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Are You a Former QUESTie? We'd Love to Feature You!

Send a brief bio (about one paragraph) of what you're up to now. Please include your graduation year in your description. Also, send a picture in jpeg or png format. Send all info to shawkins@lbschools.net

QUEST Alumni

Kate Quinn, 2000
Katharine Quinn.jpg

Kate Quinn, a graduate of the first QUEST class in 2000, is USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Classical Voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with the bestselling "The Alice Network." All have been translated into multiple languages. 

Rosanna Ly, 2012
Rosanna Ly, 2016

As a QUEST student, Rosanna Ly felt supported by her many teachers  and was grateful to form lifelong friendships with other students in the program. She was a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship and with the help of this scholarship was able to attend and graduate from college debt-free. After Millikan High, she pursued her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. She held internships I held at the Boys and Girls Club and at Alliance for Children’s Rights along with my work experience at the UCLA Early Care Education Center truly helped foster my passion for education and teaching children. She is currently in her second year of a Master of Arts for Teaching program at Chapman where she is earning her Elementary and Multiple Subject credentials with the expectation of graduating in 2018. She says that she is "grateful for the QUEST program and the spectacular faculty members who fostered my love for learning and helped encouraged me to pursue higher education. Go Rams!"

Stacy Thompson, 2011
Stacy Thompson, 2011

Stacy Thompson, 23, of Washington, D.C. is currently the Assistant to the Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.  Previously, Ms. Thompson worked as a paralegal in the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and was honored to be a member of the final class of White House interns under the Obama Administration in the fall of 2016.  Prior to working for Senator Shaheen, Ms. Thompson interned in the office of U.S. Senator Tom Carper of Delaware.  She plans to pursue a career in public policy, with a focus on national security and foreign relations.  Ms. Thompson grew up in Long Beach, CA and received a B.A. from Williams College in 2015. 

Shannon Smith, 2008
Shannon Smith, 2008

Shannon Smith graduated from QUEST in 2008 and says that the program "helped me become a diligent student and a well-rounded young adult."  She knew the program would allow her to take part in a number of exciting opportunities that would prepare her for college.  She was surprised, however, at how many valuable life lessons she learned. Through the encouragement of a close community, caring teachers, and challenging coursework, she became more confident in asking for help, more accepting of others, and more motivated to incorporate self-discipline in her studies. Shannon knows that "maturation and growth are inevitable for all students in high school, but I always felt that my peers and teachers in the QUEST program provided safe environments so that I could ask controversial questions without feeling judged and laugh with friends that loved and supported me."  After graduation she had to quickly learn and adjust in carrying out unplanned responsibilities and her education was put on a temporary hold. She constantly reminded herself of  how much she was capable of by remembering the goals she had accomplished in the QUEST program. She got through a challenging stage in life and is now continuing where she left off as a student at UC Santa Barbara! Nearly a decade later, she reminisces about the memories she shared with fellow “Questies” and the principles that were taught in high school. Thanks to the QUEST program, she says that "I have accomplished more than I ever thought was possible- in my education and in my personal life."

Emily Phillips, 2008
Emily Phillips

Since graduating from the QUEST program, Emily Phillips has  completed her Bachelor of Science Degree at CSULB  in Food and Nutritional Sciences. After finishing her degree she was accepted into Napa State Hospital's Dietetic Internship program (similar to the dietitians' version of a residency), after which she successfully passed her board exam and became a registered dietitian. Emily is currently  working as a clinical dietitian in an interdisciplinary medical team - her coworkers are doctors, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and speech language pathologists. Additionally, she is on the board for the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Orange District as the Speakers Bureau Representative. She recently began her journey to earn her Master's Degree in clinical nutrition. 

Lilia Gutierrez, 2010
Lilia Gutierrez, 2010

Lilia Gutierrez currently works as a Human Resources Generalist at Lakeshore Learning Materials, a manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of educational materials for classrooms, teachers, and infants/toddlers through the 6th grade. Prior to working at Lakeshore, Lilia received her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Education from Cal State Northridge. Lilia's hands are very full these days, as she has a super active toddler! 

Jaqueline Aranda, 2006
Jaqueline Aranda, 2006

Jackie Aranda is currently serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Catharine Easterly in the D.C. Court of Appeals. Prior to clerking, Jackie worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, where she represented prisoners in a class action lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Corrections. Jackie received a J.D. from Berkeley Law in 2015 and a B.S. from Cornell University in 2010. 

 

Colleen Realubit, 2013
Colleen Realubit, 2013

Colleen who graduated from QUEST in 2013 is currently working for Walsh Paper Distribution as an administrative assistant. She is in charge of processing sales orders, invoices, purchase orders and payroll. She also has direct contact with customers and suppliers around the country and works with World Wide Express to ship their products to them. Her favorite perk of working for WPD is getting hands on experience with most of the operations that occur in the company which is an opportunity most people her age don’t always get. Colleen says that "QUEST helped lay the foundation that made me comfortable to take on challenges and responsibilities that continue to help me grow as a professional and as an individual."

 

Michael Diaz, 2009
Michael Diaz, 2009

Michael Diaz is a graduate of the Class of 2009, and was among the 9 Gold Robes that year. Inspired by his AP Psychology class in tenth grade, he completed his undergraduate work at Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology, concentrating on neuroscience and human behavior. Upon graduation from Stanford, Michael studied the effects of stress hormones on cancer patients and published his work in an international psycho-oncology medical textbook. While at Millikan, Michael's dream was to become a physician, and now, as a fourth year medical student at the University of California, San Francisco, his dream is only months away. He is currently applying to residency programs with the goal of becoming a neurologist and will graduate from medical school in spring 2018.

Greg Gutierrez, 2007
Greg Gutierrez

Greg was another Gold Robe graduate from the QUEST program, and  after high school he attended UCLA. Greg currently works on the Research & Strategy team at Propper Daley, a Los Angeles-based social impact agency that leverages the influence of the entertainment community, nonprofits, and corporations to create positive, outcome-driven change. Prior to joining Propper Daley, Greg spent four years in New York and Washington, D.C. working on national political campaigns.

Alicia Yonan, 2013
Alicia Yonan, 2013

While at Millikan, Alicia Yonan was on the Millikan Advanced Dance Team and was involved in the National Honors Society, QUEST club, and various other clubs on campus. After graduation she attended California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo where she earned her degree in Business Administration, Marketing with a minor in Statistics. While at Cal Poly, she interned in marketing and data analytics at various companies including The Walt Disney Company, Kaiser Permanente, and local NBC Television Stations. After four years of internships and successful completion of her degree, she moved up to San Francisco to begin working at comScore, one of the top cross-platform measurement & analytics companies in the country. She works with various clients in digital media including Microsoft, Twitter, and Google.

Julia Allen, 2015
Julia Allen, 2015

Julia Allen who graduated from the QUEST program in 2015 was one of the sixteen valedictorian Gold Robes for that year. At Millikan she was involved in girls’ tennis and clubs such as NHS, QUEST Ambassadors, and Link Crew. She is now at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she is studying Civil Engineering following the school's “learn by doing” motto. At SLO, she is involved in the orientation program where she works to to help lead the incoming freshmen through a week of orientation activities.She also commit  time to the club Engineers without Borders, a campus group that is currently working to install a water filtration system in a Nicaraguan community. At Cal Poly, Julia has taken opportunities to study abroad in Thailand and Cambodia during the 2017 summer. She plans to graduate in 2019 with her B.A. and plans to focus on helping developing countries to develop and maximize their use of water resources.

Art Porter, 2015
Art Porter, 2015

Arthur (Art) Porter who graduated in 2015 is an undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego.He is currently working toward achieving his Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Physiology. Once he has finished he plans on pursuing his juris doctorate in patent law. He recently completed a study abroad in Rome during the 2017 summer. At UC San Diego, Art is serving as an orientation leader for Revelle College as well as an undergraduate legal research intern for Student Legal Services.

Benjamin Levin, 2008
Benjamin Levin, 2008

Benjamin Levin was one of three Valedictorian Gold Robes in 2008. He was selected to be a recipient of the prestigious President's Scholar award at California State University, Long Beach where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minor in History. After a hiatus, he has returned to CSULB to earn a second degree, this time a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. While he is working on this degree, he also works as a substitute teacher in LBUSD.

 

Sabria Harper, 2016
Sabria Harper

Since graduating from QUEST in 2016, Sabria has been pursuing her undergrad education at the University of California, Berkeley as a Political Science Major with a minor in African American studies. Moving into her second year at Cal, she has conquered a lot of new and educational experiences for which she feel she "would not have completed without the skills QUEST gave me." These experiences include being part of the Black Student Union as well as participating in countless community service projects serving underrepresented groups in the Bay Area. She says that "Cal has definitely been a dream come true for me. Although it was tough to get here, the QUEST community gave me the perfect support system to be able to succeed at the #1 public institution in the US, and I will forever be grateful."

Kenny Pickens, 2008
Kenny Pickens

After graduating from QUEST, Kenny moved to Oklahoma to complete two years at a junior college to help himself save money as well as to help maintain his amazing GPA. He took a few years off afterwards to do a little living, and is now currently finishing his last year at USC where he is completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Once done, his future plan is to begin Medical School to continue pursuing his dream of becoming a medical psychiatrist. He says that "QUEST helped in boosting my confidence regarding my studies. I quickly learned that everyone struggles, but the amazing educators made me realize my fullest potential and pushed me to go above and beyond."

Jennifer Jimenez
Jennifer Jimenez

Jennifer graduated from CSU Dominguez Hills with highest honors (Summa Cum Laude) in 2015 earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in English. As an undergrad student, at CSUDH she was the Recruitment Director for the Pre-Law Society and was a Law Intern for the Torrance Superior Courthouse. She was also a member of Model United Nations and represented the nation of Saudi Arabia at the University of New York. Since graduating Jennifer dedicated herself to pursing a career in law enforcement. She is currently a Police Dispatcher, handling 911 and business calls for two cities. She also handles police radio traffic and takes care of officer requests. She is finding that her career is extremely rewarding as she gets to assist the public when they are most in need.  

Kevin Jafarey, 2009
Kevin Jafarey, 2009

Kevin Jafarey, whose face you may recognize from the QUEST brochures that are passed out during recruitment events, was given early acceptance to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Mechatronics.  After graduation, he began working as an Operations Engineer for Boeing in Seal Beach, where Boeing develops repairs for airplanes that are down for scheduled maintenance all around the world. Kevin works in a fast-paced, 24/7 department where he specializes in designing structural repairs for damaged airplanes that aren’t in the shop, but rather are stranded at the gate and in need of immediate solutions.  Kevin recently began work on his Master of Mechanical Engineering at CSULB with a focus on Mechanics and Materials in 2016. 

 

Rosana Carranza, 2008
Rosana Carranza, 2008

Rosana Carranza is a graduate of the QUEST class of 2008. After graduation, she attended UC Berkeley, where she double majored in Spanish & Portuguese and Anthropology. Her undergraduate education culminated in an honors thesis on environmental justice activism in Tijuana and San Diego, as well as a semester in Washington, DC interning for a farmworker advocacy organization. From 2013-2014, Rosana was part of the Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program, a competitive anti-hunger and anti-poverty fellowship. Thereafter, she attended the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs for her Master's in Urban Planning. Since graduating in 2016, Rosana has been working for the City of Long Beach. She currently works for the Public Works Department as a project manager for various capital projects.