Nadine found her calling in humanitarian services when she taught theater to developmentally disabled adults at Mi-Star in Los Angeles in 2006-2008. She served as CEO of HOW (Helping Others Worldwide) 501(C)3 from 2009-2011, creating and executing a Healing Art Programs for orphaned youth in Sierra Leone, Africa. True Connection was founded to expand the Healing Arts Program locally in Los Angeles and Compton from 2012-2016. Then, she collaborated with numerous professionals to create the HiEQ Curriculum to support the progressive education initiative and empower youth through social emotional learning, mindfulness, meditation and art.
Nadine is a talented actress starring in a major recurring role on the upcoming third season of The Expanse. She is also coming off a heavily recurring role on Hulu’s Casual. Nadine moved the hearts of many in her award-winning role as Julia, in Lonely Planet, shot in Barcelona. Her television resume has included Series Regular on Dante's Cove, recurring role, Gwen Randall, on CBS’ long-running series The Young & The Restless, top of the show Guest Star for CBS’ prime time series Scorpion, along with her appearances in CSI: NY, CSI:Las Vegas, CSI: Cyber, 90210, The Protector and Romantically Challenged. She also starred in poignant indie features, including her persuasive performance as Misha in Paradise Broken and as Angie in So Long, Lonesome.
Nadine is passionate about bridging acting, art and social services to give back to her community.
With 20 years’ advertising agency experience, Armen has worked on campaigns in the advertising & marketing field for over 20 years, which includes creating award winning campaigns for brands like Lexus, Disney, ESPN, Sony Pictures and many others. Armen has been running his design and marketing agency since 2004. As owner and creative director, he has skilled designers, web developers, writers and video/photography production team to create and manage all types of brands. Over the years, he’s donated design and marketing services to non-profits like City of Hope, Children’s Hospital and March of Dimes. And in the last couple of years, Armen has shifted his focus to supporting youth education and committed to supporting youth in discovering their inner strength, compassion, and the power of positive thinking. He is dedicated to spreading awareness of the power of SEL through online marketing. He helped design the curriculum books as well as online and offline marketing materials to utilize on social media and live events.
Armen is a passionate filmmaker using his talents to empower youth through story-telling, and hopes to create compelling documentaries to further the SEL movement.
Megan began her creative journey acting and dancing as a very young child and when onto pursue these artforms throughout her adolescence and into college. She graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2004 (BA, Theatre Arts). Soon after graduation, she began working as a teaching artist in public schools throughout Los Angeles county. By 2005, Megan had earned the title Master Teaching Artist and Curriculum Development Specialist with East LA Classic Theatre. In this role she facilitated professional development workshops and trainings for hundreds of teaching artists and public school educators annually. She then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Educational & Applied Theatre from New York University. Upon completion of this degree Megan earned a role as Deputy Director with Community-Word Project, a leading arts-in-education non-profit organization in New York City. With over a decade of experience in creative arts education and nonprofit leadership, Megan has worked in countless classrooms with educators and artists, serving thousands of students annually. Megan has spent her career committed to developing and delivering impactful, creative and progressive educational models that provide powerful opportunities for social, emotional and academic growth for all young people.
Megan recognizes the critical role emotional intelligence plays in healing, connecting and empowering young people. Alongside her arts-in-education career, Megan has had a steady yoga and meditation practice for over a decade, an element that informs her professional life as much as her personal one. She recently moved back to her hometown, Los Angeles to begin the journey of pursuing a PhD in Psychology with a focus on healing trauma through creativity, mindfulness and body-centered healing modalities. Megan is thrilled to be working with True Connection, an organization that so closely aligns with her own vision to bring creativity, empathy and purpose to the lives of young people everywhere!
A graduate of the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Theatre Arts, 2000), Tenley Hardin began her teaching career in 2000 at the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival as Director of Camps and theatre instructor. In 2005, she attained her Master of Arts in English and Master of Arts in Teaching from Belmont University.
With over 15 professional years in education, Tenley’s greatest passion is to facilitate growth and emotional intelligence amongst her students. She began creating and writing curriculum as a public high school English teacher in 2007, when she spearheaded the Dual Enrollment English (DE) program at Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, Virginia (Dual Enrollment English is a college-level class for high school seniors who then receive college credit upon completion). In her first year as a 12th grade English teacher, Tenley utilized the four years she had spent teaching college English in Nashville, TN to build the Dual Enrollment curriculum, which has continually been implemented since 2007. During her tenure as a teacher at MVHS, she also designed a social-emotional curriculum, integrating it into her common core lesson plans. She then began working one-on-one with many of her students during lunch and after school to assist them in emotional intelligence, self-awareness, communication, and career readiness.
As a Certified Professional Life Coach (certified through iPEC), founder of Limitless Heart Life Coaching, LLC (est. 2011) and author of Leap Before You Look; Seven Steps to Discover Who You Are, What You Want, and How to Change the World (2014), Tenley Hardin specializes in life purpose coaching and college counseling. In the past six years, she has worked with clients from all over the country, many of whom have gone on to pursue their dreams at institutions such as Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Tulane, BC, American, Northwestern, Chapman, University of Oregon, UT Austin, Indiana, and many more. Having been a yoga and Pilates instructor for five years in her mid-twenties, she continues to fuse life coaching techniques with mindfulness and meditation, knowing that the way to best optimize an individual’s potential is to foster emotional, physical, and spiritual growth. Tenley continues to expand her knowledge and experience as a graduate student in Pepperdine University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy program.
After conducting several social-emotional workshops at Simi Valley High School and goal setting seminars amongst parenting groups in Woodland Hills, Tenley sought out resources to further develop SEL curriculum and eventually joined True Connection in 2016 as Curriculum Director. In the last two years, she has collaborated with the TC team to create what she calls, “A game changer in education.”
Krisan has over twenty years of experience as a Project Manager for a wide array of educational environments. As the Director of the TRIO college-access high school and adult programs, she focused on removing barriers to higher education. She served as a grant writer, editor and researcher for Colorado Mountain College and the University of Wyoming. Krisan is leading True Connection's HiEQ Pilot Program, and also volunteers for a meditation studio in Venice, CA called Ceremony Meditation. She is dedicated to connecting youth with opportunities to support their dreams, help them find their purpose and build self efficacy.
Christy earned her B.A. in World Arts and Cultures/Dance and Psychology from UCLA. With an emphasis in Civic Engagement and Social Psychology, she is interested in making connections between dance and other disciplines, and using this knowledge to empower others. She has been involved with the Venice Family Clinic and UCLA Volunteer Center, and currently serves as the Program Associate at the Dance Resource Center and the Assistant to the Director at Cadence Arts Network. Christy is excited to join the team and advocate for the SEL movement. She is assisting Megan to enhance True Connection's mission to bring HiEQ to education, homeschool parents and community organizations nationwide.
As a development professional, Edith has more than 18 years of broad fundraising experience in support of civil rights, higher education, and healthcare. She has a proven track record in creating strategic fundraising plans that includes annual, major/planned, and institutional giving. She has extensive experience in identifying and recruiting board members. While keeping in parity an organization’s vision, she tailors comprehensive plans to strengthen donor relations and increase giving. Additionally, she’s partnered closely with volunteers and senior staff to successfully fundraise and produce events. Edith is skilled at managing a portfolio of individuals, corporations, and foundations while employing moves management to secure major and planned gifts.
A graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Capital Markets Finance, Lulette is often regarded as the organizational ‘glue’ who can tie together insights from strategy, finance, program management, and the business to help leaders crush strategic goals and make a dollar out of fifteen cents. Most recently, she was at Ticketmaster as Director of Portfolio Management where she helped ensure the company is investing in all the right things and enabling mass innovation so that they can give more fans more unforgettable moments of joy. Prior to Ticketmaster, she spread strategic and financial pixie dust at The Walt Disney Studios. She helped build a high performing team from scratch whose mission was to ensure returns on movie-making technology investments were optimized. Prior to that, she was a Program Manager at Sony Pictures where she managed financial systems projects and international implementations. She’s also held traditional strategic and financial planning roles at NBC Universal and Warner Bros, rounding out her tour of the studios. She is thrilled to put together all the building blocks gathered from 15 years of corporate experience and partner with True Connection. Together, they are creating a strong foundational structure for the organization and all the youth empowered through HiEQ. She has been working closely with the team to create a strong financial plan to meet the organization’s program goals.
Claudia C. Morales currently manages the day-to-day operations of the Riordan Leadership Institute, in affiliation with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. She is directly responsible for creating and executing strategy to effectively deliver the various training components of nonprofit board service. Within her role at Riordan, Claudia participates as a thought-leader and guest speaker in a number of panel discussions, training on sharing of best practices, and as a member of collaborative efforts to establish partnerships with multiple stakeholders. Outside of her work with Riordan and the LA Area Chamber of Commerce, Claudia is also a founding member of Gentefy Inc., a social enterprise working to leverage real estate development projects through public-private partnerships to enact community and economic development in under-resourced communities.
Claudia has 20+ years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector, working across multiple industries focused on youth and community development. This includes knowledge and expertise in program design and development, service delivery, professional development, performance measurement & evaluation, and capacity-building through innovation and impact leadership. Specifically, she has conducted significant work to support "opportunity youth" (i.e. foster, re-entry, high-needs, immigrant, etc.) with the goal to create systems and practices that meet the needs of these populations. A native of Los Angeles, she has worked in various places within the United States and abroad in Mexico.
Morales earned an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology, minor in Spanish and a graduate degree in Social Entrepreneurship, both from the University of Southern California (Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences and Marshall School of Business respectively). Morales also completed training of a certificate program on GRI Sustainability Reporting offered through Deloitte Consulting Firm.
Claudia is committed to enacting systemic change through community-building, is an avid reader, and loves to travel.
Omar Genao is a graphic designer, illustrator, and content creator. Constructing creative design and branding for several international brands including; Palmolive, discovery kids, Nestle, and Colgate. Omar believes that emotions can be expressed through various arts. Conveying himself through drawing, photography, and music has allowed him to communicate to other groups and individuals through his passion. He has harnessed his passion for the arts to help navigate in his own life. As an immigrant learning English was possible in part because of the fusion of art and language. Since art has been instrumental in his life, he gives back by share it with others in the community.