Meet the Fellows

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Peace Corps Fellows Program

Meet the Fellows

2017 Fellows

Sarah was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She spent five years living in Seattle, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Human Development from Seattle Pacific University. She served as an English Education Volunteer in East Java, Indonesia, from April 2012 to June 2014. Highlights during her service included bringing the first Camp GLOW to her region, partnering with her school’s team of English teachers to implement creative, student-centered curriculum, and learning to dance Gangnam Style with a group of students for the school’s talent show. After her time in Indonesia, Sarah returned to Portland where she worked in an administrative role in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark College and coached a high school swim team. Sarah is passionate about discovering students’ strengths and ambitions and helping them set and achieve goals. Sarah is pursuing a master’s in teaching social studies and is excited to share stories from history that often go untold. She hopes that social studies will broaden students’ worldview and aid them in developing into critical thinkers who are active and engaged citizens.

Jenesis is from Los Angeles, California and attended the University of California, Santa Cruz where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in American Studies with a Minor in Education. From 2014 – 2016, Jenesis served with the Peace Corps as a Youth in Development volunteer in Aldea Vásquez, Totonicapán, Guatemala. During her service she focused on promoting leadership skills, developing sexual health knowledge, and preventing substance abuse in the local middle-school aged youth population. In order to ensure that these lessons were being reinforced at home, Jenesis also implemented a 7-month family communication workshop with local parent groups. During this time, she also developed an innovative teaching curriculum for use by instructors. In addition to this grassroots work, Jenesis partnered with the Ministry of Education to train 50 rural teachers from across the region in dynamic pedagogical methodologies. Jenesis is pursuing a Masters in Bilingual/Bicultural Education in hopes of closing the achievement gap with immigrant students from Latin America.

Russel Ferguson was born in Minneapolis, MN. He studied English and Spanish at Minnesota State University Moorhead. While there, Russel began to view his life as an opportunity to grow through helping others. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Russel taught English as a Foreign Language to Indonesian high school students. He also coordinated weekly lesson planning meetings with fellow English teachers, coached a competitive debate team, and provided English lessons for all ages in his host community. At Teachers College, Russel hopes to hone his teaching skills to better serve his community in New York. He is interested in how narratives shape self-image and how changing the narratives of urban students might create a positive difference in their lives.

Josh is originally from Maria Stein, Ohio. He studied Special Education at Bowling Green State University and completed a year of student teaching in Houston, Texas. After graduating, Josh joined the Peace Corps and served as a TEFL volunteer in East Java, Indonesia from March 2014 until June 2016. In Indonesia, he co-taught English classes for grades 10-12 at a Vocational High School. He also helped organize extracurricular activities such as English Club and Hiking Club for both the Vocational High School and the local Middle School. In New York City, Josh plans on teaching Middle School or High School Social Studies. He strongly believes that the classroom can be transformed into a place of community and operate as a platform for both personal growth and the fight for greater social justice. He is incredibly grateful for this opportunity!

Sarah Lovejoy is from Tacoma, WA but has yet to live any place for more than 4 years. She has used her travels to spread a love of bananagrams across multiple regions and countries. Sarah attended the University of Notre Dame, where she studied Western philosophy and literature in the Program of Liberal Studies (Great Books). She also cultivated a passion for social justice in education by working with advocacy groups and teaching in diverse settings. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania 2014-16, she taught English in a rural secondary school, collaborated to found an annual Regional Spelling Bee competition, and worked with fellow teachers to promote empowerment and healthy choices among their students. After Peace Corps she worked for the Tacoma Public School District where she realized that middle schoolers rock. She is eager to learn with her fellow Peace Corps Fellows at Teachers College and to begin teaching middle school Language Arts in NYC!

Yin grew up playing on a small farm in the deep valleys of southern China. She came to the US with her family in her late childhood where she discovered a special appreciation for education. Her adventures as a Peace Corps Volunteer began post-graduation as a TEFL and community development volunteer in Mongolia. She worked with her host school, community members, and fellow volunteers on a wide range of projects including community English clubs, peer mentoring clubs, youth empowerment camps, advocacy initiatives for individuals with disabilities and more. As a volunteer, Yin also struggled with her identity as a Chinese American in an anti-Chinese environment. However, she turned the challenge into opportunities to successfully share her own diversity with her community. Serving in Mongolia helped Yin expand her horizons of world culture and deepened her appreciation for her own heritage. Now, as an RPCV and Peace Corps Fellow, Yin is pursuing her M.A. in Bilingual and Bicultural Education at Teachers College. Yin looks forward to integrating her experiences abroad into the NYC public school classrooms and hopes to excite her students in discovering and sharing both their own heritage and culture as well as those of the diverse population all around them.

Alton is from Fort Myers, Florida. He attended high school there, and moved to Tampa to attend college at the University of South Florida. He participated in a study abroad learning service trip to Ghana and became inspired to teach English in Africa. Upon completing his degree in History, Alton was invited to serve as a TEFL teacher in Madagascar. During his time as a Peace Corps English Teacher in Madagascar, Alton held two Girls Leading Our World camps and opened an English club at his local school. Alton also worked alongside the top English teachers in Madagascar to help restructure the English curriculum. His strong desire for teaching led him to apply to Teachers College. Alton holds an unbreakable passion towards creating social justice, and believes that education is a viable tool for success that each child is entitled to.