From Fishkill, New York, Sally Briggs studied childhood education/ special education and Spanish at the State University of New York at Geneseo. Following graduation, she served as a teacher trainer in Samoa and worked on various village projects pertaining to literacy, environmental education, and health education. In New York City, Sally hopes to teach primary special education in a dual language school. A solid cross-cultural education, she believes, is essential in order to foster the development of compassion, empathy, and awareness, thus increasing the potential for cultural harmony.
Adam Johnson grew up in the vibrant south side of Minneapolis. His fondness of cultural diversity and equality led him to study Governance, Peace and Justice in Latin America at the University of Minnesota. Adam spent his four years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica (2005-2007) and Guinea (2007-2009), where he carried out life-skills activities for children living in two protective shelters and taught French, math and science to 28 third graders. Adam looks forward to getting to know his students, their families and their community as a bilingual education teacher. His experiences in service have taught him that patience and an open mind can help one to help others.
Adam Grant Kelley
Adam Grant Kelley hails from Madison, WI, where he studied Elementary Education, Afro-American Studies, and GLBT Studies through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He looks forward to the transition from working in the rural schools of Uganda as a Peace Corps Volunteer to teaching Social Studies in New York City's diverse community as a Peace Corps Fellow. Adam believes education must relate curriculum to the experience and culture of learners, fostering individuality and helping learners realize the possibility for greatness is endless. He continues to work towards the achievement of this realization through developing a pedagogy based on dedication, reflection, and activism.
Dave Lance is originally from Chicago. He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1992 with a degree in journalism. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Maevatanana, Madagascar, he taught English as a Second Language. He is looking forward to building on his teaching experience as a high school English teacher in New York City. Langston Hughes' quote "Dig and be dug" best expresses Dave's world view.
Jennifer McSorley graduated from Wittenberg University in 2005 with a double major in Early Childhood Education and Spanish. After graduating, she moved to Florida, where she taught second grade for two years before joining the Peace Corps with her husband in 2007. They both served as education volunteers in Guyana, South America. Jennifer worked with both students and teachers in three primary schools and one secondary school as a literacy advisor. After leaving Guyana in 2009, she took a position with the United Nations Development Program in Chile as an English teacher for students in grades 3-8. Before moving to New York City to begin the Peace Corps Fellows Program, she worked as an elementary school Spanish teacher and a reading and math tutor in Ohio.
Quinn Riddle is from the sun and palm tree drenched city of Los Angeles, California. Formally, she received her education from West Los Angeles College, Santa Monica College, and the University of California, Davis, where she obtained a B.A. degree in International Relations. Romania was the home of her Peace Corps service from 2006 to 2008 and that experience now travels with her wherever she goes. She is excited to be teaching Social Studies to some of New York's finest 8th graders. Her worldview includes all ideas and actions that create less fear, more love, and inspire dreams.
Kristen grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia in 2006 with a B.A. in History and East Asian Studies. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, she lived in Northwestern China and taught English language and literature at Lanzhou University of Technology. Now, Kristen is excited to live in NYC, where she can keep exploring communities and eating good Chinese food while pursuing her MA in Secondary Education and serving as a Language Arts educator. She believes that skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing are vital for individuals to grow and effect change in their communities; Kristen is proud to become a part of that process for her students.
Rachel Alis Sharpstein
Rachel Alis Sharpstein is from Orlando, Florida. She received her Bachelors Degree in Studio Art with a minor in Latin American Studies from Appalachian State University. In the Peace Corps, she served as a Youth and Families Volunteer in the city of Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Her goal is to teach second grade in a dual language school. She believes that we are all artists in our own way, and that there is nothing more evocative than creative expression.
Michael Simpson grew up in the Caribbean and South Florida, but has lived in Oregon for the past 35 years. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he received his B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Oregon in Eugene. He taught at a high school in Oregon for 3 years prior to enjoying a 25 plus year career in architectural woodworking and custom furniture building and design. He served as an Education Volunteer in Peace Corps Ghana, teaching chemistry and biology at the high school level. He also served as PCVL at Ghana's Kumasi sub office. As a Fellow, Michael will be teaching high school chemistry. He is looking forward to the challenges of teaching in an underserved inner-city school and attending graduate school, while being able to draw on the vast resources of the other RPCVs in his cohort. Since he is pursuing teaching as a second career, fulfilling a life-long dream, he is anxious to add to his knowledge of the education process and to build on the classroom skills that he has developed during his 5 years of teaching in West Africa. He is excited to have the opportunity to teach and to be able to pursue a career, which can have such an impact on the lives of so many young people. He believes that the complex global climate that surrounds us all as we move into the 21st century, challenges teachers to seize the opportunity to nurture and support each student's strengths, diversities, and creative energies. Michael wants to promote a diverse learning environment that taps into every student's unique potential. As we face an increasingly complex new world vision, he will strive to create a learning environment which gives each student the opportunity to contribute and make a difference, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of everyone on the planet.
Jennifer Warren was born and raised in New Jersey and has spent time abroad on 5 different continents. She attended Seton Hall University for undergraduate studies and received a B.A. in Broadcasting Communications while DJing for a popular radio station. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Lesotho, a small land-locked country in South Africa. Some of the projects she worked on during her time in Lesotho involved HIV/AIDS education, training youth groups, developing a life skills curriculum, and building 2 libraries amongst other things. Jennifer plans to teach Special Education with a focus on Intellectual Disability/Autism. She believes that everyone is entitled to a quality education, no matter their socioeconomic background or their strengths and weaknesses in the classroom.
Andrea is from Holbrook, New York. She received a BA in Anthropology and International Affairs with a concentration in International Development from The George Washington University. During her time as an undergraduate student, she had the opportunity to teach in Washington D.C. and in Santiago, Chile. After graduation, she served with the Peace Corps inMozambique from 2007-2009 as an ESL Teacher at the Agricultural Institute of Chokwe. HerPeace Corps service, along with her studies and travels, have shown her that regardless of background, a quality education can help people unleash their potential and strive for a better tomorrow. As a Peace Corps Fellow, she will be studying Bilingual/Bicultural Education.
Marie was born in California and grew up in Virginia. She is proud to have attended the University of Mary Washington, George Mason University and the Northern Virginia Community College. While serving in Morocco from 2006 to 2008, Marie fell in love with teaching and is now going to fulfill her dream of becoming a high school English teacher. Marie agrees with the author Nadeem Aslam when he said, "The point of art and literature is to reduce the distance between two human beings." The same way she uses literature to connect to others, Marie hopes to use literature to bring her students closer together and closer to the world around them.