Annie is incredibly excited to be teaching in Honduras next school year! She graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Environmental Education in the spring of 2016 and has since been living in Santa Fe, NM teaching cooking and nutrition classes at two of the public elementary schools in town. Annie is originally from Chattanooga, TN but has loved exploring and living all over the United States over the past 5 years. In 2016 she was lucky enough to get the opportunity to live in Southeast Asia to study sustainable villages and communities. She learned an abundance of knowledge from the people of Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam. While she has never been to Central America, she is looking forward to jumping in and exploring beautiful Honduras. She is excited to soak up as much information and experience as she can throughout the next school year and am hoping to bring some of my knowledge and skills into the classroom as well. Let the learning begin!
Hattie was born and raised in Southern California. She graduated from Charleston School of Law with a Juris Doctorate degree in May 2014. Prior to that, she achieved her BA from University of Oregon, where she majored in History, with a specific focus on Latin American history. After graduating from law school, Hattie began to focus on working with children, including volunteering at after school programs and working at a Girl Scout summer camp. In her free time, Hattie enjoys traveling, running, playing soccer, reading, and spending time with friends. She is excited to improve her Spanish, explore a new country and meet her students!
Lena is from Los Angeles, California. In May, she graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon where she received her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Ethnic Studies. During her junior year, she participated in the Border Studies Program in Tucson, Arizona. The program focused on border issues between the United States and Mexico exploring its effects both systematically and individually. The program helped ignite her desire to work with and support the immigrant community as well as to learn Spanish. She continued to foster these interests by working with programs in Portland, such as the Migrant Education Program and Conexiones. She see BECA as a perfect sector into her postgraduate life, as it gives her the ability to incorporate previous experiences while developing newfound skills. She is very excited to learn and grow with the help of the children in her class, and see their growth and personal development throughout the year.
Ciara was born and raised on the beautiful Vancouver Island off the west coast of Canada. She graduated from the University of Victoria in spring 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology,
and looks forward to pursuing a career in science. Ciara loves reading, painting, walking her dogs, and has been a long time volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Victoria. She
previously spent a year studying abroad in Colombia and would love to see more of South and Central America. After visiting the welcoming community of Cofradia in 2013 she was inspired
to later return as a volunteer, and is very excited be a part of the incoming BECA team.
Originally from a small town in Massachusetts, Jocelyn moved to Greensboro, NC for college. She graduated from Guilford College in May 2017 with double majors in History and Secondary Education (grades 6-12 social studies licensure). While at Guilford College, she worked in the Office of Admission as the Tour Guide Coordinator as well as the Student Coordinator for Overnight Visits and served as a RA for three years. She was fortunate to study abroad in both Panama and Peru and serve as a teaching fellow for Breakthrough Collaboratives in Silicon Valley. She presented auto-ethnographic research at the American Educational Research Association in 2016 (regarding adequate re-entry for pre-service teachers who served in post-colonial nations) and in 2017 (regarding culturally responsive teacher preparation for biracial teachers). She is very excited to begin her experience with BECA and to grow with her students. She is always in the market for arts and crafts and is looking forward to incorporating that into the classroom with BECA.
Morgan grew up in a northwest suburb of Chicago as an avid Bears and Cubs fan and graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a degree in History and Organizational Studies. While in college, she was a Tour Guide for Michigan and was involved in Michigan Club Boxing and Habitat for Humanity. While she will not compete after college, Morgan has competed in amateur college boxing bouts for Michigan and has won two out of three of her official fights up to date. She also loves volunteering on weekends for Habitat for Humanity by constructing houses one shelf at a time. Eating, working out, reading, traveling, and sports all make up Morgan’s Fav Five. She enjoys working out each day and then eating food to replenish. Morgan is also on a quest to read as many classics in literature as she can, and she is currently working her way through Les Miserables. She is very close with her family and friends, and she hopes they will come to visit her in Honduras. She hopes to attend law school in the future to become an International Human Rights lawyer. She is excited about the upcoming year to see what BECA and Honduras hold for her!
Jessica was born and raised in New Jersey, although she attended college in Maryland at Towson University. In May, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. At Towson, Jessica was involved with Greek life through her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. During her senior year, Jessica has had the pleasure of student teaching an amazing group of 1st graders. She can’t wait to continue her journey as an educator in Honduras and to learn and grow beside her students. Jessica is eager to pursue her dreams of traveling and teaching through volunteering with BECA. She is excited to learn more about the Honduran culture, Spanish language, and bilingual education throughout the 2017 - 2018 school year. Jessica is honored to be a part of the BECA team and is looking forward to the adventures and challenges that lie ahead.
James was born and raised in New York City, NY. This past year he worked as a third grade teacher in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, while also getting his masters from his alma mater, Boston College. James has a passion for education, youth empowerment/development, culture, language, traveling and activism. Dedicated to the young lives and the communities they come from; he is extremely excited to bring his passions, love, knowledge and experience to BECA and the Honduran community during the 2017-2018 school year.
Kaylee graduated in May 2015 from Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. While Kaylee has a passion for math, science, and education, she also has a passion for Spanish language and Latin culture. Her passion for Latin culture began with an interest in Spanish music and dance and soon developed into a desire to travel to Latin America. Kaylee is beyond excited for the opportunity to travel to Honduras and combine her passion for learning the language and culture with her desire to educate others. She is ready to face the challenges of being a first-time teacher and is eager to work with fellow BECA volunteers and families in the community to provide the best possible education for the students.
Kataura graduated in the spring of 2014 from Dutchess Community College, with an A.S. in Business Administration. She then went on to further her education at Vassar College, and as of May 2017, earned a B.A. in Political Science. During her time at Vassar, she participated in the women’s crew team, equestrian society, voice lessons, choir, orchestra, and two smaller orchestral ensembles playing the violin. She has always had a passion for travel, and so far, has visited Canada, Dominican Republic, and three major cities in China including Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan. Her trip to China involved Vassar’s environmental studies department where she studied the effects of rapid development on environmental degradation. She has always had a passion for learning about other people and cultures, and she plans to begin a career in diplomacy after BECA. She is ecstatic about teaching English as a second language in Honduras, and is heavily looking forward to meeting her new students.
Amelia is a recent graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Psychology and a double minor in General Psychology and International Studies. She has volunteered at Amigos de Jesus (ADJ) before through their short-term volunteer program and is ecstatic about finally being able to spend a year at ADJ working in BECA’s school. She loves to travel and learn about languages, cultures, and foods different than her own. She is passionate about the welfare and education of all children as well as equality and social justice throughout the world. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, being outside with her two sweet rescue doggos, planning events, and relaxing with her friends. She hopes to continue her studies in Educational Psychology and International Studies by attending graduate school and interning with organizations that focus on the safety, education, and holistic well-being of children in conflict environments.
Raised in a small town in southwest Virginia, Bentley was given the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico and El Salvador for missionary work during high school. Through these trips she discovered her fascination with Latin American culture and the Spanish language. She decided to further her education at Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), majoring in International Studies and minoring in Spanish. At Tech, she was active in many service-minded organizations, ranging from refugee resettlement to tutoring and ESL. She studied abroad her senior year in Quito, Ecuador where she lived with a host family and got first-hand experience with the spirited Ecuadorian culture. She found that her passions were a perfect fit for BECA, admiring the organization's commitment of selfless service to such a deserving group of children. She is humbled to be a member of the BECA team for the 2017-2018 year, and anxiously anticipate the life-changing experiences that it will bring.
Max graduated with distinctive honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2017, where he studied Rehabilitation Psychology and Spanish. While attending the UW, Max served as the Office Manager for the Wisconsin Collaborative Education Research Network, worked as the assistant to the Director of Community Relations for the UW, and was the Co-Chair for the School of Social Work's student organization. Growing up in a family in which education was highly valued, Max believes that education is the greatest way to create positive social change in the community, advocating for equal educational opportunities for all. While always having an interest of working in the education sector, his passion for living and working abroad was sparked after studying abroad in Granada, Spain. He is excited to be working with BECA to realize positive change, participate in a vibrant and collaborative environment, and learn about education on an international level. Looking towards the future upon returning to the States, he anticipates to go to graduate school for School Psychology or School Social Work to ultimately become an agent of change for marginalized, minority populations in the school system.
Megan graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Environmental Biology, where she worked in a lab researching land management techniques for carbon sequestration and served on the leadership team for an organization that connected students with volunteer opportunities in a local animal shelter. She then moved to Austin, Texas to serve with AmeriCorps as a tutor and mentor in an elementary school where she discovered her passion for justice for equality in education. She decided to become a teacher and move back home to Dallas, Texas to teach chemistry and biology for two years. Megan is so excited to bring her teaching experience to BECA and challenge herself as a teacher in a new culture and explore the beautiful country of Honduras!
Santa Monica Bilingual School
I was born in Atlantida, Honduras. I am 22 years old. I graduated from The Leadership Center, a women’s college whose mission is to train and develop generations of ethical leaders. I recently graduated with a Business Leadership Degree. I am passionate about education and women’s rights. I run an organization called Women with Purpose whose mission is to help Honduran women find a meaningful purpose for their lives in society. Because of my passion for development, I decided to work for BECA and get to know more about building strong communities, which is a huge part of Women with Purpose’s vision. I am happy to be part of BECA and look forward to growing in this amazing job. I am passionate about change and this is a huge change in my life. Thanks, BECA!!!
Hello, my name is Mirian Paz. I am 21 years old. I am from Honduras. I have a degree in business leadership. I am very passionate about education and that is the reason why I decided to volunteer at BECA and now I teach preschool in Santa Monica. I am enjoying the kids from Santa Monica.
I was born in Anchorage, AK, but raised in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate NY. I graduated from Dickinson College in May of 2016 with majors in Psychology and Spanish and a passion for service. During my time at Dickinson I was lucky to be able to study abroad in Malaga, Spain, and to do research on unpaid domestic labor in Cuba, while at the same time immersing myself in various service organizations and serving as the captain for the varsity volleyball team. I am a lover of all things dogs (mostly my own), food (vegetarian only, sorry), and the outdoors (mountains in particular); and I’m passionate about empowering the people around me to create positive change in their lives and the world around them. I knew that following graduation I wanted to spend time speaking in a Spanish speaking country and working for an organization rooted in sustainable positive change, and I found the perfect match with BECA. I’m so honored to be a part of the BECA team this year, and I hope that in my time in Honduras I will be able to be a positive contributor at the Santa Monica Bilingual school and that I will broaden my own perspectives on aid and advocacy.
Tim’s fascination with the Spanish language and Latino culture started when he entered high school in Mason, Ohio. Over the past eight years he has had the fortunate exposure to many passion-driven teachers and professors that have furthered his appreciation for the diversity comprising the 430 million global speakers of Spanish. During his four years at the University of Cincinnati, Tim studied Spanish and Communication. Before becoming a BECA teacher, Tim mentored at-risk youth in Cincinnati, served as a conversation partner to Latino students learning English and volunteered with a Legal Immigration Services Department where he translated for undocumented individuals to help them file for various services. He started a theatre troupe and held several ridiculously low-budget productions using scripts from Spanish, Argentine and Mexican playwrights. When he isn’t studying or working, Tim is probably out dancing Swing, Blues or Tango somewhere. In early 2016, he lived in Puerto Rico while finishing his final college courses, but he was unfortunately not able to master the salsa. As he travels, learns and experiences more cultures, Tim continues to understand more profoundly the privilege of living in the US. He is both nervous and extremely psyched for the next part of his life to begin in Central America.
Eva Pokorny was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She spent her childhood enjoying the natural wonders that the state had to offer, and found her passion in dancing, literature, and art. She grew up as a dual citizen, celebrating both American and Czech cultures in her home, and she frequently traveled to the Czech Republic to spend time with her family. Eva chose to attend schools in Colorado Springs which offered the International Baccalaureate Program, a program which inspired an international mindset and fostered a worldly view throughout her education.
In 2014 Eva graduated from Tulane University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. She completed the Pre-Medical curriculum and is considering medical school in the near future. After she graduated, she spent a year with the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana as the Associate Director, and dedicated herself to improving the quality of life of brain and spinal cord injury survivors in the state of Louisiana.
Eva has a passion for travel, service, science, and education, which inspired her to apply for BECA. In the long term, Eva hopes to work closely with Doctors without Borders and travel around the world providing medical care. Eva is so excited for this year with BECA in Honduras, and hopes that this year will help her grow as a global citizen.
Joe Hill (SMBS Admin) After two years of teaching at Santa Monica, Joe has returned for another year to serve as the school administrator. Prior to his time with BECA, Joe served in the U.S. Coast Guard, which gave him the opportunity to patrol areas in the Caribbean Sea and near the Central American coast, serving as a Spanish interpreter on certain missions. He has also traveled to Honduras multiple times with Students Helping Honduras to perform volunteer construction work on schools and other community projects in the Progreso area. After two challenging and rewarding years of classroom teaching, Joe is excited for the chance to continue to serve both BECA and Santa Monica in a different role, and to provide this year’s teachers with all the support they need to give their students an outstanding bilingual education.
Joe is a New Jersey native and when he is not at school, he enjoys distance running, music and visiting various places of this beautiful country.
Amigos de Jesus
Brian (ADJ 2nd grade) graduated from The King’s College in New York, NY, with a B.A. in Media, Culture & The Arts last spring. The opportunity to work with the children at Amigos de Jesus intrigues Brian immensely. Someday, he hopes to start a scholarship fund for fostered and adopted children heading to college. He’ll use his funds and cache as a recording artist and writer to gain outside support. Brian was heavily involved in extracurricular activities at The King’s College. He contributed articles to the school newspaper; plus he acted and directed in projects for the theatre and film department. He played on the school’s inaugural rugby team for three years. Over the summers, Brian would volunteer at GED programs, food packaging warehouses, and parks for New York Cares.
Laura graduated from The University of Michigan in April 2016, with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a minor in Community Action. While in college, she was involved in numerous student organizations that focused on girls’ education, poverty, public health, and social justice and volunteered at a local hospital. She hopes to return to school to pursue her masters in Public Health. She was raised in Michigan but has been lucky enough to travel around the world, both volunteering and studying abroad, and loves learning about new cultures. She is an avid adventurer and loves to hike, rock climb, skydive, meditate, read, and try new things. She is passionate about empowering others and extending compassion to everyone. She is so excited for her time with BECA and cannot wait to meet her students!
Stephanie (ADJ 4th Grade) graduated in 2013 from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois where she studied anthropology-sociology, social service, and Spanish. She has a passion for travel and the Spanish language. In college she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also held an internship with the Knox County Housing Authority where she researched the parenting practices of low-income single mothers. Through this research, she developed an interest in class reproduction, institutionalized inequalities, and social justice. After graduation, Stephanie remained at Knox as an admission counselor, promoting the College and assisting diverse families across the United States with college search and financial aid processes. In Galesburg, she volunteered to co-lead a Girl Scout troop in her free time. Stephanie is so excited to bring her knowledge and experience to BECA as a volunteer, and hopes to build relationships, have new experiences, and improve her Spanish during the 2015-2016 school year.
Sean (ADJ Administrator) graduated cum laude from the University of Rochester this past spring with a Bachelor of Science in Cell and Developmental Biology and the goal of becoming a pediatrician. During his time at the U of R, he was involved with cancer and aging research, competed with the University’s cheerleading team, and helped to establish a new chapter of Students Helping Honduras on campus. Although he held several executive board positions through the U of R chapter of SHH, it was his service trips to Honduras that solidified his passion for volunteerism and commitment to providing educational opportunities to those in resource-poor areas. On his last trip in particular, spending one week in Honduras was not enough. It left Sean with an incomplete feeling that encouraged him to make a long-term commitment to serving the Honduran community as a teacher. He is excited and grateful for the opportunity to give back to the country that has challenged him to grow personally in so many ways and has also played a large role in shaping his future goals and aspirations. Sean plans to learn as much as possible from his students, the Honduran community, and the other team members and translate his experiences over the next year into skills that will one day make him a multifaceted doctor.
San Jeronimo Bilingual School
Sondra was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a degree in Spanish. Her first exposure to Latin American culture was during high school when she spent a summer leading kids sports camps in Costa Rica. During undergrad, she also spent time interning and studying in Peru and Spain. Prior to moving to Honduras, she worked as a case manager for disadvantaged high school students, many of whom were first and second generation Latin-American immigrants. She is currently working toward her Master’s degree in International Community Development at Northwest University and is excited to see how her studies will intersect with her real-world experience as a teacher in Honduras this year!
I was born and raised in Georgia, Vermont but moved to north Alabama during middle school and have lived there since. I graduated in May 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education and Nutrition from the University of Montevallo, a tiny college outside of Birmingham, Alabama. I have a sweet puppy named Rylee who is my best friend and we love to go on adventures together. I first visited Honduras in July 2014 and have been back a few times. I absolutely fell in love with the beauty of the country. I absolutely cannot wait to combine the two things my heart loves, teaching and Honduras. This will be an adventure I will cherish forever and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead!
Christian graduated with a major Business Administration with two minors in Finance and Theology. Shortly after graduation he started working in the health care/Insurance industry that led him to work from Pharmacies to Medical Billing. Soon Chris developed a passion for travel and Latin American culture. This new passion took him to a backpacking trip throughout Central America, Mexico and South America, not only to discover his heritage but also to understand the region. Chris did not limit his experience to Latin America but also volunteered in Rome, Italy in a free health care clinic for immigrants. Chris is not only focused on culture but also in nature and environment; he volunteered on a Ecological Hotel in Barcelona, Spain where he led the hotel's environmental projects on recycling, and a efficient use of resources.
Chris also has more than 5 years of experience on the BPO/Contact Centers industry. As a customer service expert, Chris belonged to the Quality Assurance team where his skills on opportunities identification, feedback, coaching and data mining sharpened up. Chris is very passionate on the development of the Central American region, environment conservation and education and this took him to share his experience with BECA where he knows he can make a difference in the development of the region.
Bethany graduated with high distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2013 with a degree in elementary education and special education. During college she was a member of several academic and volunteer organizations, in which she grew as a student, a leader, and an educator. She spent the last two years surrounded by spunky and innovative 10 year olds teaching 4th grade at a low-income school. Her interest in Honduras started the summer after college when she took a trip through The Children’s Home Project to spend time with youth living in children’s homes. That is when she met the child that would bring her back to Honduras time after time. She is excited to broaden her knowledge of Honduran culture, the Spanish language, and bilingual education while utilizing and adapting her teaching skills!
Carly (SJBS Middle School English) was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in May 2015 with a major in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies and minors in Spanish and Religion. During her junior year in college Carly studied and lived in São Paulo, Brazil and Mendoza, Argentina—a year she won’t soon forget—but her heart lies in Honduras. Carly’s first trip to Honduras was in November of 2009 and since that first trip she has been fortunate to return many times. So, it’s fair to say that the opportunity to live and work in Honduras with BECA is a dream come true. She looks forward to the exciting challenges she will face as a first year teacher, finally being able to call Honduras her home and the ability to eat pupusas and baleadas everyday!
Coming from central Illinois, Savannah Mitchell is a full-time student of life and of Doane College in Nebraska. She’s studying English with Art and Spanish minors. Most of her time is spent on the tennis courts at Doane or with her nose in a book and/or a pen in her hand. Being a lover of language and people, Savannah aspires to spend her post-college days teaching in other countries and writing about her adventures. She is very much looking forward to what awaits her and her fellow teachers in Honduras!
Summer Camp 2015
In May 2013, Meghan graduated from Towson University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in elementary education. While at TU, Meghan played the saxophone in the university band, studied abroad in Costa Rica, and was an active member of the Students Helping Honduras (SHH) chapter leadership team. Through SHH Meghan volunteered regularly near El Progreso, Honduras, fostering her love for the country and deepening her motivation to teach: to empower young people and expand opportunities for them to enact positive change in the world. Since graduating from TU, Meghan has spent the last four years teaching 7th grade reading and language arts in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. Over her summer break in 2015, Meghan volunteered with BECA’s summer camp program, and upon leaving, promised herself she would return as soon as she could. Outside of teaching and traveling, Meghan enjoys studying martial arts, serving as the “DJ” (playlist specialist) of her school’s dances, seeking out live music, and spending time on the Chesapeake Bay. Now, Meghan is thrilled at this opportunity to return to Honduras as a full-year volunteer teacher with BECA.