Alumni Updates: Malaysia, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador & Philippines

Global UGRAD Alumni from Malaysia, El Salvador, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the Philippines have been sharing their updates…check them out below.


Cay and her family in Malaysia 1Cayenne Lai (2012-13) was hired by a production house in her community and recently worked as a producer for a corporate video. She also joined the Youth Leadership Academy and is and working on a social entrepreneur project for them.







I Wayan Alit Sudarsana founded the Little Circle Foundation (LCF) which focuses on improving the quality of education in Bali through knowledge sharing and volunteering. He is also teaching English to children in elementary through high school aged at his foundation.

El Salvador

Jimmy Alvarado Campos (2011-12) won a “People’s Choice” award of $2,500 for “Breaking the Gap” in the Dell Social Innovation Challenge.  “Breaking the Gap” will provide English and Computer classes to kids, in four poor communities in La Libertad, El Salvador aiming to increase their opportunities to succeed in elementary school and reach middle and high school. Jaime Montoya (2011-12) was awarded a Fulbright Foreign Student Program Scholarship and has finished his pre-academic Fulbright Intensive English Program that ended this month at Loyola University of Chicago. Soon after he will start his Masters’ program at the Rochester Institute of Technology studying Information Sciences and Technologies, with a concentration in Web Systems and Integration Technologies.


Walter Gómez Segura (2011-12) recently started an internship at UNICEF and we wish him the best of luck!

Costa Rica

Carolina Carrillo (update in email)Carolina Carrillo (2009-10) took part in the celebration of Costa Rica’s Environmental Day on June 1st, 2013. The event took place in cooperation with the the English Access Microscholarship Program and the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica. Carolina and Two Fulbright alumni were invited to this event to give speeches to high school students about different topics related to environmental issues. Carolina spoke about waste management education. Melissa Robles Guzmán (2009-10) in the middle of her masters’ program and is also working as an English teacher for the University of Costa Rica. She is also an active member of the U.S. Embassy Youth Council in Costa Rica and is one the winning team for the Department of State’s annual AIEF contest.







philippines group1
Pictured are some of the past Filipino UGRADers congregating at the Philippine American Educational Foundation (PAEF)

The Filipino UGraders are in the process of formally creating an Alumni Association in country. One year into planning, they have successfully elected a Board of Officers and are in the middle of registering the organization at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The association also hopes to organize a Book and School Supplies Drive and mount it as a nationwide effort every Christmas or every start of term. Leading the Association are Dale De Jesus (2010-11) and Malcolm Flores (2011-12) as President and Vice President respectively. Other officers are as follows: Ara Aguilar– Secretary; Zee Punzalan– Treasurer; Pia Benosa– Luzon Regional Head; John Briones– Visayas Regional Head; and Karl Abregana– Mindanao Regional Head. The Association hopes to one day realize their vision of a Philippines where every Filipino student has equal and prevalent opportunities to broaden his world and enrich himself through international scholarships, top-notch resources, and strong community support on the road to becoming a global Filipino leader.  In April 2013, Erick Marco Ramos (2010-11) graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language Teaching from the Philippine Normal University.

Erick Marco
Erick Marco Ramos being interviewed on a nationwide news telecast News To Go.

He had the third highest GPA from among the 1,500 graduates and the highest mark from the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature. He also received academic excellence awards from the Department of English and Philippine Senator Ralph Recto. Because of his achievements, Marco was featured in several national TV programs, radio shows and the country’s major broadsheets. He talked about the challenges that persons with disabilities face in a mainstream school setting and difficulties in finding employment opportunities. He also mentioned his experiences as a Global UGRADer. On August 1, 2013, Marco received the Outstanding Visually Impaired Achievement in Academics Award from the Department of Education and the Parent Advocates for Visually Impaired Children. The award was given as part of the 2013 Philippine White Cane Safety Day Celebration. Marco is now working as a freelance technical writer while looking for career opportunities in corporate training. He  is also preparing for the License Examination for Teachers in September. Recently, Marco’s team won an AEIF grant for their proposal called “Project W.I.R.E.D. for PWD Sector” which aims to provide technical skills training to persons with disabilities. He will be working as the project’s blind-visually impaired assistive-technology specialist.

Patriluz Manongsong (2012-13) is currently a junior studying Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English at the Philippine Normal University (PNU).  She is presently a president-in-training at the PNU Debate Society supervising the debate trainings every Wednesday. She is also a student assistant and a teaching assistant at PNU’s Faculty of Arts and Languages. As a teaching assistant, she has already taught some classes in English Literature and is still to teach selected topics in the same course. She has also been invited in different speaking engagements to share her experiences as a Global Undergraduate Exchange Program Scholar. She recently spoke at an orientation program for the PHINMA National Scholarship Program and at the General Assembly of PNU’s Faculty of Arts and Languages conference.


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