How Our 2015 Grantees Empowered and Advanced Their Communities


3 minutes

Anna Cait W.

Anna Cait W.
Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Anna Cait worked with Mariposa DR Foundation on a project she designed to widen the scope of leadership skills among impoverished adolescent girls in the Dominican Republic.

The goal was to foster a strong sense of self and direction, so these young women enact change in their lives and communities. Through trauma stewardship, personal development and transformation work, and a hands-on study of conscious social change, the young women of Mariposa live out the program’s core tenets of confidence, agency, and purpose.

Read more about Anna Cait’s project


David R.

David R.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

David worked with 2SeedsNetwork, whose aim is to partner with local Tanzanians to address challenges in the agricultural value chain in order to improve food and income security.

Despite my repertoire of experiences in Tanzania, my short time in Dar has been more challenging and more eye-opening, I would argue, than even my first several months in the country. As a result, I have grown and learned a tremendous amount in ways that I could have never expected.

Read more about David’s project


Rebecca S.

Rebecca S.
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador

Rebecca worked with Arajuno Road Project teaching English in a local school.

I now have a greater understanding for Ecuadorian culture and perspectives; I have learned to take advantage of the time that I have and to be more patient. My time teaching English with the Arajuno Road Project is an experience I will never forget.

Read more about Rebecca’s project


Colleen O.

Colleen O.
Vientiane, Laos

Colleen worked with Abundant Water, a non-profit focused on household water treatment in rural Laos, namely in the production of clay pottery water filters.

My work at Abundant Water mainly consists of quality control monitoring of the filters. Every filter is tested for ten days to ensure the flow rate - the speed at which water passes through the filter - falls within the acceptable range. The flow rate falling into this range ensures that the water is passing through the filter slowly enough that harmful bacteria and viruses can be removed but fast enough that it can supply enough water for one family.

Read more about Colleen’s project


Alysha A.

Alysha A.
Cape Town, South Africa

Alysha worked with Doctors without Borders (MSF) project in Khayelitsha, South Africa, focusing on developing new models to prevent, treat, and eradicate HIV and tuberculosis.

Alysha and her team in Cape Town.
Alysha and her team in Cape Town.
Image courtesy of Alysha A.

As part of the HIV team, I was plunged into the field of infectious disease and was rudely awakened by how far away South Africa is from speaking about HIV as a thing of the past, with over one in 10 South Africans currently living with the virus. The grip that the epidemic still has in countries like South Africa instilled a sense of urgency within me.

Read more about Alysha’s project


Sheila X.

Sheila X.
Padua, Italy

Sheila worked at Ca'Foscari University teaching a American Sign Language (ASL) & American Deaf Culture course.

Sheila absorbed a lot of Italian culture, but admits there is much more to learn!
Sheila absorbed a lot of Italian culture, but admits there is much more to learn!
Image courtesy of Sheila X.

I see myself as part of the global Deaf community. It is our nature to seek out and connect to each other, despite differences in language, culture, and customs. We all have a strong inherent need for communication because gainful and total communication has been denied to us many times growing up, and prejudices and misconceptions about us are common.

Read more about Sheila’s project


Ethan F.

Ethan F.
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Ethan worked with Fundacion ESFRA on a project to reduce the risk from landslides in precarious settlements around the city.

The national risk advising organization in Guatemala, called CONRED, has said they like my project and they want to have the work submitted to them in order to get official approval! This is huge for the project because it will mean the work is nationally recognized and approved. With much luck and hard work over the coming months, I should be able to obtain approval and after this, the project will begin full-scale implementation where communities will be able to learn more about landslide risk and ways they can reduce their risk.

Read more about Ethan’s project

InterExchange Staff

InterExchange is proud to have an experienced team that is dedicated to international cultural exchange. We come from a variety of backgrounds, but nearly every member of our New York City-based staff has extensive experience traveling, working, or living abroad.

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation