“A Step Beyond has changed me. I was a person who didn’t care about my homework or doing stuff but when I entered this program, it changed me from that girl that didn’t care to a responsible girl. I love it because I express my feelings. If I had a rough day I can just forget about it and focus on the dancing.”
– Brianna Bejarano, 11th grade
For the Rodriguez Family, A Step Beyond is a big part of family life with mom, Martha, serving on ASB’s Board of Directors, and daughters, Heather and Molly, participating in the program. Martha owns her own business, values hard work and provides her daughters with as many opportunities and career choices as possible.
Nhu Nguyen, one of A Step Beyond’s core staff members, began her professional dance career in Vietnam as a young child at Vietnam’s National School of Dance and Choreography. They migrated to the US with their family in high school moving to City Heights. Looking for a way to continue their dance training and career that they had left behind in Vietnam, Nhu joined transcenDance Youth Art Project as a student. Nhu found community at TranscenDance and continued with the program as a teaching artist after graduating from the program.
Despite coming to the US as a non-English speaker at 17, Nhu excelled in school and was accepted to college at San Diego State University. In 2017, Nhu was named the Outstanding Graduate in Dance, completing their BFA in Dance and minor in Visual Art. After college, Nhu began teaching dance for A Reason to Survive, transcenDance, Agency 515: The Social Education Theatre, and A Step Beyond.
Today, Nhu inspires A Step Beyond students to pursue their passion in dance as the means to achieve the future of their choice.
In June 2023, ASB’s original 2014 cohort of students will graduate from high school and move on to a college or career path of their dreams. Most of these students will be the first in their families to attend college or a formal career pathway program. Whatever their post-high school college or career aspirations are, ASB is here to support our students and make sure they have a plan in place to reach their goals. Future graduates will receive continued mentorship and alumni support, as well as scholarships and supplemental financial support.