2017 Learner Profiles

From 140 applications in 2017, we selected a cohort of 20 learners from the US based on their responses to an application designed to gauge their level of curiosity, collaborative ability and creativity of thought and action. This year, working with three education focused organizations in India, we also added five Indian learners to the group.

“I am part of the rare minority of teenagers that read for fun. I read anything from African American Literature to feminist books and cliche romance novels. My dream is to eliminate gender stereotypes and provide opportunities for  women and girls. I don’t know why racism is still being justified, why war is acceptable, and why females still are struggling for basic rights.  But I know one thing, I was meant to make an impact in this world.”

Aisha ConteNYC, 10th grade
D’Angelo CoatesChicago, IL, 11th grade

“The fact of the matter is, once you can accept black people and everything they are for, what they really are, you’re accepting that All Lives Matter.”

Bergslyne ThomasPhiladelphia, PA, 11th grade

“Singing has been my primary interest since I was five years old.”

Daviontea BassChicago, 11th grade

“I want to come back with sweet memories and want to know how the ladhakhi people’s leading their life by solving the problem of climate change”

Divyabharthi MarapuTanakallu, Andhra Pradesh , 1 st year of Junior college

“I live in a small rural mountainous town where there isn’t much diversity. Living and studying in India would help me understand a different point of view of the world. This trip will expand my outlook on life and enable me pass along and share new ideas.”

Elan TurnerWest Jefferson, North Carolina, 11th grade

“Hau, Ernie Red Feather emáčiyápelo, Wazí Ahanhan emátahan, eyáš Makhóšíča él wáthi. Malakhota na wániyétu ma akešaglogan. Hello, my name is Ernie Red Feather, i am from Pine Ridge, but i live in the badlands. i’m a lakota and am 18 years old. i would love to learn about other cultures as well as my own, to expand my horizons. i’m also an aspiring artist, i use mostly graphite and am fairly good in the drawing area of art.”

Ernie Red FeatherPine Ridge, SD

”I am a person who is eager to discover new technology and use currently updated technology, especially when the 21st century is currently a century for technological innovation.”

Farhan MashudNYC, 10th grade

“My end goal is to help in any way to contribute to the alternative energy movement that will eventually become the world’s power source. The sooner this is accomplished, the better for future generations to not have irreversible damage to their environment.”

Gerardo Flores-GalvezChicago, 12th grade

“I love the person I’ve become because I fought to be her”

Glenny Perez

“Last summer I worked for the national park service. It really helped me to build a community with a range of people. You have to help each other to get to the final destination.”

Nazia TabassumBoston, 11th grade

“My ambitions and dreams is to become a Pediatrician to help the younger kids grow healthy and well.”

Jihan NoorPortland, Oregon, 10th grade

“Moving to such a small town, a population of 2,553 really opened my eyes to new things. With there not being many African Americans in the community for most of my junior high and high school career, it was some what of a culture shock. But, it taught me how to stand on my own two feet and be independent.”

Jonathan N. ReddickMadrid, Iowa, 12th grade

“I want to travel to another country because I want to learn about new people. I want to interact with people who don’t look like me. I want to hear other perspectives in the world we live in today. I want to be exposed to new beliefs and practices.”

Neyhla HenryBoston, MA, 10th grade

“As a Latina I worry about the current political situation because part of my community is going through a difficult situation that could result in the deportation of many people. This is an important issue because the Latino community is contributing to the economy of the United State by being the work force of this country.”

Olinda Marisol RodriguezWashington DC, 10th grade

“I would like to use all the experience I will gain this year to organize groups, clubs, and startups during college. I have the ambition to start by own app development company in the future and become a general surgeon to help the victims of the lifestyle of the overpopulated world. “

Prashant (Izon) RaiUkiah, California, 12th

“I am very excited about this trip because we are going to work together for three weeks and learn about Climate change, away from mobiles and technology”

Renuka PrasadHindupur, Andhra Pradesh, 2nd year Junior college
  • Interests: Developing the society
  • Future Goal: Joining the police force
Reisa BariamtakIjeirong village, Noney District, Manipur, 12th grade

“ I like adventures, and am excited to have one”

Sakshi PatelJaipur, Rajasthan, 1st year of Bsc

“Yá’át’ééh, Hello, my name is Serena Natonabah and my clans are Tacchini and Bilagáana. I hope to obtain the knowledge needed to improve the environmental standings of my community.”

Serena NatonabahSanta Fe, NM, 12th grade

“As I now pursue towards my goal as a budding social worker I want to make something that can really bring development, at least in my village. And through me, I want to influence people all over the world by being a dignified public speaker one day.”

A S ShomrorphiUkhrul District, Manipur, 2nd year of Bachelors degree

“Travel is such an enlightening experience. You can learn so much about the way the world works and the people who live on our Earth by experiencing different cultures. I love seeing new places, trying new foods, and meeting new people.”

Sophia RossCleveland, OH, 11th grade

“Running my first half-marathon was a formative experience because I had to train my body to not only run for a long distance, but I also had to train my mind to push myself through feeling tired. The combination of physical and mental challenges seemed impossible at first, but the more I ran in preparation for the race, the more I could see how my mind and body had developed.”

Tierney JacksonNew Orleans, LA, 11th grade

“Though I perform well in school, I’ve never been fond of classroom settings. I think I’m really meant to be out in the world and working with others on issues that matter.”

Veronica Diaz RomeroEast Palo Alto, 11th grade

“I have given speeches about everything I’ve encountered: racism, sexism, misogyny, Islamophobia, and my socioeconomic class. All the hard work had paid off and I was named the First African Muslim Woman to win First Place at the National Forensics Catholic League Tournament out of 9,000 competitors.”

Zenab NafidMadison, WI, 11th grade