Which FUSD schools did you attend and when?
I attended Millard Elementary School (Class of 1991), Horner Jr. High School (Class of 1993), and Irvington High School (Class of 1997).
Did you go on to college?
Yes. I went to San Jose State University and Graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Relations.
What are you doing now?
I am the CEO and Founder of a successful Public Relations and Digital Marketing firm in Beverly Hills, California. I represent some of the best technology and consumer products companies from around the world, as well as the business ventures of many well-known celebrities.
I also started a non-profit organization called the Young Dreamers Foundation where I visit schools throughout the nation and help kids build their emotional intelligence through self-awareness and self-esteem building tools that help them get through the ups and downs in life.
How did your time with FUSD help prepare you for your career?
I owe a LOT to FUSD. Honestly! I feel so fortunate to have grown up in Fremont and attend the schools I did.
From the English teachers who helped me hone my writing skills, to my leadership and marketing teachers, mentioned in the next answer below. My love for writing, marketing and leading are the core reason I found my passion early on and gravitated towards a major in college that set me up for success today.
I also enjoyed math, science, PE, and social studies. It might sound silly but lessons from all of those classes are why I love research, technology and sports! These are core industries and skills I’ve built my business on and my awesome teachers and classes set the foundation.
Who are some of the teachers/staff who had the greatest influence on you?
It started with Mr. Poe at Millard Elementary. Honestly, I had him as my second-grade teacher and he was the first teacher to really believe in me and see my potential. He had personality and helped me enjoy school. I looked forward to going to school to see my classmates and just be in his class. My sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Treat, taught me the value of grades and studying. I didn’t really understand the concept until I was in her class. I would talk to her after class and she always made me feel comfortable to ask questions. Starting with Mrs. Treat’s class in 6th grade all the way through high school, I NEVER got less than a B on a report card ever again. That is largely because of her. I owe her so much because of how she helped me see that I had the power to get the grades I strived for.
At Horner Jr. High, my French teacher, Mrs. Welch, was like a life line at school. Not only did I LOVE going to her class and learning French, she had the best personality and also took the time to console me when I was having personal problems. It was outside of her class I cried for the first time because of a break up (true story). It was her that helped me see how special I was and that I was going to grow up to be someone awesome. She helped me raise my confidence and helped me see the world through a hopeful lens. I finally visited Paris this past year. The seed was planted in 7th and 8th grade. I never forgot!
At Irvington, the list is endless. I’ll narrow it down to the top two: Mr. Dillemuth was the activities director at the time I went there and I am fortunate to have been in his leadership class all four years because I was on student council. Mr. D was like a second dad. He showed all of us in leadership how to be great leaders who led with purpose and helped us unlock our potential, while creating the best, healthy, and fun environment to do so. Even when times were tough, Mr. D was always there. Another lifeline for me in my life and one of the reasons I am so successful as a leader today.
Also, Ms. Curtis, the Fashion Merchandising/Marketing teacher at the time I was at Irvington. The original class for Fashion Merchandising was small with maybe eight students in the class when I took it, but I didn’t let that stop me from exploring it. Not very many people knew about it and after learning about DECA and the possibilities to learn and grow through it, it quickly became one of my favorite classes. I loved it so much, I told a ton of my friends to sign up, so they could tap into their creative side and go on DECA trips to compete. By my senior year we had a full class and the program at Irvington has, as I’ve recently learned, grown ever since. It was because of the combination of Mr. D and Ms. Curtis that my love for leadership and marketing were unlocked and my career in PR was the natural result of that. I really do owe them and my awesome English teachers so much.
What advice do you have for current students about how to best take advantage of their FUSD experience?
DO NOT take it for granted. I’ve seen schools and neighborhoods around the nation. FUSD is by far one of the very best and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Consider yourselves fortunate and please take full advantage of being able to learn and grow in such an amazing school district. The world is a big and scary place. But with the right education you can tackle anything. That is what FUSD has helped me to see.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I was an NFL Cheerleader, cheering two seasons for the Oakland Raiders, after graduating from San Jose State. It was a goal I set for myself when I was in 3rd grade and was beyond proud when I saw that dream through and made it come true. Every goal I ever set while attending schools in FUSD I have achieved, from being ASB President at Irvington to becoming homecoming queen, graduating college and moving to Beverly Hills. ALL of those things were dreams I had when I was a young girl in school and every experience in school helped me have the confidence to make them happen. I am so thankful my experience in school, teachers I had, and friends I’ve made gave me the ability to do so. I am still very close to many of my Millard, Horner, and Irvington classmates. There’s something special about Fremont that I wish more people in the world had the privilege of experiencing. I think the world would be a better place if they did.
‘Where Are They Now’ update from Jan 2019