2012 U.S. Youth Ambassadors: Who they are…

Kira Buss

Kira Buss

Kira Buss
Age:
16
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Kira enjoys music and spending time with her friends and family, particularly her younger sister. Growing up, Kira was responsible for watching her younger sister and over time developed into a role model, which has helped Kira cultivate her leadership skills. Kira is interested in combating homelessness in Seattle, by arranging supply and food drives in association with a local shelter and her high school.

 

Roberto Colon

Roberto Colon

Roberto Colon
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: Spanish, English
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Roberto is a Sergeant Major in his school’s JROTC program, the third highest rank. He is responsible for 141 cadets as well as involved in every aspect of the unit’s activities. Roberto is also involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland, his church’s youth group, and the International Studies Academy. He is passionate about education and hopes to create a presentation and informational session regarding this exchange and share it with the greater Cleveland community upon return home.

Eric Conte

Eric Conte

Eric Conte
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Eric is very involved in sports, particularly soccer. He plays on his high school’s team and a club team, as well as coaches a youth team. His idea for a community action project is to organize clean-up brigades to removing litter and invasive plants in the local parks. While in Brazil, he would love to pick up a little knowledge of Portuguese too!

 

Zoe Cook

Zoe Cook

Zoe Cook
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, American Sign Language
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Zoe is an avid field hockey player and swimmer and is also involved with her school’s annual yearbook, National Honor Society, and the Minority Student Achievement Network. Zoe is interested in creating a resource guide about the Youth Ambassadors Program and Brazil that she would share with young people and youth-oriented organizations in Cleveland.

 

Grace Cuellar

Grace Cuellar

Grace Cuellar
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Grace is involved in a variety activities at school and in her community, including National Honor Society, Key Club (a service organization), and student government. Grace would like to do a community action project that combines her two interests, the environment and children by getting young people involved in planting trees at a new school they will attend and have an opportunity see grow-up throughout their time at the school.

 

Chloe Fasoldt

Chloe Fasoldt

Chloe Fasoldt
Age:
15
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Music plays an important part in Chloe’s life. She has been taking voice and piano lessons for several years and is also involved with choir and an a capella group. Chloe hopes to organize music lessons for homeless children at the Sacred Heart Shelter as part of her community action project.

Georgia Haniuk

Georgia Haniuk

Georgia Haniuk
Age:
16
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish
Hometown: Bozeman, MT
Georgia is an avid tennis player and also is involved in the speech & debate team and journalism and her school. Her idea for a community action plan in Bozeman would address the needs of the local domestic violence shelter by raising funds through a tennis tournament and other related events.

 

 

Maleek Harms

Maleek Harms

Maleek Harms
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: English
Hometown:
Charlotte, NC
Maleek grew up in a military family and did a lot of moving around as a youth. He believes it was a privilege to be welcomed into his new communities and looks forward to his new Brazilian communities. Maleek is involved in Key Club, HOSA Club, Beta Club, and student government and has attended a number of leadership conferences. He hopes to organize a food & clothing drives that will benefit underpriviledged families in Charlotte.

Olivia Johnson

Olivia Johnson

Olivia Johnson
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish
Hometown: Washington, DC
Olivia plays varsity soccer, dances, and involved with the debate team and Model United Nations. She believes homelessness is a major issue that plagues her urban community of Washington, DC and would like to create a community action project that helps alleviate this issue.

 

Jaylen Meeks

Jaylen Meeks

Jaylen Meeks
Age:
16
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Jaylen loves the theatre and the arts, especially musical theatre and credits his involvement with drama and the Thespian Society for helping him to open up and improve his communication skills. He is interested in teaming up with a local organization called Hands on Charlotte to increase youth volunteering as well as increase his exposure to other non-profit organizations in Charlotte.

 

TeJaun RiChard

TeJaun RiChard

TeJaun RiChard
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, French, Chinese
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
TJ is highly involved in his school’s Mock Trial team, playing the role of “witnesses” and has helped the team win two District Championships. He  recently began studying French and Mandarin Chinese and hopes his language study will help with learning Portuguese in Brazil! TJ would like to create a community action project that focuses on educating his peers on recycling.

 

Michael Rutter

Michael Rutter

Michael Rutter
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish, Chinese
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Michael has been a member of the Boy Scouts since first grade and recently achieved his Eagle Scout by creating a project to teach bicycle safety to 63 under-priviledged children and provide free helmets to all and new bikes to three of the participants. He is also active within his church, student government, National Honor Society, Key Club, and cross-country running.

 

Miche’lla Wilson

Miche’lla Wilson
Age:
17
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, Spanish
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Miche’lla is a dancer, member of National Honor Society, and serves as a Hornet Ambassador at her high school. As a Hornet Ambassador, Miche’lla represents her school to prospective new students and serves as a liaison to younger students.

 

Adult Participants and Mentors

Jane Darrow

Jane Darrow

Jane Darrow
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Languages Spoken/Studied: English, German
Jane is the Gifted Services Instructor for her school district, which, in simple terms, means she prepares and provides students with cultural, professional, and outreach opportunities. She loves her career and working with young people. In her free time, when she has it, she enjoys traveling and staying physically active. This will be her first time to Brazil.

 

 

Tracy Eckard

Tracy Eckard
Team Leader –
World Learning
Lives in:  Washington, DC
Tracy Eckard has been a part of the World Learning family for more than four years, first with SIT Study Abroad in Ireland, an undergraduate study abroad program for American university students, and now in DC where she focuses on exchange programs for adults and youth. She has implemented and traveled on exchange programs for youth from countries including Brazil, Iraq, Serbia, Germany, and the US. Tracy holds a BA in International Relations and French from the University of California, Davis, and a Masters in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin. She is a native of California, has lived in France and Ireland, and has traveled extensively in Eurasia and North America. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, learning other languages, anything to do with sports, being active, reading (especially newspapers) and taking photos. This will be Tracy’s first visit to Brazil and is looking forward to exploring Brazilian culture, trying new food, practicing her Portuguese, seeing old friends and making new ones!

Danny Maxwell

Danny Maxwell

Danny Maxwell
Adult Coordinator
– World Learning
Lives in:  Washington, DC
Danny Maxwell is a lovable, and easily huggable, bilingual nomadic vagabond/international educator, who currently moonlights as a self-employed beachcomber in his free time.  A Masters in International Education graduate at the SIT Graduate Institute, Danny is an avid yogi as well as a retired red belt in Tae Kwan Do.  Since his days as a wee lad growing up in Elmira, NY, Danny has always been fascinated with ways of life different from his own.  Danny has traveled to over 25 countries and has had the opportunity to learn many valuable lessons that have built and strengthened his intercultural communication skills.  Danny has hosted both a German and Japanese foreign exchange student, lived with a family from Laos, studied and taught English in both Mexico and Spain, and is a four-time trip leader with the Experiment in International Living, leading cross-cultural programs to both Spain and Argentina.  Danny most recently visited 13 countries while circumnavigating the globe as the Field Office Coordinator on the Semester at Sea Spring 2011 voyage.  A firm believer of experiential education, Danny is an introverted extrovert who is highly in tune to the emotions and needs of others.  Growing up playing sports like soccer and basketball, he understands the importance of cooperation and teamwork. Following the advice of the Dali Lama, Danny approaches love and cooking with reckless abandon and continually reminds himself that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

6 thoughts on “2012 U.S. Youth Ambassadors: Who they are…

  1. Hello everybody,

    Welcome to Brazil! I’ve been thinking about you day and night and I hope what we have prepared for you will meet your expectations.
    I’m sure you’ll enjoy Brazilian culture a lot.
    Danny and Tracy, I miss you guys! Come here for a weekend.
    USYAs and coordinator, drink guaraná, dance samba, eat, eat, eat! Make the most of this wonderful opportunity.
    Love,
    Rute – Curitiba

  2. Welcome to BRASIL guys, I guess you will enjoy it a lot.
    knowing a new people and culture will be fantastic. Make friends, learn about the Brasilians, enjoy, enjoy and enjoy….
    You’ll love Brasil

  3. Welcome to Brazil! My family and I hope you like our amazing country.
    Explore a lot, drink national soft drinks, try out our ice creams, and don’t forget to eat “the brazilian barbecue”. I’m pretty sure you will love it.
    Feel at home! Welcome again!

    Love,
    Luiza (Belém, Pará)

  4. Pingback: Jovens Embaixadores americanos | Laís pelo mundo

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