not her first language but as she worked to improve her
fluency, English became one of her favorite subjects. This led her to take advantage of ways to develop
her writing and speaking skills. Now, she is Editor-in-Chief of her high school’s newspaper The Crusader
and Vice President of the Speech and Debate team. As a leader, she hopes to inspire that same love for
writing within the members of her community.
Major in US Marines
In December 1989, at just nine years-old, Fabio immigrated from Colombia to the United States,
where he would later take full advantage of the academic and military programs offered in the US. After
graduating from a JROTC program in Missouri, he enlisted into the Marine Corps with dreams of
becoming a Marine Corps officer. Twenty-three years later, he has completed an undergraduate degree in
Social Science from the University of Maryland, and a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on
Diversity and Equity from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has achieved his dream of
becoming a Marine Corps officer and will be retiring from the military in two years.
As he prepares for life outside of the military, he hopes to find an outlet that allows him to
continue making a positive impact on those around him. Fabio is happily married with two young boys,
aged 18 and 16 years-old.
Kai is a sophomore at Bonita Vista High School. With a self-proclaimed “strange” last name, Kai
prides himself on his eccentricity. He enjoys some unique hobbies for a teenage boy, such as
collecting rocks, composting, gardening, and cooking, to name a few. In fact, his hobbies are
quite interconnected. When Kai began perfecting his cooking skills, he noticed that the fresher
the materials, the better the meal. Around a year ago, Kai began to procure his own arsenal of
fresh ingredients and got involved in composting and gardening in order to reduce his household
waste. Kai and his family are always seeking to use less and gain more. When he’s not in the
garden, Kai could be found in a heated debate round, as he is an active member of his high
school’s Speech and Debate program. His participation has provided him with a new insight into
many different perspectives relating to the environment and the world as a whole.
Li-Rong (Lilly) Cheng
SDSU Professor and Director of the Chinese Cultural Center
Dr. Li-Rong Lilly Cheng is the Director of the Chinese Cultural Center and was a Professor in the School
of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University. Dr. Cheng is the past chair of
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Multicultural Issues Board and the past
President of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP).
She served as a member of the editorial board of several major professional journals and has published
numerous articles and books on the topics of cultural diversity, cross-cultural communication, language
learning and teaching.
Dr. Cheng holds visiting professorships in multiple universities in China and Taiwan. In 2002, her
research paper was selected for the best research article award from the Council of Exceptional Children,
the Humanitarian Asian Heritage Foundation award in 2010, Monty’s Award from SDSU in 2012,
Diversity Award from CAPCSD in 2013.
Dr. Li-Rong Lilly Cheng is the Director of the Chinese Cultural Center and was a Professor in the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State University. Dr. Cheng is the past chair of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Multicultural Issues Board and the past President of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP).
She served as a member of the editorial board of several major professional journals and has published numerous articles and books on the topics of cultural diversity, cross-cultural communication, language learning and teaching.
Dr. Cheng holds visiting professorships in multiple universities in China and Taiwan. In 2002, her research paper was selected for the best research article award from the Council of Exceptional Children, the Humanitarian Asian Heritage Foundation award in 2010, Monty’s Award from SDSU in 2012, Diversity Award from CAPCSD in 2013.
Madison Geering is currently a junior at San Diego State University, where she studies
journalism, serves as an editor for The Daily Aztec newspaper, and writes for The Look
magazine. She took her passion for writing outside of the classroom as a 2022 intern at The
San Diego Union-Tribune, where her work was featured online and in print. An alumnus of
Bonita Vista High School, she served as an Editor-in-Chief for The Crusader newspaper.
Madison’s love of words extends beyond the page; she was awarded with Best of Show for
spoken word poetry at the San Diego County Fair and 4th place for Original Prose and Poetry
at the CHSSA State Championship. As a lifelong music-lover, her affection for poeticism
extends to song lyrics. She performs original and cover music at local venues. When she’s not
writing, studying, or performing, she can be found reading, painting, or binge-watching
Matthew is a senior at Bonita Vista High School (BVH). As an International Baccalaureate (IB)
student, Matthew has taken advantage of the IB Environmental Systems & Societies class, BVH’s Green
Team, and the Youth for a Sustainable Future program all demonstrate his deep concern for Earth and for
creating a sustainable future.
Matthew grew up in Lyon, France, and has embraced his French culture through his love of
French music. Not only does Matthew enjoy listening to music, but he is also an aspiring songwriter,
singer, and rap performer, believing that a deep emotional connection to lyrics creates the most impactful
performances. He adores the drama and passion of musical performances, and therefore has been
simultaneously drawn to the art of slam poetry. He strives to use his rhythm and rhyme to touch people’s
hearts, so they may realize the importance and gravity of the world’s climate crisis, and to finally act upon
Executive Director/Founder of the South Bay Sustainable Communities Network
Tina Matthias began her career at the Living Coast Discovery Center for over 32 years as the
Volunteer and Programs Manager. She currently serves on the Bayfront Cultural Design committees. In
2020, Tina created the nonprofit, South Bay Sustainable Communities Network (SBSC) where she
engages her South Bay community on how to lead a sustainable lifestyle through neighborhood
composting, organized community clean-ups, guided nature hikes, and by hosting zero waste workshops.
Realizing that our youth is our future, Tina began educating our youth on taking action to reduce
the impact of climate change by creating Youth 4 a Sustainable Future (Y4SF), at local high schools. In
the first year, students diverted over 14,800 pounds of food waste from the landfill preventing over 10K
pounds of emissions from being released into our atmosphere.
In her spare time, she is a member of The Rotary Club of Chula Vista, enjoys her garden, and
prides herself on growing all the food she eats.