Connect_Fellowship

2017 US-Brazil Connect Fellows

Jessica Hintz

Kirkwood Community College

Jessica was born in Denver, CO, but raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she currently lives and attends Kirkwood Community College. She is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education at Kirkwood. Her hobbies include: eating... She also enjoys floating the river in the summer time, live music events, riding her bike, arts and crafts, and spending time with her friends and family. She wanted to participate in the US-Brazil Connect program because she was looking for an adventure that would challenge her to step out of her comfort zone. She is most looking forward to building relationships with new people, experiencing an unfamiliar culture, and seeing her own culture through the lens of another. And, of course, she is very excited to try Brazilian cuisine! She is so excited for the adventure ahead!

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Jessica Hintz

Jessica Hintz

Kirkwood Community College

Jaquanda Franklin

Kirkwood Community College

Jaquanda Franklin is from Iowa City, Iowa. She is currently attending Kirkwood Community College and studying to become a teacher. This will be the first of hopefully many trips outside of the United States for Jaquanda, and while that is a bit terrifying, she is more excited than anything for the life-changing opportunity to experience the people and culture of Brazil. She is looking forward to building connections with her fellowship team and with the students, while also developing leadership skills.

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Jaquanda Franklin

Jaquanda Franklin

Kirkwood Community College

Cesar Caraveo

University of Denver- Boettcher Scholar

Cesar Caraveo is from Denver, Colorado. Currently, he is a freshman at the University of Denver where he is majoring in computer science and minoring in mathematics, business administration, and leadership. He applied to the US-Brazil Connect Fellowship because it seemed like an amazing opportunity to help other students while simultaneously helping him grow as a person, learn about different cultures, and become more globally aware. He is mostly looking forward to getting to know his group of students in Brazil and hopefully establishing great connections and relationships with them!

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Cesar Caraveo

Cesar Caraveo

University of Denver- Boettcher Scholar

Marah Steveson

Jackson Community College

Marah Steveson is 25 years old, lives on a farm and has too many critters to count some days! She currently attends Jackson College studying Herbology and how it can help the human body. She was born in California and grew up in Michigan, but she has been to almost all the States except the East coast. Marah applied to the US-Brazil Connect Fellowship to help enhance her ability learn a more hands-on type of learning within different cultural settings. By helping the students in Brazil, she will be gaining more knowledge such as language, the sociological aspects of another culture, and much more that she won’t know until she hits the ground in Brazil. What Mara is most looking forward to through this experience is her direction in life. She has always wanted to help others in the best way possible and felt that this fellowship would help her achieve the satisfaction of making others smile.
The thought of meeting the students and people in a place she is unfamiliar with makes her very nervous. She knows we will all become good friends, but also knows she can’t comprehend how much it will impact her until she gets there or leaves. She hopes to encourage them as much as they already encourage her to do better… and she hasn’t even met them yet!

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Marah Steveson

Marah Steveson

Jackson Community College

Ryleigh Wright

Jackson Community College

Ryleigh Wright is from Jackson, Michigan. She attends Jackson College studying science, and plans to transfer to get a Bachelor's in environmental engineering. Ryleigh applied for the US Brazil-Connect program for her love and curiosity of different cultures. Even though she will be there to coach, she cannot wait to see what all the students can teach her about the culture and herself.

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Ryleigh Wright

Ryleigh Wright

Jackson Community College

Clarice Glen

Jackson Community College

Clarice Glen is from Jackson, MI and studies Biology at Jackson College. She applied to the US-Brazil Connect Fellowship after taking a Portuguese Conversations Class in winter 2016. She really enjoyed the class and the language, and it made her want to learn more about the culture. At the end of last semester, her Portuguese instructor told her Jackson College was looking for more students for the US-Brazil Connect program, so she contacted her school’s Coordinator and told him she was interested. She is most looking forward to experiencing a new culture and getting to know many new people. Clarice is legally visually impaired and plans to transfer to Western Michigan University in the Fall of 2017.

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Clarice Glen

Clarice Glen

Jackson Community College

Tiffany Cordero

Jackson Community College

Tiffany Cordero is from Stockbridge, MI and is pursuing an Associates in the Arts at Jackson College. She plans to transfer to a university to become an elementary teacher. Tiffany was introduced to the fellowship one day while sitting in class, and it was something she knew she had to do. She believes the whole concept of US-Brazil connect is great and that it will impact her life in so many ways. Tiffany is most looking forward to exploring a new culture and meeting new people. She is also excited to work with her team and make this a great experience!

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Tiffany Cordero

Tiffany Cordero

Jackson Community College

Jerika Lewis

Jackson Community College

Jerika Lewis attends Jackson College in Michigan. She is from Jackson, Michigan and plans on getting her bachelor’s degree in computer science and choosing a career as a computer programmer. She applied to this fellowship because she thought it would be an excellent opportunity to expand her horizon, and she also wants to learn as much as she can and have a once in a lifetime experience. She is most looking forward to meeting new people and immersing herself into the culture.

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Jerika Lewis

Jerika Lewis

Jackson Community College

Mercedes Sorenson

Jackson Community College

Mercedes Sorenson is currently a freshman at Jackson College. She was born and raised in Jonesville, MI. Her major is computer sciences, but she’s considering a double major in foreign language studies. Mercedes applied to the US-Brazil Fellowship because she’s always loved studying and learning about other cultures. She is really looking forward to connecting with students from another country and learning from others as much as possible!

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Mercedes Sorenson

Mercedes Sorenson

Jackson Community College

Jai'la Hall

Jackson Community College

Jai’la Hall is 19 years old and is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She loves to dance and cook. She is currently studying Communications at Jackson College. She applied to this program because she saw the flyers, knew she was destined to be a part of the program, and couldn't pass up the cultural and leadership experiences that were sure to come. She is looking forward to being consumed by Brazil, the culture, the people, and being able to help to others.

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Jai'la Hall

Jai'la Hall

Jackson Community College

Jenna Sexton

Jackson College

Jenna Sexton is a freshman at Jackson College and is from Jackson, Michigan. She has lived in Michigan forever! Jenna is working toward her Associates in Science and then hopes to transfer to a four year school for teaching. She applied to the program because it looked like a good opportunity for personal growth. She wants to learn more about the world and hopefully impact it someday. She is looking forward to experiencing a new culture and leaving the Northern Hemisphere for the first time! Jenna loves working for people and is super pumped to go to Brazil!

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Jenna Sexton

Jenna Sexton

Jackson College

Sebastian Aragon

Miami Dade College

Sebastian Aragon attends Miami Dade College, M.A.G.I.C., where he studies Animation. He applied to be a US-Brazil Connect fellow because he is just as excited to teach others about his culture as he is to learn more about cultures different from his own. Sebastian loves to travel and his wish is to introduce to others the love of traveling and learning about different cultures. Sebastian truly believes that travel broadens the mind and introduces people to different mindsets which allow you to feel comfortable with new experiences. He spends as much time drawing and playing video games as he does outside. Sebastian is always on his Mountain Bike and riding the trails constructed in Miami. He might be an adrenaline junkie.

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Sebastian Aragon

Sebastian Aragon

Miami Dade College

Jose Aleman

Miami Dade College

Jose Aleman currently attends Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus studying Business Administration, and is from La Habana, Cuba. Jose applied to the US-Brazil Connect Fellowship because he was drawn to the idea of being a coach and a facilitator to Brazilian high school students. He is very much looking forward to stepping out of his comfort zone by traveling to a foreign country, learning about its culture and being able to teach a class. Jose tries to bring fun and excitement into everything he does. He enjoys helping others and playing sports.

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Jose Aleman

Jose Aleman

Miami Dade College

Jurgen Calderon

Miami Dade College

Jurgen Jose Calderon is 20 and currently attends Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus. He was born in the United States though his mother is from Honduras and his father is from Nicaragua. Jurgen currently studies Business Administration/Entrepreneurship with a minor in Finance and/or Computer Science. He applied to the US-Brazil Connect Fellowship because he knows he has strong leadership and teamwork skills for this new experience assisting in another country. He always wanted to go to Brazil and now it’s a dream come true. He will be going with a purpose because he knows he can provide assistance in anything. Jurgen is most looking forward to networking with a new group of individuals, learning a new perspective, and learning how different life is from a younger generation. As a young adult, he would love to learn as much as possible because it will only help him grow as a person and prepare for his future milestones.

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Jurgen Calderon

Jurgen Calderon

Miami Dade College

Danny Mazur

Senior Fellow

Danny Mazur is from Cleveland, OH and graduated from Ohio State with a Bachelors degree in Perspectives in Social Change. The degree combined Sociology, Psychology and Social Work classes. Immediately after graduation he moved to Denver, CO. In Denver, Danny has worked with English language learners, youth who have been through trauma, and co-founded a community based in vulnerable communication. Youth work and community engagement are very close to his heart!
The fellowship drew him because of how unique it is. US-Brazil Connect provides the opportunity to work on a team, develop leadership skills and participate in a transformational cultural exchange. Through this program he hopes to build meaningful, connected relationships with his team and students. He looks forward to stepping outside of his comfort zone by traveling internationally for the first time and immersing himself in Brazilian culture. As a coach, he is excited to collaborate with students, fellows and organizational leaders to co-create facilitations that will lead to increased language and leadership competency.

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Danny Mazur

Danny Mazur

Senior Fellow

Aimee Newfield

Senior Fellow

Lots of people are tempted to say Amy, but don’t let the spelling fool you. It’s pronounced aMAY, starting and ending with the same sound. Some of Aimée’s friends call her Pimentinha, which means spicy little pepper. It’s a nickname she got through capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that she’s trained ever since her first trip to Brazil. Aimée is a native of New Orleans, although she has called Colorado home for the last 20 years. Even though she is in her element in Boulder, she’ll always be a New Orleans girl at heart.

Aimée is devoted to her profession as a 5th grade teacher. Being surrounded by 10 and 11 year olds gives her ample opportunity to implement her juvenile sense of humor. Teaching is a rewarding way to spend the countless hours she pours into her work because of the relationships that develop. In fact, it was through a former student’s dad that Aimée first learned about US-Brazil Connect’s fellowship in 2013.

Participating in the Conexão Mundo program in Porto Velho, Rondonia, was one of her favorite life experiences. Aimée looks forward to forming new relationships with her team and students, and she’s especially eager to get on the ground in Campina Grande and explore a new spot. Even though she’s visited Brazil several times and taken part in Conexão Mundo, she knows this will be a unique, unforgettable experience.

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Aimee Newfield

Aimee Newfield

Senior Fellow