with students smallDuring a recent assembly, Lower and Middle School students were eager to ask questions of alumni speakers Naldo Peliks ’92 and Nate Levine ’05 who shared about their work as social entrepreneurs at Centro Community Partners in Oakland and OpenGov in Redwood City, respectively.

Naldo is COO at Centro Community Partners, which educates and supports entrepreneurs from low-income and minority backgrounds to build and grow their own businesses. These budding entrepreneurs receive on-going education, mentorship, and opportunities to promote their business.

Nate is co-founder and Director of Strategic Accounts at OpenGov, which provides state and local governments with a data platform to better manage their budgeting, make data-driven decisions, and increase financial transparency within their communities.

After the alumni panelists introduced themselves and their organizations, they answered a series of questions created by our seventh-grade SEL students. The questions attempted to explore what they do professionally and their educational journey up to this point.

Both Naldo and Nate described how they regularly tackle hard problems at work by thinking creatively and collaboratively to solve them.

“Every day is different,” said Naldo. “I’m constantly thinking on my feet, putting out fires, and building new systems.”

Nate added that he enjoyed the challenge of ambiguity in his role, “You never know fully that you’ve made the right decision, and you often don’t find out until later if that decision worked out.”

Naldo attributed his Nueva education with forming his ability to solve complex problems.

“It’s that curiosity that was built into me that has helped me get where I am,” said Naldo. “I loved Nueva’s community service requirement, and I found a way to combine my passion for helping people with problem solving.”

Nate credited the experience of not receiving grades at Nueva as a contributing factor to his ability to navigate the unknown and innovate. “As Nueva students we were exposed to a lot of challenges in the world and I was taught that I could have an impact,” said Nate.

The alumni also reminisced about their days at Nueva doing art projects with preK–5 art teacher Grant Ditzler, building elaborate forts, learning stage combat, playing on every sports team because there were so few students, and all the hands-on activities they did in classes.

Learning about the passions and efforts of these two alumni was a part of this year’s assembly theme of perspective taking and walking in someone else’s shoes.



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