After a year of planning and behind-the-scenes work, YES Prep, under the College Initiatives’ Alumni Affairs team, has launched the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association’s mission is to build the influence of YES Prep alumni so that they may lead a choice-filled life and have an opportunity to give back to their community. Furthermore, the Alumni Association will bring alumni together to build a network across campuses and graduating classes.
In August 2018, the College Initiatives team named the Alumni Association’s inaugural Board of Directors. The board has met several times since, working on identifying this inaugural year’s goals and event calendar.
MEET THE BOARD
PRESIDENT – Luly Castillo, Class of 2001
Luly Castillo graduated from YES Prep Southeast in 2001 and Drexel University in 2006 as a mechanical engineer. She began her career working for CEMEX, first in Development (Management Training) and then in Commercial Strategy. In 2008, Castillo joined Halliburton as a mechanical engineer and three years later transferred into the Business Development team where she has held multiple positions. During her time in Halliburton, Castillo has been recognized as the “Top Hispanic Women in Technology” in 2012 and “Forty under Forty” in 2010 by the Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology.
In addition to her work experience, Castillo is committed to giving back to her community. She is a part of the SWAG to College board of directors and is the Parent Working Chair for Women Sharing Excellence at Halliburton. As for her involvement with YES Prep, she is the Mentor Chair for YES Young Professionals and joined the YES Prep Board of Directors in April 2018.
In 2008, Castillo married her high school sweetheart and is the mother of 6 and 4-year-old boys.
VICE PRESIDENT – Erick Gonzalez, Class of 2010
Erick Gonzalez graduated from YES Prep North Central in 2010 and the University of Houston in 2014. He also obtained a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute. Gonzalez joined Baker Hughes, a GE Company, in 2013 as a Production Planner and quickly moved into his current position as a Project Manager, where he is responsible for the execution of projects from start to finish, actively highlighting and managing risks for the business, as well as communication to the Leadership and customers on project status ranging from delivery to financial health. In his Project Management role, Gonzalez has had the opportunity to work with customers from the U. S., Singapore, Denmark, India, China, among others.
On his free time, Gonzalez enjoys traveling, cycling, running, and spending time with his puppy- Marcel.
TREASURER – Crystal Usoro, Class of 2011
Crystal Usoro graduated as the salutatorian of the first graduating class of YES Prep Southwest in 2011. During her time at Southwest, she served as Senior Class and SGA Treasurer, as well as co-captain of the girls’ varsity basketball team. Usoro graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics in May 2015. Currently, she is a Senior Tax Accountant on the Federal Compliance team at LyondellBasell.
Outside of work, Usoro serves several nonprofits and social organizations in the community including her beloved sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Baker Ripley as a volunteer tax preparer for low-income families and fair housing advocate, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals, Junior Achievement and YES Prep Professionals.
FUNDRAISER/OPERATIONS – Andro Loaiza, Class of 2013
Andro Loaiza graduated from YES Prep Southwest in 2013. During his time at Southwest, Loaiza was involved in the soccer team, cross country team, men’s volleyball club, and was a Student Ambassador. Loaiza graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May 2018 where he majored in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. At the University of Oklahoma, he was a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a student assistant for the Multicultural Business Program, and a recruitment intern for Diversity Enrichment Programs. Currently, Loaiza is a Functional IT Recruiter at TEKsystems where he is responsible for building connections with top IT professionals and ensuring he finds these professionals a program that fits their need.
On his free time, Loaiza enjoys running, working out, and spending time with his family.
SECRETARY – Jose Ricardo Zelaya Romero, Class of 2017
Jose Ricardo Zelaya Romero graduated from YES Prep Brays Oaks in 2017. During his time at Brays Oaks, Zelaya Romero was involved in Student Council, Name that Book team, and started his own Gamer Club. Today, he is at the University of Houston where he is pursuing a major in Painting and Digital Media and a minor in Art History.
Zelaya Romero is currently involved in the Catholic Student Organization and the Anime No Ki Club. Post-graduation, he plans to pursue his Masters of Fine Arts in Animation and Digital Art.
During his free time, Zelaya Romero enjoys drawing, reading, and playing video games.
WORKING FOR YOU
The Alumni Association is excited to begin working with alumni who want to give back to the YES Prep family and better serve future YES Prep alumni. The first event of the year will be the Winter Social on Thursday, January 10, 2019 (RSVP here).
In addition, YES Prep is unveiling its new website through a software tool called Almabase where alumni from across the country will be able to connect, find jobs and join the YES Prep Alumni Association. Almabase will allow alumni to link social and professional accounts, have an online Alumni directory, online event platform, career job board, email marketing, tutoring/mentoring programs and much more.
To learn more about the Alumni Association and how you can get involved, visit the new alumni website at YesPrepAlumni.org.