GPE Nepal Summer 2015 Team Members
Christopher Bozik, 22, is a senior at FSU double majoring in Economics and International Affairs with a focus in economic problems and policies and religion respectively. Chris has been involved in GPE since January 2014 and has been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to go on one of GPE’s trips. He is looking forward to teaching English in Nepal as well as learning the local language to the best of his ability and trying to dive head-first into learning as much as possible about the local culture. Chris is also looking forward to helping the local people develop strategies to promote their own economy and self-sustainability. In addition, he is incredibly excited to help further implement and teach music lessons in the village as music truly is his passion in life. Helping organize a program in which children and adults alike can enjoy music may perhaps be one of the most rewarding experiences. Chris has interests in both possibly joining the Peace Corps and pursuing a career in music after graduation.
Selene Capparelli is a Junior studying International Affairs and Anthropology at Florida State University. She is a Brazilian-Argentine-American with a passion for travel, puppies, and knowledge. She is a sushi connoisseur and a yoga enthusiast. She hopes to have a world map full of thumbtacks by the time she's 40 and aspires to dedicate her life to research and public service.
Oriana Fuentes, 18, from Valencia, Venezuela, is a freshman majoring in International Affairs at Florida State University. At only 18 years of age, she has a strong interest for international development, and thus, she aspires to deepen her understanding of public service and developmental work by working with organizations such as GPE. In the future, she aims to double major in French language and culture, earn a master’s degree in urban and regional planning, and join the Peace Corps with the ultimate goal of working for a non-profit in the field of urban planning. Oriana is mostly excited to work in the Wolfgang Linke Kindergarten and with the Friendship Scout Troops; she is eager to participate in activities that will facilitate leadership, team work, environmental awareness, and cultural growth among the children and teens of Meghauli. In addition to learning new languages and working with GPE, Oriana’s interests include, but are not limited to, practicing yoga, playing with children, reading, traveling, camping, and going to the beach.
Catherine Annis, age 22, is currently leading the 2015 Nepal Project. Upon graduating in Fall 2015 with a BS in International Affairs, she plans on applying to the Askew School of Public Administration where she will seek a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Ultimately, she hopes to hold a leadership position in the government where she can make positive sustainable impacts, whether it be internationally or for my own community. In her spare time, Catherine loves to cook, run, and socialize with friends.
Samantha Matras, 20, from Tampa, Florida is pursing a dual degree in Social Work and Economics with a minor in Anthropology at Florida State University. Samantha supports social justice for all and strives to be an advocate for marginalized populations. Samantha joined GPE in the fall of 2014 because of her interests in international development and desire to learn how to effectively help others. Samantha is excited to go to Nepal to study the culture and assist in implementing empowering and sustainable projects. Aside from GPE, Samantha is an active volunteer at Tallahassee’s homeless shelter and hopes to apply lessons learned in Nepal to the shelter in order to help residents exit homelessness. Samantha wishes to get her masters in Social Work and work on social policy to improve lives on a macro level. Samantha also enjoys singing, playing the guitar, hiking, and pottery.
GPE Nepal Summer 2014 Team Members
Sophee Payne, 23, from Orlando, FL, USA, is a returning volunteer from the previous 2013 summer project. As the newly appointed project director, she will be leading the 2014 Nepal team to continue the progress of the development work with Clinic Nepal. Sophee was so impressed by the work she was able to accomplish with Clinic Nepal and the GPE team that she decided to train another group of volunteers to continue the 2014 summer project. Impassioned by her experience, this year she is dedicated to coordinating a team to empower local youths by educating them about character development, public health, and environmental concepts, as well as teach English to the adult community and support the local clinic that serves thousands of rural villagers. Moreover, Sophee is a senior in International Affairs with a major in Urban and Regional Planning, and her plans include earning a joint masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health in order to further her professional aptitude for development work. One of her newest hobbies includes the ukulele, an instrument she was motivated to learn in order to entertain and contribute to the musical interests of Nepali youths. In the future, Sophee would like to maintain contact with Clinic Nepal to continue working on difficult issues faced by the community, like public health, conservation, gender inequality and diaspora.
Catherine Annis, 20, is a human rights activist and international relations major at Florida State University with a passion for sustainable development. Recently selected as junior director, she will be leading the 2015 Nepal team in order to ensure the completion of the Global Peace Exchange Nepal Project. This summer, she will be volunteering in the Wolfgang Linke Kindergarten in Meghauli in order to help the teachers improve their English language skills. In the future, Catherine hopes to join the Peace Corps in Asia and eventually go on to earn a Master’s Degree in International Development Policy so that she may one day make strides in human rights in the Non-Profit and Public sectors. Catherine’s outside interests include film-making, cooking, reading, traveling, and biking.
Taylor Newman, 21, from Tallahassee, FL, USA, is a junior in Dietetics at Florida State University. Taylor has been involved in GPE since August 2013 and is incredibly excited to go to Nepal this summer. With a background in nutrition and health, she is most excited for the Be Healthy, Be Happy kids camp project at the Children’s Hostel in Daldale. This project consists of directing team sports activities and active games to help the children stay healthy while simultaneously gaining self-confidence. Taylor’s experience in Nepal will be an excellent foundation for her career goal to work for a non-profit abroad using the power of nutrition, clean water, and sanitation to alleviate easily preventable diseases in impoverished regions. In addition to working with GPE, in her free time Taylor loves to be outdoors, read, plan her next travel adventures, and adore her cat, Pico.
Rebekka was born in Lahti, Finland, but grew up in Coconut Creek, FL. She is a junior Environmental Studies and International Affairs double major at Florida State University. Since attending FSU, she has been an active member and officer of The Environmental Service Program (ESP), a student organization dedicated to volunteering, educating, and inspiring the community. In addition to environmental education, her interests include sustainable development, social justice, learning languages, traveling, and photography. She enjoys working on service-oriented projects, including the campus food garden, and volunteering as a conversation partner with the Center for Intensive English Studies. In the past, she has worked as an au pair in Finland and farm assistant in Italy. She hopes to continue working abroad after graduation, either by teaching English or interning with a non-profit. This summer, as part of her Social Science Scholars leadership project, she plans to facilitate a community development project regarding waste management in Daldale, while simultaneously researching the awareness of environmental issues and their impacts on health and development.
Krizia Barker, 21, from Miami Beach, Florida, USA, is a senior in Environmental Studies at Florida State University. Krizia discovered her passion when she took a semester off to WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). In California, she assisted local, organic farms, worked at farmers markets, and learned about environmental sustainability. She left with much more, as that drove her to shift her vocation towards developmental work. Having been a vegetarian for 11 years, Krizia is dedicated to changing the world's current system of food production. She wishes to implement more sustainable agricultural infrastructures at home and abroad before transnational corporations set up models that degrade and exploit the land and its inhabitants. Krizia has rallied and opened many people’s eyes to the violation of consumer rights that stems from corporate control in the food industry. She will do whatever it takes to shift oppressive paradigms and contest any form of unjust persecution of the weak by the strong. Krizia hopes that volunteering with GPE can be her foot in the door to begin a career in development work. She is excited to engage with the adults and children by teaching them English, methods of environmental conservation, waste reduction and sound hygiene practices that will make lasting changes in their lives. In her spare time she debates current issues with her friends, plays the ukulele, practices yoga, and obsesses over her dog, Captain.
Corey Goode, 21, from Jacksonville, Florida is a double major in International Affairs and English Literature at Florida State University. This Summer in Nepal he will be teaching English to the men and women of Meghauli. Corey is very excited about the chance to help the adult population of Meghauli acquire these language skills, as well as provide an educational opportunity to the women of the village that they would not have otherwise. In addition to planning and teaching English lessons, Corey will also be overseeing this year's Kindle Project. Through the Kindle project he hopes to give the citizens of Meghauli access to a cheap, portable library that can be updated with whatever materials Meghauli's people need. This library will allow the adults and children of the village to further their education in English and other topics long after the GPE Nepal team is gone, and will solve the expensive problem of getting heavy textbooks to the remote village. Immediately after the Nepal Project Corey will be heading to Takeo Province, Cambodia in order to establish a connection with Children with Hope for Development, a school that provides education to children in rural areas. He will be doing this with the hope of leading a GPE team to CHD in Summer 2015 to provide it with much needed volunteers and to help further its development in any way that he can. Corey undertakes these tasks with the hope that they will provide a launching pad for a meaningful career in international development. After earning his undergraduate degree Corey plans on attending graduate school to acquire a Masters in international development, but not until gaining more experience on the ground abroad to give him more insight regarding the real issues that developing communities face. In his free time Corey enjoys hanging out on the roof with his friends, camping, reading the news, and reading books.
GPE Nepal Summer 2013 Team Members
Joanna Douglas, 22, from Gainesville, FL, USA, is a senior International Affairs major with a concentration in Political Science at Florida State University. At Santa Fe College, Joa worked with Global Peace Exchange and also participated in state, regional, and national conferences as a Model United Nations delegate in 2009-2011. Joa transferred to FSU despite her Gator spirit in 2012. In 2013, she traveled to Nepal for three months as project director of the first team to establish a relationship with Clinic Nepal. In Fall 2013, she has plans to finish her International Affairs degree as well as pursue courses in Social Work at FSU. After graduation, Joa plans on earning her TEFL certification and teaching English in South Korea, prior to pursuing a career path in the foreign service of the US State Department. Joa enjoys reading, live music, learning languages, meeting new people, yard saling, being creative, and, of course, cats (but actually all animals). Her favorite Nepali food is "buff c momo," which are spicy fried buffalo dumplings, and her favorite Nepali phrase is "ookus mookus," which means that one is so full they are about to explode!
Ian Michaels, 21, from Pensacola, FL, USA, is a senior International Affairs major with a concentration in Political Science at Florida State University. He is concurrently completing complementary work towards both a Leadership and Global Pathways Certificate. In addition to his academic studies, Ian regularly finds himself at the FSU Reservation facilitating group development on the Low-Ropes Challenge Course. In his Sophomore and Junior year Ian was Supervisor of the Rez Climbing Wall. Ian left the Rez at the end of his junior year to further his involvement with the GPE Nepal team. He is enthusiastic about sharing his interest in group development and education abroad through volunteer service in Nepal. He has prepared for these long-term aspirations by volunteering with the Center for Intensive English Studies and learning the research process with Dr. Peter Easton of the College of Education. In the future, Ian would like to pursue a Computer Science B.A. with the intention of job skills training involving computer programming in developing areas. Ian is keeping a personal blog which you can find at http://iandavidmichaels.wordpress.com.
Isabela Dorneles, 22, from Rio de Janiero, Brazil, is a senior double major in International Affairs and Environmental Studies at the Florida State University. Her interest in international studies of cultures and languages arose from her first time abroad on a one-month trip to Singapore. She is fluent in Portuguese, English, and has studied Spanish and French. Isabela has worked at the Center for Civic Leadership and Social Change as a Community Ambassador for the Damayan Garden Project and also volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend. She frequently returns to Brazil to visit family and friends as well as to volunteer. Through her time spent on the GPE Nepal team, Isabela hopes to further her multicultural capacity and facilitate youth empowerment, environmental awareness, and community development.
Sophee Payne, 22, from Orlando, FL, USA, is a senior International Affairs major at Florida State University, after transferring in 2012 from Valencia Community College. In her earlier years in college, her budding interest in development work became a passion with an experience teaching at a summer camp in La Cucarita, Dominican Republic. Aside from her involvement in the GPE Nepal team, Sophee is an active member of the campus volunteer organization Caring and Helping in Community Service (C.H.I.C.S.) and also works as a mentor and tutor at the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend. Some of her favorite hobbies include balloon art and boxing. Following the completion of her undergrad, Sophee plans to pursue a master's degree in Urban Regional Planning and Public Health. Ultimately, she would like to work and conduct research within the development field, specifically regarding women's and children's health issues, as well as issues related to diaspora. Furthermore, Sophee would like to pursue an interdisciplinary research approach that combines efforts toward empowerment, health, and environmental sustainability.
Tesia Nasehi, 19, from Orlando, FL, USA, is a graduating sophomore in Education with a concentration in Visual Impairment. She is preparing to receive her Global Pathways Certificate and to be a teacher for students who are visually impaired or blind. Tess is also a member of the Garnet and Gold Scholar Society, founded by Florida State University's President Eric Baron, fulfilling requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and international experience. In addition to her studies, Tess works for the FSU Center for Global Engagement as a student assistant for the Intercultural Programs department. There she works in effort to get domestic and international students alike involved in intercultural awareness activities. She is eager to apply her background knowledge in both intercultural studies and education during the GPE Nepal project. Tess is keeping a personal blog which you can find at http://anasehiinnepal.wordpress.com.
Ryan Milejczak, 21, from Clermont, FL, USA, is a senior double major in Editing, Writing, and Media and Retail Merchandising and Product Development at Florida State University. Following graduation, Ryan plans to pursue a variety of opportunities involving volunteering and working both domestically and abroad, through Americorps, World Wide Organization of Organic Farming (WWOOF), and teaching English as a foreign language. In his spare time he enjoys singing and playing guitar, performing at local open mics, drawing, and spending time with his two pet rats. Ryan is keeping a personal blog which you can find at http://nepalforall.tumblr.com.
Saurav Bhandary, 21, from Meghauli, Chitwan, Nepal, is a sophomore double majoring in Pre-Med and Economics at Birmingham Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama. Outside of his studies, Saurav is very involved in different organizations both on and off campus. He is the founder of the Panther Ping Pong and Billiard Club and co-coordinator of Global Gathering at BSC. He also works as an International Peer Adviser and he is passionate about working with international students and helping them out with what they need. He is fluent in three different languages, Nepali, Hindi, and English, and has studied Sanskrit. Besides school, he likes meeting new people and making new friends. During his leisure time he plays soccer, ping pong, billiard, hangs out with friends, and reads lots and lots of books.
Gabrielle Roger, 19, from Gloucestershire, England, is in the process of joining the Queen Alexandra Medical Corps to pursue a future in nursing and spent her seven-month gap-year trip throughout India and Nepal. Being fortunate enough to have traveled through many countries within and outside of Europe in her youth, Gabrielle's interests have molded around the cultures she's encountered. Developing an interest in the cultural differences between societies at a young age prompted a passion in the security and well-being of others which matured during her latter school years. Gabrielle hopes through her medical training and ongoing volunteer work she will be able to continue the inspiring work she has observed both overseas and at home. While enjoying other peoples lives she also enjoys her own which mostly involves her friends, family, and being outside.