About Us

The New Bedford High School Young Alumni Association officially launched in January 2015 after several months of planning and deliberation. A group of NBHS alumni, with members representing the classes of 2010 through 2014 came together in fall 2014 for the purposes of creating an organization that would advance the interests of their alma mater. Inspired by this desire and the need for an alumni network that could support current students, the group decided to charter the New Bedford High School Young Alumni Association.

The mission of the Young Alumni Association is to provide college and career advising to New Bedford High School students; to work towards improving the perception of New Bedford High School as an educational institution in the Greater New Bedford community; to serve as a college and career readiness advisory source for the Superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools, the Headmaster of New Bedford High School, and all necessary administrators and faculty in New Bedford Public Schools; and to organize young alumni of New Bedford High School to provide them with an opportunity to contribute to the welfare of their alma mater.

Meet The Board Members

Justin Braga ’12 Co-Chair

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D ‘19

Brown University, A.B. ‘16

Justin graduated from New Bedford High School in 2012 as the class valedictorian. In 2016, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University, where he concentrated in Political Science and History. He is currently pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

During his time at New Bedford High School, Justin as served as President of the Class of 2012 (2009-2012), Chairman of the NBHS Student Advisory Council (2010-2012), and as the Student Representative on the New Bedford School Committee (2010-2012). He was also a member of the Debate Team and volunteered at New Bedford Youth Court. As a member of the NBHS Young Alumni Association, Justin looks forward to having a positive impact on current NBHS students, just as many teachers and community members had a positive impact on him.

Katherine V. Gomes Co-Chair

Katherine graduated from New Bedford High School as the salutatorian of the class of 2016. In her time at New Bedford High, Katherine served as Chair of the Student Advisory Council and Student Representative to the New Bedford School Committee. Katherine also served as the captain of the debate team, an active member of the National Honor Society and on the Core Values, Beliefs, and Learning Expectation Committee (2012-2013). During high school, Katherine spent two summers building aquatic robots as an engineering apprentice at Underwater Technological Apprentice Program at the Naval Underwater Warfare Center, in Newport Rhode Island. Katherine currently attends Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is majoring in Chemical Engineering and Professional Writing. At WPI, Katherine is an a member of the Society of Women Engineers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Cheese Club. Katherine is currently employed for WPI, as a tutor in a variety of chemistry and calculus courses. During her first year in college, Katherine spent both semesters on the Dean’s List, was named a Charles O. Thompson Scholar, and was awarded an honorable mention as an Outstanding Member of the Class of 2020 for her academic commitment and community involvement. Katherine is very eager to support the New Bedford High School community as a member of the Young Alumni Association.

Shane Burgo Board Member

Shane Burgo graduated from New Bedford High School in 2011. He was an active member of the fine arts department and served in various leadership roles, such as, President of the NBHS Choral department, Vice-Chairman of the NBHS Student Advisory Council, and the alternate Student Representative on the New Bedford School Committee. Shane went on to pursue a career in human services and is currently employed with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. Outside of work, Shane is very involved in his local community. He serves on the Cape Verdean Recognition Committee, is an active parishioner in Our Lady of the Assumption parish, and volunteers with many non-profit organizations. Shane's dedication to community engagement extends internationally. He recently returned from a mission trip in Haiti, where he taught English and music to children in the community of Desab. He is enthusiastic about public service and strives to contribute to the success of his community, his peers, and beyond

Chenyu Chen Treasurer

Chenyu graduated New Bedford High School in 2015. During her time at NBHS, she was involved in debate, National Honor Society, Student Advisory Council, and tennis. Chenyu also served as co-chair of the New Bedford Mayor's Youth Council. She currently attends UMass Amherst studying Resource Economics and minoring in Environmental Science. At UMass she's involved in the University Programming Council and works at the area's rape crisis center (Center for Women and Community) as an Information and Referral Specialist. 

Emma Finnerty Board Member

Emma graduated from New Bedford High School with the class of 2014. During her time at New Bedford High, Emma served for three years as the Class President and two years on the Student Advisory Council. Emma played four years on the Whaler’s soccer, basketball, and softball teams. Emma currently attends Boston College majoring in Biology and Philosophy on the premedical track. At BC, Emma works as an EMT for Boston College EMS, worked as a Resident Assistant, and as a supervisor at the campus recreation facility. Emma has spent the last two summers working on clinical research studies at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. Emma wants to give back to New Bedford by working with the Young Alumni Association. 

Rebecca Kanter Board Member

Rebecca Kanter graduated from New Bedford High School in 2011. She was a member of the field hockey team, debate team, National Honor Society, and served on the Student Advisory Committee. Rebecca graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and minors in Portuguese and gender studies. She is currently completing a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Brazil. Rebecca is passionate about building a network of alumni to support current NBHS students and is proud to serve on the board of YAA.

Courtney Neves Board Member

Courtney Neves graduated from New Bedford High School in 2011. She was a cocaptain of the girls cross country, and track and field team, as well as a member of National Honor Society. After high school, she continued her education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she majored in Public Health Studies and minored in Psychology and Education. She was a 4 year student athlete and cocaptain of the UMass women’s track and field team. After graduating in 2015, she attended Johnson & Wales University where she obtained her Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. She currently works as an urgent care PA in the community.

Rachel Neves Board Member

Rachel graduated from New Bedford High School in 2015. While in high school, Rachel was a chairman of the National Honor Society, a member of the Mayor's Youth Council, and the captain of the girl's tennis team. She now attends Suffolk University as an Accouning major and Big Data Analytics minor, and plans on graduating December of 2018. She recently participated in a Habitat for Humanity project in Clarkesville, Georgia with Suffolk's Alternative Spring Break Program, and is very involved on campus. Rachel has developed a strong commitment to service, and wants to give back to her home community.  

Tyler Wilkinson Board Member

Boston College, B.A. '15

The University of Chicago, M.A. '16

During his time in high school, Tyler was involved in many different clubs and teams, including the debate, chess, and lacrosse teams. His main academic interests at the undergraduate and graduate level include both political theory and film. His thesis topics covered the transgressive turn in contemporary French cinema and the neoliberalization of human rights. Last year, he was lucky enough to be awarded a Fulbright grant to France where he taught high schoolers English in the suburbs of Lyon. 

Emma York Board Member

Emma graduated from NBHS in 2015 and is expected to graduate from Williams College in 2019. She is a potential English major and Africana Studies concentrator and a member of the Program in Teaching, a student coordinator for the After School Tutoring Program at Williamstown Elementary School, and co-TA for CODA (William's Contemporary Dance Ensemble). Emma has recently completed a summer research assistantship working to combat mass incarceration and social injustice through the arts and hopes to continue her work as an activist in the classroom after she graduates, teaching English in an inner-city community.

Heling Zhao The Person Who Made this Website

Princeton University, A.B. '14

Heling was valedictorian of New Bedford High School’s Class of 2010 and an avid member of the Debate Team. She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University majoring in Sociology with a certificate in East Asian Studies. At Princeton, Heling ran the Mathey Cooking Club, was a competitive member of the Princeton Ballroom Dance Club, and a regular attendant of the Princeton eSports Club. Having grown increasingly interested in how technology shapes social change through her senior thesis, Heling picked up coding after graduation. She now lives in New York having fun as a software engineer at Goldman Sachs and is an active member of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs' New Leaders Program.


Check out some of the projects we've been working on!

College Application Guide

Click to download our college application guide.

Apliando para la Universidad Consejos y claves

Aplicando para a Universidade Concelhos e Truques


Keep an eye out for us in the news!

NBHS Young Alumni Asssociation to Send 100 Roosevelt Middle School Students to Visit Brown University, Boston College

The New Bedford High School Young Alumni Association announced that it will send one hundred students from Roosevelt Middle School in New Bedford to visit Brown University in Providence and Boston College in Newton in March 2017. ...

New Bedford High young alums roll out college guide

NEW BEDFORD — A recent graduate from Brown University, 22-year-old Justin Braga came back to his high school last week with a special announcement...

NBHS Young Alumni to visit school

NEW BEDFORD — High school juniors will have an opportunity to learn about the future that lies ahead when it comes to applying to college and entering the work force. ...

Contact Us

We are always happy to hear from you!