Joan is originally from Huntington Beach, California. After completing high school, she chose to take a bridge year with Global Citizen Year in Ecuador. Last year, Joan completed a joint Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies and Geography/Environmental Studies at UCLA. During her time at UCLA, she has been awarded a 2013 US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies grant, 2014 UCLA Global Citizens Fellowship, and 2015 UCLA Geospatial Fellowship.
Having been a musician all of his life, Noah is very familiar with the empowering effects of music education. As a freshman in high school, Noah founded the nonprofit organization YouthJamz to share his affinity for the arts with disadvantaged students around the world. Through YouthJamz, Noah successfully established therapeutic music programs in Tanzania, India, and California, and supported education efforts in Congo. Noah is currently a Senior at UCLA with a major in Global Studies and minor in Entrepreneurship. After having conducted research on Sub-Saharan African foreign aid in Washington, D.C. and completed an internship with social impact agency Propper Daley, he aspires to one-day contribute to the fight against global poverty through job market stimulation.
Vanesa is a double major in Political Science and Geography/Environmental Studies, along with a minor in GIS and Technology. She has always been passionate about sustainable development, particularly within sub-Saharan Africa. During the summer of 2015, she was fortunate enough to visit Tanzania as a part of GIVE volunteers. Vanesa worked with the community in order to mix cement, clear land, break boulders, sand desks, and eventually build a secondary school on the island of Zanzibar. Based on her observations there and and in Mexico, as well as courses she has taken in college, she is now specifically interested in working with local communities to better their environment.
Julia's passion for development started in high school when she went on six mission trips around the southern United States, providing assistance to homes in impoverished communities. Inspired by the experience, she decided to pursue majors in International Development and Economics at UCLA. In the summer of 2014, she traveled to Costa Rica, where she taught English to students in an after-school program. That same summer, she worked as a research assistant to an Economics doctorate student writing a dissertation on “Improving Global Literacy Rates through the Online Education Process." Additionally, Julia has had internship experience with the American Red Cross, The Samburu Project, and Endeavor Global. After graduation, she hopes to work abroad in francophone Africa conducting Impact Evaluation for existing development initiatives.
Influenced by the power of human connection, David Joseph has chosen to devote his life to fighting health inequity. David worked closely with the Ugandan board of directors of the Northern Uganda Medical Mission to found and develop their organization and has served as their overseas liaison for the past three years.
Originally from San Luis Obispo, Jessa came to UCLA eager to understand the many factors that contribute to global poverty. Over the course of the past two years she has become increasingly passionate about the socioeconomic determinants of health and health equity in resource-poor areas. Focusing on the Latin American region, she has conducted and presented research on malnutrition within the Guarani tribe in Argentina and HIV/AIDs in Haiti. Last summer, she worked for a non-profit in Urubamba, Peru where she launched a project at a local elementary school building a library, collecting books, and teaching health education and English.
Isabel is pursuing a double major in Human Biology & Society and International Development Studies. Her interest in travel grew at a young age and evolved in high school through the Peace & Justice club. This student organization centered around specific social justice issues that were then presented to the entire student body through guest speakers, student presentations, and artistic interpretation. Isabel was a minister of the club, as well as president of the Fair Trade club (achieving the status of a Fair Trade school), and traveled to Haiti her senior year to work with several grassroots organizations in Port-au-Prince. Her interest in global development continues at UCLA through Global Development Lab, Students Supporting Haiti Solidarity, and a fellowship with Fair Trade Campaigns. She wants to pursue a career in global health and development, utilizing her mediocre Spanish and continuing to travel and learn more about the world.