2012: Haiti Communitere, Haiti
Sahadia will be interning with Omprakash Partner Haiti Communitere, an eco friendly community developnent network aimed at connecting all grassroot networks in Haiti's capital Port Au Prince and neighboring villages. Sahadia is a recent graduate from Florida State University with a BA in both International Affairs and Political Science. Sahadia will be providing consultation services in the impoverished sub-section of Cité Soleil as well as providing supplementary elementary school courses for children. During the afternoons, she will also work along side Future For the Kids to provide activities and technical trainning for orphaned children in the Port Au Prince area.
Sahadia started her interest in international philantropy work in the summer of 2006 with a visit to the Dominican Republic. She and a team of nursing students from the Mission Bon Samaritan International School of Nursing provided medical consulting and prescriptions, and donated food, clothing and toys. This trip revealed an interest which took Sahadia to eastern Germany (where she worked in Pirna at a factory which employs disabled citizens and as a teachers assistant at a school for handicapped children), Tanzania (where she visited the Mountain region of Suji to provide a tutorial presentation on university scholarship opportunities to high school students), several more trips to the Dominican Republic to work with the International Nurses for Health Foundation and now to Haiti, the country of her ancestry. Language barriers have never served as a large enough obstacle to limit any effectivity in her philantropy work, which is why Sahadia plans to continue her travels.
Upon return to the United States, Sahadia will edit and produce a short film about her experience in Haiti to share as a resource for future volunteers within the Omprakash network and beyond. She hopes this film will help to provide an adequate inside veiw of Haiti and address many of her own questions about the nation.
2012: Childline Uganda, Uganda
Emmanuel Godfrey Ogoma was born and raised in Mombasa in the coastal part of Kenya. He is a graduate of Cambridge International College, where he studied Business Administration and Management. After working with several companies in Kenya in different capacities, Emmanuel quit his job after landing a scholarship to study at Youth With a Mission (YWAM) University of the Nations. It was during his time at YWAM that he realized his calling to work with children and youth ministries. He participated in different outreach programs in Kenya and Tanzania, where we worked with youth and families.
In March 2012, Emmanuel traveled to Uganda to volunteer with Omprakash Partner Childline Uganda. There, he coordinated “Today for Tommorow,” a program based on fostering the development of life skills for youth. While in Uganda, Emmanuel met and introduced different prospective Partners and volunteers to Omprakash.
For eight months, Emmanuel will continue to volunteer with Childline Uganda while focusing on launching volunteer groups among high school students in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. He will connect students with different Omprakash Partners and will continue to share resources and give presentations to enable them to learn from his experience. His desire is to facilitate a surge in volunteerism in East Africa.
2012: Honduras Children, Honduras
After spending a week volunteering in Honduras in 2009 and 2010, Stephanie Martin sought out a way to spend a longer period of time volunteering in Honduras. She found Omprakash partner Honduras Children and volunteered as an English teacher at the Porvenir English Project from April to July 2011. This summer, she will be spending two more months with Honduras Children, as the volunteer liaison and teaching at the Reader's Club - a Spanish reading and writing program.
Stephanie began learning Spanish in the 7th grade, and in 11th grade, began putting those skills to use, volunteering with Spanish-speaking English Language Learner students at a local elementary school. Continuing her Spanish studies throughout high school and university, Stephanie earned a minor in Spanish at the University of Washington, and continues using it at home in Seattle where she volunteers with an organization providing health care and education to Latino immigrants. For the past three years, she has tutored college students in Spanish, and is excited to be able to use her Spanish and teaching skills working with the students that Honduras Children serves.
As a medical student at the University of Washington, Stephanie hopes to encourage other students and health re professionals to volunteer abroad, by spreading the word about Omprakash and its partners, and sharing stories about volunteering in Honduras.
2012: Abriendo Mentes, Costa Rica
This summer, Jillian Buckley will be traveling with Omprakash to Costa Rica to document the Cross-Cultural Education Workshop. Working with Omprakash Partner Abriendo Mentes, she will put together an informational video about the group's incredible work for the Omprakash site. She will also edit the workshop presentations to create online resources for other non-profits, educators and volunteers. It's the next best thing to going to the workshop in person! Following the workshop, Jillian is eager to continue working with Omprakash Partners in sharing resources and information about the volunteer network, and empowering organizations and individuals through video advocacy.
Jillian is an anthropologist and moviemaker from Northern Californa who loves to observe, document, teach and travel. She graduated from Vassar College with a dual degree in Film and Anthropology, and moved to New York City to work on documentary films. She has edited, produced and directed video in topics across the board: human rights, LGBT issues, food, art, burlesque, bikes and baseball. She traveled to India, where she documented stories for the Bombay Leprosy Project, and volunteered at Witness, a video advocacy network in NYC. Somewhere in there, Jillian went to Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to get her Master's in Anthropology. During that time, she worked for UNESCO, assisting the Program Officer for Culture, and satisfied her need to be outdoors by becoming an ecology intern in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Later, she went to Guatemala for an ethnographic field school at Lake Atitlan. While there, she volunteered at a rural primary school, spent time on a project to reconnect families with emigrant parents living abroad in the US, trained for a marathon on dirt roads in the highlands, and ate as many avocados as possible. It is her goal to incorporate worthwhile community engagement with every travel experience.
2012: Casa Verde, Nicaragua
Sara Bernard will travel to El Limon, Nicaragua, this summer to help Omprakash Partner Casa Verde document a massive reforestation project in July and as well other projects related to environmental education and youth empowerment. This summer's main project -- reforesting an area with thousands of trees that will be used, in part, for future environmental education projects -- will bring together youth and adults from Nicaragua and across the United States, including three student documentary filmmakers from the University of North Carolina. Sara will help with their film as well as help document Casa Verde's work through blogs, photography, audio, and video. She plans to post stories and media to both the Casa Verde and the Omprakash websites and reach out to mainstream media outlets about the stories she finds in El Limon.
Sara is a former staff writer and multimedia producer for Edutopia magazine (a publication of the George Lucas Educational Foundation), now a freelance journalist and avid international traveler. She grew up in upstate New York and the San Francisco Bay Area, studied abroad in Toulouse, France, and spent the last several years freelancing, traveling, and volunteering in Thailand, Vietnam, India, France, England, Peru, Ecuador, and Haiti. After she returns to the San Francisco Bay Area in August 2012, she will enter a two-year master's program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she plans to spread the word about Omprakash to her cohort as well as to the study abroad centers at UC Berkeley and other local colleges. She hopes to publish stories about Omprakash and Casa Verde in various news outlets and use her connections in education media to bring more teachers and students into the Omprakash network. She will also post tips on the Omprakash resource page about the ethics and techniques of journalism to help future Omprakash volunteers maximize the impact of their documentary work.
2012: Peace Humanity International, Ghana
Sue Ron-Gonzalez has worked as a special education teacher with the San Francisco Unified School District since 1988. Currently, she is a resource specialist in one of the largest elementary schools in San Francisco. Her passion is to teach students to become lifelong readers and writers. Two years ago, she began her first overseas volunteer experience teaching literacy in Elmina, Ghana. Afterwards, she knew that she had to get back to Ghana someday. Luckily, the following summer she was awarded a grant from Fund For Teachers to start a chapter of an International Book Club in Elmina, Ghana. Each child in the book club authored a book for their library to share with other children around the world on the website bookclub.realelibrary.com. When Sue returned to her school in San Francisco, her students authored books to share with the students in Ghana.
Thanks to Omprakash, Sue will have an amazing opportunity to continue to form global connections between students in the US and Africa through Peace Humanity International in Jukwa, Ghana. This grassroots NGO is dedicated to promoting peace through education, quality health care, women and youth empowerment through skills training and sustainable environment. She will be bringing a set of cameras through a Photopals grant to use with her literacy project. The students will make alphabet books about the community of Jukwa and will write stories and take photos about the best part of themselves. When she returns to her own school, her students will begin the same photo-literacy lessons to share on the Omprakash site.
While in Jukwa, Sue will help Peace Humanity International by supporting their efforts in having a stronger internet presence. She will also provide lesson plans and training to those who work in the library so that they can continue to support literacy instruction for the
children of Jukwa.
When Sue returns to the US, she plans to share Omprakash’s mission with other teachers in her district and with educational and community organizations. She is excited about developing lesson plans to share on the Omprakash site. Mostly, she is passionate about connecting students around the world through literacy and looks forward to achieving this dream on the Omprakash site. Volunteering in Ghana proved to be a life changing event for Sue, and she looks forward to mentoring future volunteers so that they can have life changing experience, too.
2012: Ghana ACT, Ghana
This summer, Molly Ortiz will be traveling to Ho, Ghana, to volunteer with Ghana ACT. Ghana ACT is a nonprofit organization, started in 2009, that organizes volunteers from around the world to work alongside members of the community to educate and empower local underprivileged youth. Through education, health services, and community development, Ghana ACT seeks to foster a mutual appreciation of culture.
As part of Ghana ACT’s education program, Molly will be teaching English, Math, Science, and Computer Skills to students at McColin’s Primary School. She will be volunteering with her friend and cross-country and track teammate, Annelise Madison, who will also be teaching at McColin’s school. Together they intend to start up an afterschool sports program for the students, which they are entitling Athletes ACT. Ghana ACT’s program director, John Barber, is extremely supportive of this endeavor, especially because currently the organized recreational opportunities for the female students of McColin’s school are limited. Their goals for the program will be to expose the students to new sports and the fundamentals of injury prevention and general physical well-being, while also implanting an enthusiasm for goal-setting, sportsmanship, competiveness, and teamwork. Molly is very excited for this opportunity to share her passion for athletics with the students of Ho, and grateful to Ghana ACT for their receptiveness to the program.
Molly grew up in Ketchikan, Alaska, and is currently studying English and Environmental Studies at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Molly intends to spread the word about Omprakash on her campus in conjunction with International Education office, which provides information to any students interested in service opportunities abroad. She will post video documentation of her experience to Omprakash’s “Documentary” section and the Ghana ACT website. She also intends to post regular updates of her experience to her Omprakash profile over the summer, and will provide a blueprint of the new Athletes ACT afterschool program to the Omprakash “How-To” resource page.
2012: Honduras Children, Honduras
Having taught elementary school near La Ceiba, Honduras in 2008 and 2009, Kate Olden is excited to be returning to the northern coastal area to work with Honduras Children in the town of El Porvenir. She will spend 4 weeks conducting workshops with teachers of kindergarten and first grade, working with them to identify and solve instructional challenges they face in their classrooms.
Kate has previously worked as a research fellow with Save the Children in Oruro, Bolivia. She now teaches preschool with a bilingual family literacy program in Washington, DC, where she works with dual language learners. Kate received her Masters of Education in International Education from the George Washington University in 2011 and is currently completing a Masters of Teaching in Early Childhood from Trinity University in Washington, DC.
Hailing from southeastern Texas, Kate grew up around a lot of Spanish but did not begin to really work at speaking it until 2006, four years after finishing her undergraduate degree (adult language learners, have hope!). She has since travelled to Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, as well as spending signifcant amounts of time in Honduras, Bolivia, and Cuba.
2012: Lumana, Ghana
This summer, Michael Hromadka will be working with Lumana, a microfinance organization that provides basic financial services to the rural poor in the Volta Region of Ghana. Lumana’s belief is that these services, including business education classes, microcredit lending and savings account creation, can provide the financial security that will improve the communities of rural Africans. As a Lumana fellow, he will be working as an analyst and underwriter for Lumana’s small business lending operation. This operation, called Lumana Connect, seeks to lend money to medium-sized businesses in industries that are vital to the local economy. For example, Lumana Connect’s first loan will be originated in late March to a company that cans tomatoes produced by local farmers, many of whom acquired their seed money through Lumana’s co-operative loan program. Lumana Connect seeks to create a sustainable cycle of economic growth by empowering the businesses that provide services to the people, who in turn use these services to improve their quality of life. Beside researching and underwriting small business loans, Michael will work with graduate students from the University of Toronto and the University of Seattle in a support role for Lumana’s staff.
A variety of past experiences helped lead Michael to Lumana. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, he interned in Dallas, Texas at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit organization that relocates United Nations refugees to the United States. There he helped refugees find gainful employment and also taught the IRC’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Class. After the internship ended, Michael took his passion for teaching and working with others to Buenos Aires. In Argentina, he taught English at a small private school located in Villa Urquiza. After the conclusion of his year in South America, he returned to Dallas where he currently works as an analyst at a real estate finance company.
Michael is honored to be working with both Omprakash and Lumana. He intends to document the majority of his work in Ghana and upload these resources to the Omprakash website, effectively creating a how-to microfinance manual for volunteers that follow him. In addition to this, he will blog on Omprakash’s website actively and reach out to the career services and study-abroad offices at his graduate school in order to spread the word about Omprakash.
2012: Voluntario Global, Argentina
Taryn graduated from Virginia Tech in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, with a concentration in Exercise and Health Promotion, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. At Virginia Tech, she was president of the Foundation of International Medical Relief of Children, co-captain of the club field hockey team and group fitness instructor. In 2010, she participated in an alternative spring break trip to Costa Rica where she worked in a medical clinic. In 2011, she studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and had the opportunity to backpack throughout Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Bolivia. While traveling abroad, she attempted to sell peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches in the street and taught local Bolivians how to make S’mores.
Taryn will be volunteering with Voluntario Global in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 4 weeks by teaching English in an elementary school.. After volunteering in Argentina, she will head to Honduras to work in two medical clinics for one year. She aspires to help address malnutrition in Latin America and is excited to have the opportunity to travel more and experience new cultures. Given that two of her favorite hobbies are writing and making short movies, Taryn plans on making a documentary and sharing stories and videos with other volunteers and organizations around the world.
2012: Abriendo Mentes, Costa Rica
Amara will be volunteering with Abriendo Mentes in Playa Portrero, Costa Rica during the summer of 2012. She will be working with the volunteer teachers and staff to develop an English curriculum for the school’s English classes. She will also be working with the community to bring the classes of Abriendo Mentes to nearby areas so that more people can be involved in the program. She will be attending the Cross-Cultural Education Workshop hosted by Abriendo Mentes in July as well.
Currently, Amara is a doctoral student in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education with a minor in Elementary Education at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She received a B.A. in Hispanic Studies and Psychology from Washington College and a M.A. in Education from the University of Delaware. She participated in study abroad and exchange programs in Venezuela, Paraguay, and Peru and is very excited to live in Costa Rica for the summer. Her research interested include exploring what children are learning (both culturally and linguistically) in second language programs in elementary schools in the U.S.
As a graduate student, Amara teaches in the Cultural Immersion Projects, which is a program that sends pre-service teachers overseas to complete part of their student teaching. These students take a year-long preparation course on cross-cultural awareness and culturally relevant teaching methods. Amara is excited to share the Omprakash mission with her students because many of them seek longer-term service learning opportunities after they teach abroad. She plans to make presentations about her experience with Abriendo Mentes and ways to become involved with Omprakash to her students as well as other to other departments and volunteer groups around campus. She also plans to work with the School of Education at Indiana University to advertise the opportunities Omprakash provides to students and teachers in the community.
2012: Seeds of Hope, Peru
Madeleine Gieysztor's first summer job as a student was at a day camp. It was there that she discovered how much she loves working with children. After three summers at the day camp, she went to volunteer with Omprakash Partner Seeds of Hope in Peru. What started as a one month stay turned into two months. Then she found herself coming back the following year.
With Seeds of Hope, one of Madeleine's projects was starting a swimming program for the children. The initiative was a success! The children learned a healthy activity, gained self-confidence and took advantage of an affordable resource in their community.
In May, Madeleine will return to Seeds of Hope. In addition to taking on more responsibilities as International Coordinator, she plans on continuing and improving the swimming program she had initiated the previous year. Madeleine will also connect with potential Partner organizations around Huaraz and do community outreach in Peru as well as in her native Montreal, Canada.
Madeleine has a BS from McGill University. She has experience working as Co-Director with the International Humanity Foundation's center in Kenya. She has also served as a Community Support Officer on an agricultural cooperative supported by the Canadian Cooperative Association.
2012: Put Them First, Peru
Joyce has been interested in engaging herself in local volunteer work for several years, and is ready to take her skills abroad.She was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in San Jose, California, and is now living in Lexington, Kentucky as a sophomore at the University of Kentucky. Joyce has worked with Habitat for Humanity to help fundraise and provide fair housing for low- income families in her local community. She is also involved with a local non- profit immigration law clinic, tutoring recent refugees to prepare them for citizenship.
Joyce is embarking on her first international volunteer trip this summer in Arequipa, Peru to work with Put Them First, an organization that aims to provide education and promote health for children living in impoverished areas of the world. While in Arequipa, she will be teaching at Chiguata Primary School, and will be matched as a mentor with a high-needs student. Additionally, she will work one day a week at the Community Library that PTF has established, maintaining the library, teaching literacy courses, and leading children’s reading programs. Joyce is ecstatic to be given this opportunity to work with Put Them First and hopes that this will be her first trip of many.
Upon completion of her volunteer trip this summer, Joyce will be heading to Valparaiso, Chile to study abroad for the semester. While in Valparaiso, she plans to visit several non-profit organizations and the surrounding area to spread the word about becoming an Omprakash Partner. When she returns to Kentucky, Joyce intends to use her own testimony and video documentation of her experience to speak to service-oriented student organizations on campus at her university and at high schools to inspire other students to seek volunteer opportunities through Omprakash.
2011: Mawuvio Outreach Programme, Ghana
Kaitlyn grew up in Clintonville, a rural area in Wisconsin. She obtained her bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2010. Kaitlyn is currently living in Chicago, IL and is attending her final semester of graduate school at the Adler School of Professional Psychology to obtain her master’s in Counseling Psychology. She has a variety of experiences working with young people, particularly at-risk populations in settings such as residential treatment, summer camp, mentoring programs, and the development of college and vocational prep curriculum.
One of Kaitlyn’s greatest inspirations is music. She began playing the piano at age 5 and has since learned several other instruments including the guitar, harmonica, and most recently the Calabash, specifically the Thelevi. Kaitlyn will be traveling to Kissemah Village, just outside of Accra, Ghana to volunteer with Mawuvio’s Outreach Programme. Her primary purpose will be to establish an after school music program for the children attending this free school. She will also spend time giving individual music lessons and helping teach core subjects during the school day. Kaitlyn wishes to share her love and passion for music with the children of Mawuvio’s Outreach Programme while also learning more from the children about the musical traditions and culture in Ghana.
Kaitlyn has been aiding Renee Farwell of Mawuvio’s Outreach Programme in raising funds by helping her sell African jewelry from Achimota Market, Ghana. She is also planning on spreading the word about Omprakash and its partners through presentations and student contact at her university as well as community outreach in her hometown.
2011: Amy Biehl Foundation, South Africa
Michael Perugini was born and raised in Wolcott, Connecticut. He graduated in 2011 from The Taft School, a boarding school not far from his home. In the fall of 2012, he will attend Yale University, where he intends to study Economics and Computer Science. His interests include literature, global politics, and ping-pong.
After dedicating himself almost exclusively to academics for four years, Michael is ready to put down the books, step out of the library, and do something completely different. A vocal advocate of social justice, he is incredibly excited to begin work with the Amy Biehl Foundation, whose mission is, fundamentally, to create a society of equality and unity, in which everyone has proper rights and dignity.
While in Cape Town, Michael will serve as a full time intern. His responsibilities will include recruitment, fund-raising, and teaching English and mathematics. He is most looking forward to working with children and meeting new people in an unfamiliar and diverse place.
Upon returning home, Michael plans to spread the word about Omprakash by talking to local students, writing for various publications, and using online social media. He also intends to create a presence for Omprakash at Yale, both by communicating with students directly and by introducing Omprakash to the Yale Career Services office, which connects students with internships and volunteer opportunities.
2011: Quetzaltrekkers, Guatemala
Born and raised in California, Alyssa graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009 with a degree in Global and International Studies. During her time at university she caught the travel bug while studying abroad in Paris, and was also able to gain non-profit experience junior year while interning in Washington, DC at the Meridian International Center, and senior year in Santa Barbara interning at SEE International. Upon graduation she spent two summers running medical and educational clinics with a group of alumni in Ecuador, where she discovered her passion for working with children, the great outdoors, and community development through public health. She spent last year teaching English in an elementary school in Madrid, Spain.
Alyssa is thrilled to be going back to Latin America. She will be volunteering in Guatemala through Quetzaltrekkers, where she will lead hikes in order to fundraise for their children’s shelter and school. A large part of her time will also be spent with the children, to provide after-school tutoring or to organize various games and activities. Alyssa is excited to spread the word about Omprakash by utilizing social media, giving presentations to her alma mater and to new potential partners in Guatemala, and through outreach next year while obtaining her Masters in Public Health.
Volunteering was something that Adele Thomas always wanted to do. She grew up in the surfy town of Newquay in Cornwall. Its countryside and ocean gave plenty of adventure and sports but at 16 she discovered her passion for photography. The next year she moved to London and started to work full time. However, after a few years the itch for adventure, travel and photography caught up with Adele, so she moved to Australia to work as a studio producer in commercial photography. This time also gave her the opportunity to be the first international student at Sydney TAFE to study photography full time.
Still, volunteering was something that Adele always wanted to do. Quite impulsively, she and her partner Carlo Ricci left Australia and decided to do just that. Arriving in Chile in November 2010 with nothing more than 4 huge suitcases containing some clothes but mainly photography equipment, Adele and Carlo purchased a rusty orange VW Westfalia van and started “The Long Way Up” from Ushuaia to Canada. They have worked with two Omprakash Partners in Peru, Helping Hands and Pisco Sin Fronteras, for which they produced short films, documentaries and promotional videos. They're currently shooting a one year long documentary of Latin America. Please visit thelongwayup.info for information.
Adele and Carlo met Lacey Worel as a volunteer with Helping Hands, and the three have reconnected and teamed up with Vance Walstra to begin a new project: The Omprakash Bicycle Outreach Tour. With a grant from Omprakash, Carlo and Adele will follow and film Vance for two weeks, capturing as much beautiful cinematic footage to make a 2-4 minute ad to be used for Omprakash. They see Vance's journey on the road as a metaphor - one that expresses the highs and lows and learning curves encountered while volunteering.
Carlo is a Sydney based photographer and director. He specialises in editorial portraiture, fashion and advertising. Born and raised in Italy, he moved to Australia in 2008 and started his professional career. After deciding to relocate to Vancouver, he and his partner Adele decided to go for an adventure and volunteer in South America. They're currently shooting a one year long documentary of Latin America. Please visit thelongwayup.info for information.
Arriving in Chile in November 2010 with nothing more than 4 huge suitcases containing some clothes but mainly photography equipment, Carlo and Adele purchased a rusty orange VW Westfalia van and started “The Long Way Up” from Ushuaia to Canada. They have worked with two Omprakash Partners in Peru, Helping Hands and Pisco Sin Fronteras, for which they produced short films, documentaries and promotional videos.
Adele and Carlo met Lacey Worel as a volunteer with Helping Hands, and the three have reconnected and teamed up with Vance Walstra to begin a new project: The Omprakash Bicycle Outreach Tour. With a grant from Omprakash, Carlo and Adele will follow and film Vance for two weeks, capturing as much beautiful cinematic footage to make a 2-4 minute ad to be used for Omprakash. They see Vance's journey on the road as a metaphor - one that expresses the highs and lows and learning curves encountered while volunteering.
In 2008, Vance was awarded an Omprakash Volunteer Grant to work with Helping Hands, an education and environmentally-focused Partner in Cusco, Peru. During that trip, he also traveled throughout Peru introducing new non-profit Partners to the Omprakash network. In 2010, Vance returned to Peru to act as a guide for three high-school students interested in creating a documentary film about Omprakash Partners and the international volunteer experience. In between these trips, Vance has traveled to several schools throughout the western United States, giving presentations and collaborating with classrooms and teachers to design and enrich service learning programs.
Through October and November 2011, Vance will be traveling from Seattle to San Francisco on a highly anticipated, first-ever tour to raise awareness for Omprakash - and he's doing it all by bicycle. Organized with the help of the indispensable Lacey Worel, the tour will span three states and cover nearly 1000 miles to deliver over 15 presentations to academic institutions along the route.
To follow Vance along his amazing journey, please visit http://omprakash.org/bikeoutreachtour.
2011: VE Global, Chile
Isabelle Kraus, a 2011 graduate of California Polytechnic State University (B.S. Psychology) and recent recipient of the RSA/Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, is currently living in San Carlos de Bariloche and studying Spanish.
Isabelle has been motivated to combat social and environmental issues for as long as she can remember. She feels lucky to have parents who are very involved in social and environmental activism and instilled in her the importance of embracing opportunities to bring about a better world. While still in elementary school she accompanied her mother on hikes in the Boulder Mountain Parks as a Volunteer Naturalist. After moving to San Luis Obispo, California for college, serving her new community became a priority. Isabelle trained, received certificates, and volunteered in domestic violence prevention as a sexual assault counselor. Additionally, she joyfully participated and coordinated opportunities for Cal Poly students to volunteer with homeless services. Her experience working with the children in San Luis Obispo’s homeless shelter inspired her to continue acting as a positive role model for at-risk children, and in the past year, she has grown especially passionate about working with at-risk groups, particularly children.
Isabelle wishes to begin the next chapter of her life combining her passion for serving others with her desire to travel, broaden her horizons, and experience new cultures and countries. She is very excited to be an Omprakash recipient, making it possible for her to pursue this dream. She is drawn to living and serving in Chile because it will provide her with an opportunity to improve her Spanish. Additionally, she anticipates enjoying all the outdoor adventures Chile has to offer, especially the abundance of hiking trails. She looks forward to joining the VEGlobal team and dedicating herself to the children of Santiago, Chile.
Isabelle is convinced that her background, interests, and passion for grass-roots nonprofits are very compatible with the goals of VEGlobal and Omprakash and is confident she will be a lifelong asset to both organizations. When in Chile (and while currently living in Argentina), she will seek out new Omprakash Partners. After she volunteers in Chile, she plans to continue her involvement with VEGlobal and Omprakash in many ways, such as giving presentations about her experience and continue spreading the word of Omprakash.
2011: CULP, India
Sara is a recent Public Allies-AmeriCorps graduate and current student studying Urban Education in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most recently she spent ten months in a Non-Profit Leadership development program working at a family homeless shelter in the downtown area. The bulk of her volunteer experience has centered around youth sexual health, education and goal setting, including five weeks teaching English and Art in Ghana, Africa.
Sara is excited to be embarking on her second overseas excursion to work with the Center for Unfolding Learning Potential and educate and empower young girls who are out of school or recently returning to their education. She is passionate about asset based community development and hopes to engage those who are truly involved in making the education of youth in rural Rajasthan, especially girls, an actuality.
Sara is also excited to be working in partnership with Omprakash to spread the word about grassroots organizing and the wonderful opportunities and connections they bring to the volunteer community. She is excited to present on her journey and rally support through presentations, cultural events and social media for both CULP and Omprakash.
2011: Machik, China
Evan Zwisler grew up in Shanghai for most of his life, and he received a Volunteer Grant to support the Machik Summer Enrichment Program in Chengdu. The goal of the Summer Enrichment Program is connect college age students with Tibetans so they can teach, help, and connect with the children. After returning to the United States, Evan will talk to his college about his experiences in Western China through a speaker series.
Omprakash has been a great help to Evan and he has already begun to plan on how to spread Omprakash's name at Claremont Mckenna. The Claremont Colleges offer students the opportunity to go abroad, and Evan will be working with the International Office to help link the students will Omprakash. Also, Evan will begin to work with the community service office to figure out how they can spread Omprakash's name and help connect more volunteers with people who need help through Omprakash's program. Evan hopes that Omprakash will experience an influx of smart, motivated, and dedicated individuals from the Claremont Colleges after he beings his outreach plan. He also plans to continue to work with underprivileged children through Omprakash after graduating college. Evan plans on graduating from Claremont McKenna College in 2012 with degrees in Religious Studies and Literature.
2011: Atelier Favela, Nicaragua
Hillia Aho, a high school senior, lives in a small town in coastal Maine. She was first inspired to volunteer abroad when she attended an Omprakash presentation given at her school last fall. Though she hadn’t had much experience with international travel, it’s always been something she wanted to do, and volunteering seemed the most meaningful way to get out and see the world! When she found Atelier Favela, an organization in Nicaragua aimed at helping under-resourced children through art, she knew it was the perfect fit. To Hillia, who has a long term interest in theater, music and the arts, art is a universal language, and a way of self expression. She hopes to be accepted into the Atelier Favela community and help out as best she can. She believes in their mission of empowering young people through facilitating creative expression. While staying at Atelier Favela, Hillia plans to make a documentary to present at schools and organizations, in hopes of inspiring other people her own age to go out and make a difference in their community and world-wide.
Hillia’s background is strongest in the environmental sciences, arts, drama, dance and voice. She was a scholarship recipient at the Chewonki Semester School in Wiscasset, Maine, a program dedicated to environmental sustainability and empowering high school juniors to live in cooperative sustainable community while finding their individual voice. She has spent many seasons in the wilderness in Maine’s woods, rivers and offshore islands. It is with profound excitement that she anticipates encountering the landscapes and peoples of Nicaragua. Having such an intimate relationship with her home ecosystem, she is ready to be awed and inspired by Ticuantepe particularities, differences and similarities. She hopes to capture a meaningful essence in her film, perhaps contrasting and comparing what she knows most deeply to what her documentary’s subjects know most deeply, interpreted through the filter of a rural Maine girl.
Hillia enjoys sketching, drawing, painting, photography and video. She looks forward to assisting the teachers at Atelier Favela, to sharing her passion for the arts, and especially to learning from the students whatever truths she can which will help her to contribute and communicate most meaningfully. She is very excited to be an Omprakash Grant Recipient, making it possible for her to participate in this meaningful work and to find ways of sharing the experience, the need and the connecting power of Omprakash.
2011: Voluntario Global, Argentina
From Madison, Alabama, Brian studied physics and Spanish at the
University of Alabama, graduating in 2010. He is currently a graduate student in physics at the same university. As a student at UA, he participated in service projects with various service organizations such while serving as a teaching assistant and tutor for various courses. Through these experiences, he came to appreciate the value of community service, especially when those service projects were applied to education.
Brian will volunteer with Voluntario Global during the fall of 2011.
He chose this partner because they share his passion for education. With VG, he will teach English to children in the Buenos Aires area. He plans to share his experiences and classroom resources with other volunteers through the Omprakash network. When he returns, he will discuss international volunteering and the Omprakash mission with local volunteer organizations.
2011: Machik, China
Tenzing currently resides in Chicago while attending Emory University in Atlanta. She is pursuing a major in International Studies and a minor in Arabic. She spent the first eight years of her life in Nepal and India, where she attended several boarding schools while also living amongst Tibetan communities in exile. She immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eight to join her mother in Chicago. She finds great joy in traveling and meeting people from different walks of life, due to her experience of living in a diverse range of cultures and societies from an early age.
This summer Tenzing will be volunteering with Machik on the Tibetan Plateau, in Chengdu. She will be teaching Physical Education and Intermediate English at the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP), which Machik facilitates. Machik works to empower Tibetans on the Tibetan plateau through providing education and financial assistance. SEP is the first summer program organized in Tibet. Tibetan students from all across the Tibetan plateau are brought to the program to engage in classes that enforce the importance and value of community responsibility and environmental conservation. Volunteers all across America and China will be participating in this unique program.
Tenzing discovered Machik through a friend during her junior year in high school. She was delighted by Machik’s unique approach and ability to directly impact Tibetan communities on the plateau. Along with Carl Tremblay, a student at Emory University, Tenzing established a Machik chapter at Emory and is in the process of organizing several awareness and fundraising events at Emroy for the upcoming school year. As a Tibetan born and raised in exile, whether it be in India, Nepal or America, Tenzing is very excited to finally visit the Tibetan plateau and engage with Tibetans there. Upon her arrival, Tenzing will spread the word about Omprakash and the wealth of informational resources it is equipped with amongst the Emory student body. She will be networking with student volunteer groups and departments in the University
2011: European Disaster Volunteers, Haiti
Lauren Odman is a registered nurse from South Florida specializing in pediatrics. Her interest in working within post disaster regions began after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti where she volunteered for several weeks with various organizations. During Lauren’s initial time in Haiti, she focused on helping children with life threatening medical conditions obtain humanitarian parole visas to the United States to receive medical treatment.
She has spent the last four months working with European Disaster Volunteers to develop a health education program and plans to expand her work to include communities both in and around the Port Au Prince area. Currently, Lauren splits her time between living and working in Haiti where she leads that health education program and traveling back to the states where she gives presentations on public health, nursing during disaster response, and the importance of volunteerism.
With her knowledge of Haiti and health in developing nations, Lauren is uniquely qualified to run the health education program and give lectures on the topic. She looks forward to transitioning all her knowledge and experience into multimedia presentations that can be given at nursing schools, colleges, and other educational institutions.
One exciting aspect of Lauren's work in Haiti is the opportunity of integrating her work into the broader context of the Omprakash network. The program has a structured educational component which will be particularly helpful for those who use the Omprakash classroom. She plans to upload those lessons as they are completed.
You can read more about Lauren's work by visiting the media links below:
2011: Intag, Ecuador
Ankura Ranade is from India and has lived there all her life. She is a fine arts graduate and has worked in diverse fields such as German language, teaching and marketing. She has been fortunate to have traveled to 17 countries and has been students in two of them. Her other interests include photography, travel & adventure sports.
Ankura's motivation for volunteering is her love for teaching, working with children and living in a culture and country so far removed from her own. She will be volunteering with Intag this September & October.
During Ankura's stay at Intag, she plans to develop curriculum and subsequently share it with the larger Omprakash community. She also plans to document her stay at Intag in photographs, videos and sketches to share with other prospective volunteers. She will spread the word about Omprakash at home to students and other NGOs through giving talks and publishing stories in the local media. She will also explore a possible exchange of stories between children in India and at Intag to help them understand a little bit more about each other and their worlds. Furthermore, she will create a pre-departure document about India which can be shared with Omprakash volunteers who plan on travelling there.
2011: Voluntario Global, Argentina
JahTrent Smith was born to military parents on an air force base in Hampton, Virginia. He was raised in rural Benton, Louisiana which is on the outskirts of Shreveport. He moved to Dallas, Texas where he completed his high school education at the Talented & Gifted Magnet at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center in spring of 2011. This fall Trent will be attending Rice University with an intended major in Computer Science.
JahTrent will be dedicating a month of his summer to Voluntario Global in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Trent has spent the past four years caring for his three younger siblings. He hopes that the nurturing foundation he has developed with his family will help him be a better teacher for the young porteños of Argentina. Coming from a humbling background, JahTrent aims to empathize on a personal level with the children and become more than just an instructor but also a role model. Not only is Trent excited about teaching, but he hopes to gain an understanding of Argentinian culture and socioeconomic climate.
To fundraise for his trip, JahTrent has been very resourceful. He prepared volunteer announcement letters for family, friends, and various organizations he has worked/volunteered with to better reinforce his support circle. His family reunion was also conveniently placed on the weekend of his graduation and he found his family to be immensely supportive of his endeavors.
Upon JahTrent’s return to America, he plans to network the message of Omprakash in the best possible manner. This includes presenting his trip to his alma mater as well as his future classmates at Rice University.
2011: AIM Abroad, India
Radha was born a Canadian citizen overseas in Malawi. After spending her first eight years in that beautiful country, her family moved to Canada, spending one year in British Columbia and their remaining years in Ontario. Over the past two years, Radha has been working on her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Religion at McGill University. Along with a double-major, she is pursuing a minor in Law. Having such a diverse degree is reflective of Radha’s personality and heritage.
Radha believes that education is an integral part to achieve empathy and perspective - two things that are required to strengthen the global development network. Radha is looking forward to assisting with the educational development efforts promoted by AIM Abroad in India, an Omprakash Partner.
Radha will continue to work to spread the Omprakash message, as it is a message strongly connected to her own values. She is passionate about photography, and is excited to expose the world - including the Omprakash community - to the work of AIM Abroad after her trip there. She will also work to expose the world to the Omprakash community and is currently assisting a friend in Malawi start and establish
an NGO focussed on educational development in Malawi itself. She intends to utilize her international network to building a stronger Omprakash network. Her main long-term goal, apart from recruitment, is to work to establish an Omprakash branch at McGill University during her remaining two years.
2011: Pentok Institute, China
John lived in the Philippines and Taiwan for 12 and 11 years, respectively, before moving to the United States to pursue a M.S. in computer science at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a B.S. degree in computer science from Tamkang University in Taiwan. Growing up in different countries of varying levels of development, he had a glimpse of the vast diversity our world possesses, including the Philippine revolution in 1986, Taiwan’s fledging democracy, and America’s economic prosperity. This has motivated him to frequently travel in order to learn more about different societies after starting his career as a software engineer in New York’s thriving finance and media sectors.
John, fluent in Chinese Mandarin, English, and Tagalog, truly believes in the power of education, which has helped broaden his horizons and empowered him to pursue better opportunities throughout his life. For this reason, along with the desire to contribute back to his people and communities in need, he decided to volunteer for the Pentok Institute in China’s Qinhai province in summer 2011. To support Pentok’s grass-roots initiative in empowering local women and developing local communities, he will establish technology platforms that will enhance the institute’s capabilities in language education and fund raising. Additionally, he will train Pentok’s leadership in utilizing web design tools and Office productivity software.
During the summer of 2011, he will help Omprakash expand its community reach by implementing the non-profit’s social media strategy and enhancing its website interface.
John’s ability to transcend different cultures and connect people of different backgrounds will allow him to continue to help Omprakash by extending its network to Chinese speaking volunteers and donors. In the fall of 2011, he will enroll in NYU Stern business school’s full time MBA program where he will continue to raise awareness of Omprakash’s mission to inspire his classmates in making future contributions to Omprakash.
John’s upbringing has led him to understand the challenges of eliminating extreme inequalities in society. Yet, his audacious optimism convinces him that making an effort in educating the underprivileged, regardless of scale, can create a profound impact on each individual's life.
2011: Seeds of Hope, Peru
Laura was born and grew up in the large town of Galati, Romania. Even though she was involved with different social causes all throughout her high school career, she formed her desire to explore volunteer initiatives during her year as an exchange student at the Hotchkiss School in CT, U.S.A. She learned how to be more pro-active, to identify problems and search for solutions, and to seek international connections. These lessons and the skills acquired, intermingled with her desire for social change, inspired her to pursue this volunteering endeavor for Seeds of Hope, Peru.
She chose to volunteer for Seeds of Hope because they are particularly interested in working with organizations directed towards children who come from socially challenged backgrounds and tend to drop out of school.
As a part of her preparation, she will design an English curriculum, primarily intended to help children write more effectively. The outcome of this process should be a student-produced magazine that should help the children express their thoughts and opinions and should offer prospective volunteers and donors a very accurate image of the organization.
Furthermore, she wishes to connect Seeds of Hope and a Romanian NGO called “Together” that she had volunteered for in her hometown. This connection should be materialized both in a pen pal friendship between Peruvian and Romanian students and in a collaboration between the two non-profit organizations meant to improve students’ learning experiences.
After her time volunteering, she will keep working for Omprakash by introducing Romanian NGO’s to the network and by opening her community to the possibility of volunteering abroad through Omprakash.
She will share with the broader Omprakash classroom many stories and pictures, her English lessons, future magazine and writing samples as well as a study designed to improve school retention rates. The study will concern the methods that Seeds of Hope and Together use in order to prevent their students from dropping out of school.
She is very excited to have become a member of this network and looks forward to making the most out of her volunteer grant and her time in Peru.
2011: Honduras Children, Honduras
Little did Sarah Moye know that growing up on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean would prove to be an eye-opening experience for the Tidewater Virginia lady. Spending her early years in Norfolk, Virginia before moving to southern Spain, Sarah began to explore her love
for the world. Upon taking residence in Chesapeake, Virginia, her adoration for traveling evolved though it was sent into a lull during her high school years. Once graduating from high school, Sarah moved to Richmond, Virginia to attend Virginia Commonwealth University; from there, she graduated with a double major in International Studies and Religious Studies with a minor in Spanish. Now she finally has an open schedule to explore Latin America and work with the children of Honduras!
Sarah has always believed that there was something more profound about the world that called to her – the study of cultures and customs consistently demonstrated an exciting and riveting love for reaching out to others. Through an internship with the Refugee and Immigration Services of Virginia, she assisted in teaching ESL courses to students. Sarah was also employed at the Bettye Ackerman-Cobb Child
Development Center, where she was able to teach basic Spanish to preschool children.
Sarah feels as though her experiences have appropriately guided and prepared her for the journey upon which she is about to embark. She will be volunteering with Honduras Children in a public elementary school in Tela for six months. She will be teaching English to 8-12 year old students. Opportunities to help children learn basic skills such as reading, writing, and beginner’s arithmetic will heighten her knowledge in the teaching field.
Sarah plans to contribute to the Omprakash network beyond her volunteer work in Honduras by informing friends and family and all other interested potential volunteers in the future that she may encounter. She also plans on posting flyers promoting the network
in various locations around Virginia. In hopes of also turning friends and family onto volunteering abroad, she will continue dedicating her time to planning for her trip before traveling to Honduras, as well as assessing how to further her involvement in volunteer positions.
2011: Pentok Institute, China
Deborah was born and raised in the suburbs of the Garden State, blissfully far from the Jersey Shore. She earned her B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley. After graduation, she pursued a high-flying career in consulting and investment management, traveling to such exotic places as Oshkosh, Wisconsin and Reading, Pennsylvania. Deborah settled down in New York City, and spent her free time fundraising, volunteering and running marathons, often simultaneously.
Inspired in part by her mother's battle against pancreatic cancer and Nicholas Kristof's book Half the Sky, Deborah will be spending her 2011 summer volunteering with the Pentok Institute, a grassroots initiative led by local women and committed to providing educational programs and services to Tibetan girls and women in low-income Tibetan nomadic areas of Qinghai, China. She will teach basic computer and application usage, including Excel and blogging tutorials. She will draw from her professional experience to explore financing strategies to broaden Pentok's self-sustainability and alleviate its dependence on donations.
Starting in the Fall of 2011, Deborah will attend Harvard Business School to pursue her MBA. She will continue to support Omprakash's initiatives at Harvard by encouraging the university to establish mutually beneficial collaborations with Pentok and other Omprakash Partners. Additionally, her natural ability to inspire others through emphatic reminiscences that are both apppalling and appealing will certainly incite her classmates to explore opportunities with Omprakash.
2011- Pisco Sin Fronteras, Peru
From Glasgow, Scotland, Alice received her B.Arch in 2008 from the Mackintosh School of Architecture, where she has since returned to complete the B.Arch (hons) and Dip.Arch postgraduate course, following two years of professional experience in architectural practices in London. With a particular interest in low-income housing and humanitarian aspects of architecture, she volunteered for two weeks Pisco Sin Fronteras, in the summer of 2010 during a period of independent travel through South America.
The town of Pisco was devastated by an earthquake in 2007, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and notable damage to the housing stock. This was largely due to the inability of local building methods and materials to withstand such forces – adobe brick was the predominant building material which is heavy and highly brittle and thus prone to collapse during an earthquake. This brief experience has influenced her academic work, future career aspirations and also a personal ambition to return to Pisco to continue to assist in the inspiring work undertaken in improving living standards for local people who do not have the means to provide adequate shelter for themselves or their families.
During her volunteering experience in Pisco, Alice intends to develop ideas from her university dissertation entitled “Post-Disaster Reconstruction Methods in the town of Pisco, Peru”, which developed hypotheses relating to the cultural and social viability of introducing disaster mitigation construction techniques in low-income areas. Therefore, the primary aim of this volunteering experience is to develop the potential for disaster mitigation techniques to become more strongly integrated into the construction works completed in Pisco, with a specific focus on low-cost methods which utilise local knowledge, skills, materials and are sensitive to cultural nuances. This will be accomplished via surveys and communication with the local population, developing understandings of socially acceptable building typologies via recorded observation and entering into discussions with local engineers and professionals.
As a student of architecture, Alice works and studies with many individuals who are likely to be sympathetic to the humanitarian architectural qualities embodied in Pisco Sin Fronteras. Therefore, she intends to conduct presentations to university staff and students to spread information about Omprakash and Pisco Sin Fronteras. Currently working on a large body of academic research on the topic of post-disaster reconstruction methods, all relevant research, essays and dissertations will be made available on the Omprakash site to all users of the network.
2011: Abriendo Mentes, Costa Rica
Growing up in the small town of Hollis, New Hampshire, Alexandra Carelli realized early that she has a penchant for provoking change. Her interest in social issues first took shape in the form of anti-war activism in high school, and over time her passion for protest, detest of poverty, and thirst for travel helped mold her desire to work in International Development.
She graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in English Literature in May of 2010, and immediately began planning a service trip to Central America.
After a short stint in South Carolina working in nonprofit consulting, Alexandra arrived in Central America with the intention of applying her consulting knowledge, and initiating other projects. First, she spent time in Guatemala improving her Spanish skills and volunteering at a rural village school. Then, she moved on to Nicaragua, where she volunteered on a permaculture farm that focuses on food security. In March 2011, Alexandra reached Abriendo Mentes in Playa Potrero, Costa Rica.
With Abriendo Mentes, Alexandra has pioneered a variety of projects: she is creating a community garden to teach environmental awareness, starting a Women’s Empowerment group to help combat issues with domestic abuse, and implementing a fundraising plan for the organization. Alexandra received a Volunteer Grant to insure successful development and execution of these projects. She will share her experience through blogging and photography, and create documents that will allow others to replicate the project with ease. She hopes that these initiatives will raise community consciousness, and ultimately lay the groundwork for a more fully adapted environment.
2011: Soteni International, Kenya
Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Kathryn Spectorsky has always harbored goals of being involved in international travel, research, and global development. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2010 with a B.S. in Biology of Global Health. She is pursuing her M.D. at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine with plans to become a pediatrician. Kathryn will spend the summer of 2011 volunteering with Soteni International to conduct research on healthcare services and health education in Mbakalo, Kenya.
Soteni opened a dispensary in Mbakalo in early 2005 to provide essential medical services to an underserved area. Plans are in the works to relocate, upgrade, and expand the dispensary. Before Soteni upgrades the facility, they need to know who is currently using it, what they are using it for, and how the dispensary staff might better meet the needs of the community. During her trip, Kathryn hopes to gather information about how local families understand health and medicine with door-to-door surveys.
When not conducting surveys, Kathryn will work to spread the word about the work of both Omprakash and Soteni International. Specifically, she will produce mini-documentaries on her work in Kenya. These films will aim to educate American students both on how international health research is carried out across the globe and about the current medical situation in Mbakalo. In addition, Kathryn will use multimedia to update her profile on the Omprakash network to attract future volunteers for Soteni and other Partners.
2011: Helping Hands, Peru
Lacey Worel grew up in Washington State where her family had a large garden and a small farm. She studied Elementary Education at California State University San Bernardino with a concentration in Psychology. As a college student, she worked with various environmental organizations including the National Parks Conservation Association in Joshua Tree California. After graduating, she worked as a middle school teacher and began her graduate work in the field of Special Education.
For the past 6 months, she has been working in Cusco, Peru with Helping Hands to develop a kindergarten that serves disadvantaged children and focuses on sustainability and nutrition: growing vegetables for the school’s lunch program and using recycled items whenever possible. She is currently writing a daily curriculum for the school that incorporates agriculture, hygiene, recycling and age appropriate learning goals. In addition to overseeing and initiating the development of the school’s garden, she is working as a volunteer coordinator, fundraising and working to implement sustainable building practices such as incorporating a solar oven and harvesting rainwater.
Receiving the Omprakash grant will allow her to continue to support and develop this ecological school by extending her time in Peru. Upon returning to the United States, she will deliver multi media presentations to various schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California and Washington State. These presentations will include short videos that she has produced, nutritional research based in Cusco that can be compared to the eating habits of students elsewhere, background information on Omprakash and Helping Hands, fundraising ideas and templates for sustainable school projects such as composting or using recycled cardboard instead of paper. In addition to these presentations, she will share her preschool curriculum and greenhouse template with other projects and seek out new partners in Baja Mexico. She will also continue to support and prepare Helping Hands volunteers and work to update the organization’s website.
2011: Helping Hands, Peru
Utsav Bansal lives in Rochester, New York. He currently attends the University of Pittsburgh where he is pursuing a Neuroscience major, Chemistry & Spanish minor, and two certificates in Global Health and the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. Utsav will be enrolling in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine starting August 2012.
With these plans, Utsav hopes to use his medical degree coupled with a masters in public health to work both in the United States and abroad. After volunteering in South Africa, he witnessed the immense need for basic healthcare across the globe and thus plans to help find sustainable healthcare practices that can be used in numerous communities. He is looking forward to volunteering with Helping Hands and their Farmacia Amistad initiative in Cuzco, Peru this upcoming summer, providing basic healthcare to the community and improving the living standards of all.
In preparation, Utsav has contacted friends, family, and various organizations at the University of Pittsburgh to inform others of his plans to volunteer with Helping Hands and ask how they would be willing to get involved. In addition, he plans to introduce the Pittsburgh community to Omprakash’s network and how it is a useful resource that can be used to create relationships across the globe and facilitate the process of volunteering abroad.
Upon return, Utsav will continue acting as an ambassador not only for Helping Hands, but also for Omprakash. By sharing his stories, continuing his fundraising efforts, and possibly returning to Peru, he hopes to inspire others to volunteer and make a difference in the world.
2011: Amy Biehl Foundation, South Africa
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Lindsay Carlin graduated from the University of Missouri in 2010 with a degree in Marketing and Business Administration. She has spent the last 5 months with the Amy Biehl Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa assisting with web development, coordinating fundraising events and teaching in the after school centers.
After receiving the Omprakash grant, Lindsay will return to the Amy Biehl Foundation for a second time to develop and implement a computer competency curriculum for grade 8 students. Included in this course will be a project called “What Makes You Proud,” which will connect her classroom in Cape Town, South Africa with a classroom in her home town of St. Louis. The exchange will empower learners to discover what makes them proud about their culture and implement their new skill set by teaching others. The curriculum will be a resource for any computer course teacher to utilize for years to come.
In addition to this course, Lindsay will continue developing the web presence of the Amy Biehl Foundation and coordinate a fundraiser to contribute to the Foundation’s sustainability. By updating the website, prospective volunteers and donors will have a better understanding of what the Foundation does and how they can help.
2011: Intag, Ecuador
Jordan Moody was born and raised in Harpswell, Maine and will graduate from Mt. Ararat High School in June 2011. From July 2011 through December 2011 she will volunteer with Intag to help teach English to children in local schools, live with a local family, and contribute to Intag's Ecotourism Project. Jordan's past volunteer activity includes working in the Dominican Republic to help construct medical facilities.
During her trip, Jordan will maintain a blog and take pictures and video to be made available through the Omprakash website. Upon her return, Jordan will reconnect with Mr. Ararat High School and communities along midcoast Maine to present her volunteer experience and inspire others to get involved.
2011: Various Partners, India
Elisabeth Oakham was born in Switzerland, raised in Ottawa, Canada. In 2009 she completed her degree in Biology and the History of Science and Technology at the University of King’s College, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While completing her degree she worked with various local- global non-profits as Ottawa’s Otesha Project, Just Food and Canada’s renowned service-learning program, Katimavik.
Since then she did an internship with National Geographic Television working on Great Migrations, guided wilderness kayak tours on Canada’s west coast with Coast Mountain Expeditions, and freelances in development, camera and video editing for Lycaon Productions in Toronto, Canada. She is currently producing a documentary about the intersection of ecology and culture in the Himalaya, with a preliminary shoot starting in May.
Elisabeth will use her Volunteer Grant to put her burgeoning documentary skills and experience to work while documenting Omprakash’s 2011 book distribution project. In addition to overseeing the book distribution, she will spend six weeks working with various Omprakash Partners in South India and will help them increase their multimedia presence within the Omprakash network.
2011: Pisco Sin Fronteras, Peru
Shannon Ng was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and graduated in 2009 from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in Sociology. She spent a month in 2009 volunteering at a single mothers' home in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In 2010 she volunteered twice with Pisco Sin Fronteras in Peru for a total of 6 months. During that time she took on the roles of Project Leader and Project Manager.
With the help of Omprakash, she will be able to return to PSF for a third time for 6 months, starting in March 2011. She plans to spearhead two projects. One is video blogging, which will generate a better connection between PSF volunteers and "everyone else." The second project deals with public health education within Pisco communities, and it will have an initial focus on sex education. The project has already started to make headway through the help of a few current volunteers at PSF. Her hope is that a project like this could possibly evolve into other aspects of community outreach/research and development in Pisco.
Before, during and after her stay at PSF she will be reaching out to various schools, service-learning and study-abroad centers in Hawaii in hopes of connecting them with the Omprakash Network, PSF, and volunteer work in general through presentations and/or the blogs.
2010: Abriendo Mentes, Costa Rica; Intag, Ecuador; Quetzaltrekkers, Guatemala
Reshma Kulkarni was born and raised in India. An Architect by profession she pursued her Masters in Sustainable Design at Carnegie Mellon University and graduated in 2008. She worked with the United States Green Building Council in Washington DC prior to receiving an Omprakash Volunteer grant.
In Feb 2011, Reshma will take a four month volunteer trek across Latin America where she will explore sustainability at the grassroots level and conduct environmental awareness workshops. Reshma plans to further expand the Omprakash Foundation network in Latin America and India. During her trip, she will help the Amazon Conservation Association in Peru to build an eco-friendly research center in the rainforests.
In Ecuador, she will work with Omprakash partner organization Intag to teach English. She will do some WWOOF-ing in Panama. Reshma will conduct environmental awareness workshops for kids in Costa Rica through Abriendo Mentes and in Guatemala through Quetzaltrekkers. Reshma plans to make environmental learning fun for kids and believes that learning from nature can inspire behavioral change. She will teach composting, how to grow your own food, how to make products out of paper mache, the importance of bio- diversity, etc.
Reshma will be working with Friends Society in India following her trip to further the concept of volunteerism in India.
2010: Pisco Sin Fronteras, Peru
A 23-year old Australian football fan, Will graduated from Monash University in Melbourne with a degree in business marketing in 2009. In February 2010, Will followed his dream of having an overseas volunteer experience and completed a 3-month internship at a Spanish school in Cusco, Peru. In April 2010, Will continued on to Pisco Sin Fronteras in the small coastal city of Pisco, Peru for 6 months. Will was a project leader for the majority of his time there and assisted on many amazing projects. He developed many wonderful relationships with the community of Pisco and fell in love with the people of Peru.
Will plans to return to Pisco in March 2011 for at least 6 months. To raise funds for future projects to help rebuild the city of Pisco, Will is planning to host a fundraiser dinner before he returns to Pisco. He will also be writing a bilingual ‘Sand Bag Home’ construction manual, which will help enable those in impoverished areas provide safe housing at a low cost with local materials. Prior to his departure, he plans to develop relationships with careers advisors, students, teachers and leaders to increase awareness of Omprakash and its partners. Furthermore, Will plans to keep a virtual diary of his time at PSF, and also contribute significantly to the operations of Omprakash upon returning to Australia in late 2011.
2010: Global Ghana Youth Network, Ghana
Jill was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. A graduate of the University of Glasgow in Political science she has a keen interest in the rights of the child and gender issues. Jill has been involved with international volunteering previously, with experience volunteering in Senegal and Ghana, alongside work with various student volunteer groups in the coordinating and training of volunteers, previously with SVA (Glasgow University-Students Volunteer Abroad) and this year working with SID (Strathclyde International Development).
With the help of an Omprakash grant, she plans to volunteer with their partner GGYN in Ghana. Her role will include the organizing of International volunteer partnerships, alongside the in-country coordination of the volunteers. She will also be responsible for overseeing the construction and development of the GGYN School and community centre, while working to encourage sustainable business links for GGYN.
2010: Pisco Sin Fronteras, Peru
Bryan grew up in Chicago and received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. He received a Volunteer Grant in November 2010 to serve as Grant Writer for Pisco Sin Fronteras, a Peruvian based volunteer organization which works to rebuild the city of Pisco, Peru which was left devastated by an earthquake in 2007. During Bryan's 6 months with Pisco Sin Fronteras he has been able to secure a grant to fund Ludoteca, a free child care center for children affected by the earthquake.
The grant will assure the local children have a place to gather, play and learn with each other, instead of spending their days on the difficult streets of Pisco. Bryan will be contributing planned activities developed for the children of Ludoteca with the Omprakash in the Classroom forum. He will also be contributing helpful information regarding fundraising for small organizations based on his success with Pisco Sin Fronteras. Upon his return to the U.S., Bryan will be making presentations to middle school classrooms about his volunteering experience in Peru.
2010: LHA and Deep Jyoti, India
Anoop Jain graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Environmental Engineering in June of 2009. He was born in Calgary Canada, just an hour east of the Rocky Mountains. He moved to Syria when he was 6, Scotland when he was 10, and has called New Orleans home since he was 13. Anoop received a grant from Omprakash to travel to
India in early 2011 to work on two projects he is currently involved with. First, he will travel to Mcleod Ganj in the Indian Himalayas to continue working with the Louisiana Himalaya Association on their community nutrition center. Anoop raised $25,000 in 2010 to build this facility and hopes that by the time he returns in February, it will be open.
The center will provide the refugee community with cheap, healthy, and nutritious meals. Anoop will then travel to the state of Bihar where he is working on another public health project with a new Omprakash partner called Deep Jyoti. Deep Jyoti’s primary mission is to provide 250 village children with free before and after school tutoring sessions. Anoop’s interests lie in providing the families of these students with toilets. Over 90% of Deep Jyoti’s students come from families with no toilets. Anoop is currently raising money for this project and hopes to break ground when he gets there this winter.
2010: Global Ghana Youth Network, Ghana
John May, from York, England is a second year French and Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow. Prior to applying for an Omprakash Volunteer Grant, John spent 3 weeks volunteering in southern Peru (2008). He spent 8 weeks living and volunteering in Senegal (2010) attempting to combat forced child begging.
In the Summer of 2011, John will be travelling to Ghana to work with the charity GGYN (Global-Ghana Youth Network). John hopes to expand the Omprakash network by creating a strong working relationship between both Omprakash and grassroots projects in Ghana with the Scotland based, not-for-profit organization The One World Shop, who specialize in ethical trading. Both before and after his trip, John will engage in a speaking tour of both home and university locations such as schools, churches, companies etc., before spending the next academic year in the US, where he hopes to continue raising awareness of both GGYN and the Omprakash network.
2010: Life and Hope Association, Cambodia
Asta Tamuleviciute grew up in Lithuania and is an MPhil/Phd student at King's College in London. She has two Master's degrees and previously has worked with refugees at Lithuanian Red Cross, where she was coordinating language, IT and art classes, organizing excursions and summer camps for children, etc. She has also done volunteering with orphan children, children from families at risk and homeless people.
She has received an Omprakash Volunteer Grant to spend 12 months working as a Program Officer at Life and Hope Association (LHA) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. She will be responsible for research and development, help LHA with the establishment of a computer training centre, and organize various educational activities, such as simulations "Mock Refugee Camp" and "Mock Soviet Union (1922-1991)", a play on human rights, a talk on human smuggling and trafficking, etc.
She will help to expand the network of Omprakash Partners and share her experience with students in Lithuania and the United Kingdom. She is planning to connect Cambodian refugees in the U.S. with students in Cambodia and contribute by posting documentary videos, photos, project outlines, and other resources.
2010: AFCECO, Afghanistan
Angela Nibler is from Lewiston, Idaho and graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in 2009 with an Associates of Liberal Arts degree. She received a Volunteer Grant in June 2010 to spend 4 months volunteering in Kabul, Afghanistan.
While serving she will teach English and martial arts. In preparation for her trip, Angela held a fundraiser selling homemade jewelry and baked goods to offset the cost of her lodging in Kabul. Angela has collaborated with a local second grade teacher who will work with her to connect the children through their cultural folklore stories and art.
Upon returning, she hopes to design a practical class project which will feature the theme of “Empowerment” and will highlight the volunteer and educational opportunities available through Omprakash.
2010: Hilda Rothschild Foundation, El Salvador
Sofía Weir is from Dallas, Texas, where she currently attends the School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) Magnet. Before attending TAG, she went to Harry Stone Montessori Academy for ten years. Montessori was a constant during her developmental phases and has greatly influenced her way of learning and thinking about the world.
She will soon be embarking on a trip to San Salvador, El Salvador where she will be working at a non-profit Montessori institution run by the Hilda Rothschild Foundation. She hopes to use her fluency in Spanish to bring a higher level of Montessori education to the school by continuously refreshing materials, as well as to build mutually rewarding relationships between Montessori schools in the Dallas area and the Hilda Rothschild school in Joya Grande, El Salvador.
2010: Golok Sengcham Drukmo Girls Home, Tibet
Linda Lu lives in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently enrolled at Loyola University where she is finishing her master's degree in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies with a dual concentration in International Comparative Education and Women's Studies and Gender Studies.
Linda hopes to use her education and research to look at the sustainable development of education for women and girls to help alleviate poverty. She will be volunteering and teaching at the Golok Sengcham Drukmo Girl's Home. Additionally, she has raised funds for the Girls Home and hopes to create a classroom connection blog between an after school program in Chicago and the Girls Home. She hopes to use her experience in Tibet to improve and inform future educational practices, and to also broaden her research, and open up ways for herself and others to contribute to the long-term growth of the girls and of the Home.
2010: Colegio Paulino Salgado, Columbia
Brett Rezek grew up in the mountains of Durango, Colorado and majored in International Studies at the University of Colorado at Denver. She had the opportunity to study in both Rabat, Morocco and Granada, Spain during college which inspired her to continue traveling after graduating in 2008.
Volunteering for the first time with Omprakash at Colegio Paulino Salgado in Barranquilla, Colombia, Brett has been teaching English at all levels and attempting to connect her students with those in her hometown. By sharing cultural differences and practicing foreign languages through email correspondence, she hopes children on both ends will learn respect for those in other parts of the world.
2010: Hilda Rothschild Foundation, El Salvador
Emma Fullinwider is from Dallas, Texas, and will be a senior at the School for the Talented and Gifted this coming fall. Interested in spreading Montessori education, she received a Volunteer Grant in June 2010 to spend three weeks serving The Hilda Rothschild Foundation in El Salvador.
Emma has prepared for her trip by collecting Montessori materials and other supplies to donate to the school. While at the school, Emma will teach English and will help with the foundation’s general upkeep. She is working to establish a strong volunteering relationship between Omprakash and Dallas schools, especially TAG Magnet.
Emma hopes to set up a pen pal relationship between the Hilda Rothschild School and Dallas-based Montessori schools. She also hopes to set up a lasting system to transfer classroom materials from Dallas schools to the Salvadoran school.
2010: Sevalaya, India
In traveling to India with an Omprakash Volunteer grant this August, Mary Beth Johnson will teach photography to empower the children of Sevalaya, both as a means of expression as well as a tool for social action. She will draw upon her skills and experience from her 2009 Bachelors of Fine Art with an emphasis in photography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as her secondary major in Political Science.
A weekend volunteering in an orphanage in Kerala, India during a summer 2008 study abroad session compelled her to return to India. This time around she will be teaching photography and English at an orphanage and school, Sevalaya, in Tamil Nadu, India. She is collecting point-and-shoot digital cameras of any resolution and their USB cables, as well as general funds to offset the costs of printing, framing and displaying student work in India and the U.S. Upon returning to the U.S., Mary Beth will use a similar framework through the PhotoPals program with a group of students from a classroom in America.
2010: Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, Kenya
Caroline Sheahan will be graduating New York University this May with a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies and a minor in Producing. Originally from Boston, Caroline grew up in England and Northern California before moving to New York for school.
Particularly interested in women's issues and film, and the interesection of the two, Caroline hopes to expand the knowledge of documentary film and its ability to spark meaningful conversation. She has received a grant to off-set her travel costs to Kenya this summer, for a three month trip to the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, where she will work on the creation of a film library.
Her goals with KGSA, as well as with Omprakash, are to develop ways for students and teachers to use documentary film as an educational tool to learn more about human rights issues. Her other interests include baking, theatre, exploring new food, and running. She is currently training for a women's half-marathon in New York City.
2009: Hogar de Esperanza, Peru
Jennifer Turner is from West Lafayette, Indiana and graduated from Purdue University in 2009 with degrees in Psychology and Spanish. She received a Volunteer Grant in December 2009 to spend six months serving at Hogar de Esperanza (Home of Hope) orphanage in Trujillo, Peru.
While in Peru, Jennifer will be teaching the orphanage’s Kinder class and working to expand Omprakash’s network of international partners. In preparation for her trip, Jennifer is collecting school supplies, Spanish children’s books, clothing, and other material items to donate to the orphanage. She’s also working to increase awareness among students and faculty at Purdue University of the volunteer and educational opportunities available through Omprakash. Jennifer also hopes to connect educational communities in Indiana with the students in Peru.
2009: Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, Kenya
Jake Naughton is a senior majoring in journalism with concentrations in photography, news/social media and citizen journalism in Africa. He traveled to Nairobi, Kenya for a study abroad program in Spring 2009. While there, he worked with Kibera Girls Soccer Academy’s journalism club in coordination with Stimulus Projects to help the girls produce high-impact, multimedia narratives about their lives in Kiibera. He will be working with KGSA and Omprakash to produce a series of promotional short films about the school and the community that has grown up around it. These videos will be available to KGSA for promotional purposes and to teachers for use in lesson plans about international education, women’s rights, etc.
2009: SOVHEN, Uganda
Claudia Bernstein of Fairfield, CT , a 2008 gradudate of Roger Ludlowe High, attended Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire for one year. She was determined to participate in a long-term service project and received a volunteer grant in December, 2009. Claudia was in Uganda teaching English to children aged 6 to 13 in the Kyassnko village, in Masaka District. She also served in the MIUSA and SOVHEN collaborative project for the inclusion of orphans, and destitute and abandoned children with disabilities.
2009: Raksha, Nepal
Bea Puerta is from Spain and has a master’s degree in international cooperation. She spent nine months in Nepal working with Raksha, our Partner dedicated to women’s empowerment in Kathmandu. Bea plans to contribute to Omprakash in the Classroom by connecting students in the United States and in Spain with the women she will be working with in Nepal.
2009: LHA & Neary Khmer, Cambodia
Mohamad Musthafa is a postgraduate student from Manchester University. He received a Volunteer Grant to provide training in capacity-building for our partner Life & Hope Association in Cambodia.
He will also work with Neary Khmer, and plans to help connect this partner with classrooms in England and the United States through our Omprakash in the Classroom program. Before leaving, he will work with communities in England to spread the word about volunteer opportunities available through Omprakash.
2009: Intag, Ecuador
Sandra Saulnier is from France and recently graduated from University Paris X with a Masters degree in Ethnology. Since then, she has been traveling, working and volunteering overseas at projects involving sustainable development and organic farming.
As the recipient of an Omprakash Volunteer Grant, she will spend six months living with host families in Ecuador while serving our partner Intag. She will mainly focus on teaching English to the children and adults of Intag’s remote Andean community. In conjunction with her trip, she is initiating a cross-cultural exchange through which children in France and Ecuador will communicate about the issues of environmental degradation that Intag seeks to address.
2009: Los Sonrisas de los Niños, Honduras
Karin Schmidt is from Nanuet, NY, and is a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She received a grant to pay for travel and living expenses while volunteering during July and August 2009 at Las Sonrisas de los Niños in El Cacao, Honduras.
Before departing for her trip, she collected school supplies, teaching materials and children’s books to donate to the organization and a nearby orphanage. Additionally, she collected letters written from students at a NYC elementary school to share with the children at Las Sonrisas de los Niños in hopes of building an understanding among children from different countries.
2009: SAEP, South Africa
Emma Cape, a student at Bowdoin College and originally from Illinois, received a grant in May, 2009, to pay for three months of travel and living expenses while volunteering with the South Africa Education and Environment Project in Cape Town. She is working to develop a new environmental club program that will provide students with education about local environmental issues and community organizing, and allow them to become leaders in community service and community action projects targeting environmental problems that affect the quality of life in their neighborhoods. It will also provide hiking fieldtrips to local natural areas, which many of the students have never had the chance to experience. Additionally, while in Cape Town, Emma will work to expand the Omprakash network through connecting with other South African charitable organizations.
2009: La Escuelita de Esperanza, Costa Rica
Dominique Johnson, a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She received a grant in May, 2009 to pay for her travel and living expenses while volunteering during July and August at La Escuelita de Esperanza in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Before departing for her trip, Dominique will begin working with a number of high-school and middle-school groups in Baltimore. She plans to initiate several collections of supplies needed at La Escuelita, and eventually to start a pen-pal exchange between students at her alma mater in Baltimore and the students in Costa Rica.
2009: EFF, Kenya
Steph Dawes, a graduate of Michigan State University, received a grant in May, 2009, to help subsidize her travel and living expenses during a six-month internship for Education for the Future Foundation in Kenya. While serving EFF, Steph will not only work with the day-to-day responsibilities associated with EFF, but will also conduct research on the education system and prepare plans for the construction of a new secondary school. In addition, she will be working to connect high school students in the United States and Kenya through a pen pal and blog system that will facilitate cross cultural and service learning on both ends.
2009: Just One, Nepal
Alan Burns, a multimedia student from Cork, Ireland, received a Volunteer Grant to serve Just-One in Kathmandu, Nepal during summer 2009. Alan used his multimedia skills to help members of the Just-One team design, publish, and distribute newsletters to potential donors. He also created a short documentary to help motivate donors and fundraisers, and helped Just-One complete some renovations of their building. Alan is now working to connect Just-One with Irish high schools that will learn from and support its work.
2009: SOTENI, Kenya
Pat Metz, a Purdue University graduate from Cincinnati, OH, received a Volunteer Grant to spend the summer of 2009 serving SOTENI International in Kenya. Capitalizing on his degree in Biochemistry, Pat will assist with a number of projects focused on stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS. Specifically, he will be giving talks about the disease at secondary schools around SOTENI’s four Villages of Hope and will be working to create a pen pal system between Cincinnati’s St. Xavier HS and the students he meets through his work.
2009: Paulino Salgado, Columbia
Milia Fisher, a senior at Francis Parker High School in San Diego, California, received a Volunteer Grant in January, 2009. She used this grant to travel to Colombia and jumpstart a sister-school relationship between our partner Paulino Salgado and her own school. Milia shipped 10 computers to Paulino Salgado and is working with Francis Parker to pay for the school’s monthly internet access. She will continue raising money to pay for internet access and other amenities for the school and hopes to one day develop a sustainable source of income for the Paulino Salgado community.
2009: AFCECO, Afghanistan
Ian Pounds is a former Professor and Crisis Counselor from Vermont. His extensive experiences working with troubled youths, students, and writers around the world led him towards our partner in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ian received an Omprakash Volunteer Grant in January of 2009, and headed to Kabul in April. Before leaving, Ian delivered a number of presentations to raise money for his trip and for our partner’s orphanage, and to help spread the word about the volunteer opportunities available through Omprakash. Ian also visited an elementary school class in Maine and helped students explore and rectify stereotypes about Muslims.
2008: Golok Sengcham Drukmo Home for Girls, Tibet
Geneva Wilgus a college student from coastal Maine, received a grant to serve for three months at the Golok Sengcham Drukmo Home for Girls in Qinghai Province, China (Tibet). Before departing for her trip, Geneva taught a series of lessons to two classes of fifth-grade students in Brunswick and Wiscasset. While Geneva was in Tibet, these students followed her blog and wrote books about themselves and their lives in Maine. These books will eventually be sent to Golok Sengcham Drukmo, and the students there will complete similar books to send to Maine. In addition to creating this book-exchange project, Geneva also conducted a series of presentations and fundraisers in her home community.
2008: Nepal Children's Organization, Nepal
Sarah Zellweger is from Rye, NY and is a graduate of Pitzer College. For five months during 2008-2009, Sarah volunteered at a number of different educational projects in Nepal. She spent the most time with Nepal Children’s Organization in Kathmandu. This was her second time volunteering in Nepal. While in Nepal, Sarah dramatically expanded our network by inviting seven new organizations to become Omprakash Partners.
2008: DEPDC, Thailand
Sara Adamak is from Stevens Point, WI and graduated in 2008 from University of Wisconsin. She received a Volunteer Grant from Omprakash to volunteer with Development and Education Program for Daughters and Community (DEPDC) in Mae Sai, Thailand. This is her second time working with DEPDC.
2008: Helping Hands, Peru
Vance Walstra, from Portland, Oregon, graduated from University of Montana with a degree in Anthropology. After receiving an Omprakash Volunteer Grant in September, 2008, Vance spent the winter and spring of 2009 volunteering for Helping Hands in Cusco, Peru. In preparation for his trip, Vance collected shoes and medical supplies to be sent to Cusco. He also organized a benefit concert that raised over $1200 for Helping Hands. While in Peru, Vance expanded the Omprakash network by helping a number of new grassroots projects become Omprakash Partners. He also spearheaded a fundraising effort that brought over $5,000 to Helping Hands– enough to help the organization purchase a piece of land and begin construction of a new classroom building. Back in the United States, Vance continues to contribute to our network by delivering presentations to high-school and college communities in an effort to help more people support our diverse partners.