2012 Leaders for Life Fellows

Meet the 2012 Leaders for Life Fellows



Vanessa Colchado

Vanessa Colchado

  • Graduate Education: University of Florida
  • Undergraduate Education: University of Florida
  • TSIC Alumni from Polk County

Take Stock in Children Scholar Vanessa Colchado graduated from Bartow High School in 2012. She went on to attend the University of Florida where she earned a bachelor’s degree and recently, in 2017, a master's degree in accounting. As a student, she was inducted into Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society. This past summer, she completed her second internship in tax with Deloitte – a Big Four accounting firm. Currently, she’s secured a full-time position with Deloitte and will be starting her new position this August in Tampa. Over the summer, she plans on taking as many CPA exams to be a certified public accountant as possible.

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Tyler Dwyer

Tyler Dwyer

  • Graduate Education: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Class of 2018
  • Undergraduate Education: University of Florida
  • TSIC Alumni from Clay County

Take Stock in Children Scholar Tyler Dwyer graduated from Keystone Heights High School in 2012. While in high school, he dual-enrolled at Santa Fe College and went on to attend the University of Florida. He is now a graduate student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is expecting to graduate in 2018. This past semester, he worked as a student trainee at a clinic for children with developmental disabilities; this summer, he’s training at a high school for part of the summer and at a clinic for adults with aphasia. After graduation, Tyler hopes to practice clinically in a hospital setting focused on neurological disorders, rehabilitation speech, language, and swallowing issues following a stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI). He also plans to pursue a PhD and conduct research investigating the connections between language and the brain.

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Alfonso Mejia

Alfonso Mejia

  • Undergraduate Education: University of Florida
  • College Focus: Finance
  • TSIC Alumni from Broward County

Take Stock in Children Scholar Alfonso Mejia graduated from Charles W. Flanagan High School in 2012. He went on to graduate from the University of Florida in 2016. Recently – and impressively – he circumnavigated the globe in 77 days. He currently works for Google as an associate account strategist where he helps small to medium sized businesses maximize their online advertising. In his spare time, he’s concentrated on taking the GMAT, becoming a mentor to a high school student, and improving his Portuguese. Alfonso plans to get his MBA in the next few years and then work internationally in either Spain or Brazil.

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Huong Thuy Nguyen

Huong Thuy Nguyen

  • Undergraduate Education: University of Florida
  • College Focus: Applied Physiology and Kinesiology
  • TSIC Alumni from Manatee County

Take Stock in Children Scholar Huong Thuy Nguyen graduated from Braden River High School in 2012. She went on to graduate from the University of Florida, Magna cum Laude, in 2016. She’s currently applying to medical schools and will be starting this new venture later this year. In the meantime, she’s been working as a medical transcriber in her hometown of Bradenton, FL and volunteering with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She’s also in the process of finishing up a project with the University of Florida College of Medicine's Mobile Outreach Clinic. In her spare time, she is becoming certified in Vietnamese and Spanish medical interpretation. Recently, Huong’s mother was diagnosed with end stage renal disease so she’s hoping to assist her mom in overcoming her health issues and will possibly be able to donate her kidney. In the future, she plans to practice medicine as a physician.

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Daniel Pierce

Daniel Pierce

  • Graduate Education: Florida State University, College of Medicine - Class of 2020
  • Undergraduate Education: Florida State University
  • TSIC Alumni from Escambia County

Take Stock in Children Scholar Daniel Pierce graduated from JM Tate High School in 2012. Daniel now attends Florida State University, where he already graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2016, and is in medical school at the FSU College of Medicine with an expected graduation date in 2020. Though he only had a short month between finishing his undergrad and starting medical school, Daniel was able to backpack across several countries in Europe with a close friend. He recently was awarded the HPSP scholarship from the Air Force and is proud of his successful transition into medical school. This summer, he will be working in Fairhope, AL with a pediatrician before going to Air Force officer training in Montgomery. Upon graduation, Daniel hopes to find a residency program with the Air Force.

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