2014-2015 Board Members

Synae Allen C'15

Hey! I’m Synae LA, a senior (crazy stuff) in the college as a Biological Basis of Behavior major and Creative Writing minor hoping to go to vet school. Translation: I love science and working with the brain, but also couldn’t express myself without poetry (which I adore) and want to spend the rest of my life catering to and helping animals. During the activities fair my freshman year I saw a girl at a rather bare table among the hype-ness of the walk, on her phone. I don’t know why I went over to her, possibly because she was the only person not shoving papers down my throat, but I did, and she invited me to the first open rehearsal. I said I couldn’t sing and she said there were no auditions so I tried it out, nothing to lose. I left that rehearsal feeling more appreciated and accepted then I’d felt since I got to college. My family in NSP has laughed with me when I was a complete mess at 2am, pushed me to succeed in classes that I knew for sure I would fail, and held me up when I couldn’t physically, emotionally, or spiritually hold myself up. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. This verse singlehandedly describes my college career and there’s no way I can say that God hasn’t been holding my hand this entire time. If you’ve never met the devil, you’re headed in his direction. Remember that God is carrying you and fighting for you every second of each day. Ps. I’ve had 9 cats in my lifetime and my jokes are purrfect :)

Vice President
Taylor Blackston C'15

When I joined NSP during the of my freshman year, I was searching for a family because I was really missing my family back at home. It was such a blessing to find so many mentors and friends in this group full of talented, intelligent, lovers of Christ. NSP has meant so much to me and I know that my college experience would not be complete without the bonds and experiences I’ve had within this ministry. At the moment, my favorite gospel song isHello Fear by Kirk Franklin and my favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 which reads “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (NIV). During my years at Penn, I’ve wondered what is in store for me in the future but I find great comfort in knowing that God has it all figured out. A couple fun facts about me is that my favorite color is orange and I LOVE penguins

Melisa Gondo W'16

I am a junior at Wharton studying BSc Economics with a likely concentration in Finance. Zimbabwe is the place I call home, and it will always be my true home yet I affectionately embrace the global citizen I am turning into. I stumbled across NSP as I was browsing through the numerous pages on the Penn website during my college application phase. I opened the NSP website for the first time, watched a YouTube video and I found myself very intrigued and drawn to this choir. Believe it or not, among many other factors, this sealed the deal for me- I was applying early decision to Penn. I walked into College Hall 200 for the first open rehearsal in the fall semester of my freshman year and I knew I was in a place I could belong. This was the community God had led me to, to flourish and grow in my faith. My favorite verse comes from Isaiah 40v31: But they that wait upon the Lord shall find renewed strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Life has its challenges, school can be challenging but in the midst of all this craziness as we press on to achieve our goals, knowing that God will carry me through is the best comfort I could ask for. #RunningOnGod’sMomentumTheWholeWay

Adriana Garcia C'15

Hi I’m Adriana Garcia and I am a senior studying East Asian Languages and Civilizations (Chinese and Japanese). I plan on becoming a teacher after I graduate; although I don’t know where exactly I’ll be in the future (New York, Philly, Colombia, Japan, China?!), I am excited to see how God will lead me. I joined NSP in my freshman fall at Penn and since then I have been incredibly blessed to meet a loving, supportive family here and to have the chance to explore my faith through song. My favorite Bible verses are from Psalm 37: The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand (23-24). Especially as a senior when so much of my future is up in the air, this verse gives me comfort that God won’t let me fall! My hobbies include traveling, reading, eating, laughing at bad puns, and playing with puppies.

Business Manager
Pamela Hoto C'16

I am a junior in the College studying Economics and Actuarial Mathematics. I joined NSP because I wanted a place to simultaneously praise the Lord through song and fellowship with people that love Jesus and share similar interests. In addition to the above, NSP has been a great place to unwind and re-center especially after a rough day and a great place get to know like-minded people. It has also been a place for me to learn more about music and gospel music and to generally engage the right side of my brain. This is really important to me because much of my academic life involves numbers. We laugh a lot at NSP, and so I have had some of my best laughs with NSP people. My favorite verse in the bible is Romans 12 vs. 9, which says: "Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good."This verse (and this chapter, in general) particularly touches me because it encompasses how I strive to treat my Christian brothers and sisters and all people in general.

Tatiana Hyman C'17

Hello! My name is Tatiana Hyman and I am a sophomore from Harlem majoring in Criminology and minoring in Legal Studies and History. I knew I wanted to join NSP before I came to Penn and when I went to the NSO late night event, I knew I would fit right in! Members of NSP have been an incredible support to me and I have formed bonds with members that will transcend my time at Penn. I have also had the opportunity to foster my love of praise dance through the choir's dance ministry! My favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." It is a constant reminder that God never gives me more than I can bear.

Morgan Billingslea-Walker C'16

Hi, I’m Morgan, and I am the historian. I am a junior in the College studying criminology. I plan to continue on to graduate school and then go on to be a criminal analyst or forensic psychiatrist. How I found NSP: I was looking for a family on campus, especially a Christian one. NSP gave me that and more. Everyone here is a brother and sister to me and this choir has not only brought me closer to my family in Christ, but to Christ himself. My favorite scripture is Psalms 1:1-3, because it reminds me that though we may live in the world, we must not live worldly. Fun Fact: I love the DC Comics, especially Superman and the Justice League.

Andrea Arroyo H'16

My name is Andrea Arroyo and I’m an international student from Mexico City, Mexico. I am in the Huntsman Program, majoring in International Studies in the College as well as Management and Social Impact in Wharton. After attending the first NSP practice freshman year, it became clear to me that I wanted to join and am incredibly glad I did! The family I have found in the Gospel Choir has been a blessing and has served as my rock throughout my time at Penn. NSP has brought me closer to God and allowed me to make amazing friends along the way. An interesting fact about myself is that I’m fluent in German! I spent my sophomore year of high school abroad living on a farm in a tiny German town, where my passion for international studies began. After Penn, I hope to pursue this further by working in diplomacy and international social work. Finally, my favorite bible verse is Romans 8, 28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” So, don’t be discouraged – whatever you’re going through, He will use it for your good! :)

Claudia Jean W'15

My name is Claudia Jean, and I am a Senior (W'15) in Wharton concentrating in Management and Global Analysis. I serve on NSP's board as one of the Co-Chaplains. I joined NSP in the second semester of Freshman year because a choir member, who was serving as my small group leader for my Church at the time, invited me to join. I had told him that I loved to sing even though I was not a very good singer. I had often wished I could join a choir back home, but I never had the time to do it or I thought I did not have the talent to do it. But when this small group leader told me that I could try out and there was NO AUDITIONS, I decided to definitely try out. It was the very best thing for me because I absolutely loved God and through NSP I could sing of his goodness every week. Fun and interesting fact about me is that I still can't sing, but few people can notice because I have learned to blend really well, thanks NSP :) My future plans is to finish my time here at Penn and Wharton and then to pursue Law School. I am excited for what God is doing in my life, and I can only pray that he can use me to bless NSP and to bless this campus with the remaining years that I have here. In the words of Psalm 40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God: yes, your law is within my heart.

Co-Choir Director
Sarah Appeadu C'15

My name is Sarah Appeadu; I’m a Senior in the College majoring in Biology and minoring in French. Along with Danielle Curtis, I am currently Co-Director of NSP. My favorite Gospel song is Brighter Day by Kirk Franklin because it was probably my first exposure to Gospel music. I joined NSP because, honestly, I felt like I was missing out on the best package ever! NSP Gospel Choir to me was a combination of: ministering to people about Christ through song (something that virtually everyone can identify with no matter whether they call themselves a “good singer” or a “not-so-good singer”); exposing myself to a genre of music that I wanted to get to know better; being around a new group of like-minded college students; and getting a 2-hr break from the stresses of the pre-med lifestyle. I can truly say my NSP experience has been much more than just coming to rehearsal to learn songs. I learned what it truly means to fellowship with one another and to take up each other’s burdens to give them to Christ. Lastly, as an NSP member I realized that it can be fun to get crazy for Christ through praise and worship! A random, completely unrelated fun fact about me is that when I was a toddler, I refused to eat my cereal and milk unless it had been warmed in the microwave! But that was the old Sarah.

Co-Choir Director
Danielle Curtis C'15

Hello! My name is Danielle Curtis and I am a Senior in the College, majoring in Health and Societies. I am one of NSP's co-directors (aww yeeeaah!). I was born in Jamaica, but did my schooling in Florida. I did, however, grow up heavily entrenched in Jamaican culture. In regards to my future plans, I'm currently straddling the very thick line between getting my medical degree and a masters in Public Health to revolutionize health care in Jamaica and becoming a high school teacher. I'm praying that God will direct me as decision-making time nears! I joined NSP in the Spring semester of my freshman year. I attended open rehearsal that fall, but stopped attending because I was incredibly lazy. I was in a choir pretty much all through high school and when I went back to my choir during Winter Break, I realized that my entire range was gone! So long high notes and belt! At that moment, I decided that I needed to join the gospel choir. Since then, this choir has come to mean so much more to me than a way for me to keep and extend my range. NSP is my family, my niche on this campus, my praise and worship, and my ministry. My favorite Bible passage is Deuteronomy 28: 1-14, with my favorite verse being verse 7 - "The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways." Doooope. I'm somewhat of a dabbler. I'm good at a bunch of random things. I paint nails, do makeup, graphic design, write songs, edit videos, and more! I'm super excited for everything that God has planned for this choir!

Toluwalase Jobi W'16

My name is Toluwalase Jobi and I’m a junior in Wharton, from New York City, specifically the Bronx. I’m concentrating in Operations and Information Management, with a minor in African Studies. This year I am serving on NSP’s board as the Webmistress. I joined NSP during the fall of my sophomore year.