2013 Fellows

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo

Peace Corps Fellows Program

Fellows Archive

2013 Fellows

After finishing high school in Honolulu, Hawaii, Lauren received her B.A. in Philosophy from Columbia College. While serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, Lauren taught English to local middle school students, collaborated with a women's group to start a soap-making business, conducted elementary school girls through a life-skills program, and spent a lot of time drinking tea with her hilarious host dad Nfablen. Immediately after the Peace Corps, Lauren worked for Eye to Eye, a national nonprofit that empowers youth with learning disabilities and ADHD by pairing them with successful college student mentors who also have LD/ADHD. As a PC Fellow who seeks to become a secondary school English teacher, Lauren's goal is to inspire her students to become critical thinkers capable challenging Steve Jobs in a creativity contest.

Nicholas is from Boise, Idaho and received a BS in biology from Boise State University in 2009. From 2010 to 2012 he served as a Peace Corps volunteer at a rural senior high school in Northern Ghana, where he taught biology and worked to develop student clubs and outreach activities. Following the completion of his service, he spent a year teaching English and studying language in Barcelona. As a Peace Corps Fellow, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to return to science education, and is looking forward to the challenge of teaching in New York City schools.

Trevor was born into a family of restaurateurs in a small Ohio town, where he has left behind the pots and pans to pursue a life of teaching. Graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in Philosophy and German, Trevor then taught ESL to Austrian students in the mountains of Tirol. He then taught ESL and developed curriculum with the Peace Corps in Cambodia from 2010 to 2012. While there he learned valuable lessons in cultural exchange and how to make fermented tropical fish paste palatable. After a year substituting in American schools, Trevor is on bees knees looking forward to teaching Social Studies at a New York City secondary school.

Jonathon is from Owensboro, Kentucky and received a B.S. and M.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching high school mathematics in Mozambique (2010-2012). While in Africa, Jonathon organized an English Theater troupe, started an Ultimate Frisbee squad, and led a Math & Science club as extracurricular opportunities. He is ready for the exciting transition from rural Mozambique to urban education in NYC. Jonathon looks forward to utilizing his cross-cultural skills and passion for social justice to ignite enthusiasm for science in his future students. He plans on teaching high school chemistry.

David is a Florida native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando in December 2008 with a B.A. in English/Creative Writing. From March 2009- June 2011, David served as a Youth Development Volunteer in Eastern Ukraine where he lived and worked alongside 13-18 year-old students in a rural boarding school. After leaving Peace Corps, David worked on staff for two years at the national non-profit City Year in Miami, Florida, where he leads teams of AmeriCorps volunteers through a year of in-school service providing targeted, small-group instruction and intervention to Miami's most under-resourced schools. David is excited to carry on his family's legacy of a strong commitment to civil service and public education.

Martin was born in Los Angeles, California on October 9th, 1982. His parents, Martin Sr. and Maria Consuelo, immigrated from Mexico right before he was born. He spent the first years of his life living in Compton, California, before moving to South Los Angeles when he was in the fourth grade. It was here where he encountered one of the teachers which first greatly influenced his life, Mr. Cooke, and began showing him that a teacher must be a moral leader as well as an educator. Martin later attended the California Academy of Mathematics and Science, a magnet high school created for students who strived towards higher education. While in his junior year, he met Michael Denman, a superb history teacher who changed Martin’s life. Through his lessons and constant push to put students first, Mr. Denman demonstrated that an educator had the power not only to improve students’ grades, but also their lives and future. He was the reason that Martin Castro chose a career in education, and Mr. Denman continues to be a source of support and inspiration. After graduating high school, Martin attended El Camino College and later transferred to California State University, Long Beach, majoring in American Studies. After receiving his degree, he joined the thousands of other proudly-serving Americans and became a part of the Peace Corps. He served as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Ukraine for three years, educating primary, high school, and university students on a myriad of topics and lessons. After returning home, Martin most recently worked as a substitute teacher before being accepted into the Peace Corps Fellows Program. He now plans to earn his master’s degree in the teaching of Social Studies while educating students in the urban environment of New York.

Jillian, Washington State native, is a graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. After earning her BA in Classics, Jillian worked as an English tutor at a community college and in area middle schools with after-school and at-risk youth programs. After the realization that she actually really liked working with middle schoolers, Jillian joined the Peace Corps. She served for two years in Zachepylivka, Ukraine, teaching English in a secondary school and working with such organizations as the Red Cross, US Department of State, and the Ministry of Immigration. Her experiences in Peace Corps cemented her love of teaching. Jillian believes education extends far beyond the classroom walls and looks forward to becoming an active member of the New York City community.

Heather is from the small town of Grass Lake, Michigan. She attended Michigan State University, where she obtained bachelor’s degrees in both mathematics and history. In 2010, she joined Peace Corps as a Math Education Volunteer, serving in the East African country of Rwanda. As a volunteer, Heather taught mathematics, history, and English, as well as advised the student Language Club and coached volleyball. As a Peace Corps Fellow, she hopes to create a learning environment that inspires critical analysis and civic mindedness while teaching social studies in New York Public Schools.

Dennis grew up in Southern California, and graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a B.A. in English and History. He also earned a California Single Subject Teaching Credential and Master of Education Degree from the same school. He worked as a substitute teacher and volunteer coordinator before serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Albania. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Dennis taught English language and American culture classes at the university, secondary school, and primary school level. He also assisted with English teacher trainings, youth leadership camps, extracurricular English courses, and the creation of school libraries. Dennis hopes to empower learners in New York City as a teacher for students with disabilities as the childhood level.

John is from Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. After receiving his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Southern California, John volunteered full time for the Schuler Scholar Program, a Chicago based organization that helps high achieving students at disadvantaged high school's attend the nation's top universities. Following this, John served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in Burkina Faso as a secondary math and computer teacher. John has a passion for math and education, and believes he can make mathematics an exciting and fun subject for any student.

Whitney grew up in Sebastopol, a small town in Northern California. She attended the University of Rochester in upstate New York and received degrees in English and American Sign Language. During Whitney's Peace Corps service in Kenya she taught at an elementary school for the Deaf where some of the cutest kids in the world live and play. In addition to teaching, she helped plan and install a water well, led staff and parent education programs, and learned to laugh at herself more than she ever thought possible.

After completing her service in late 2011, Whitney lived in Oregon and worked as a nanny, spending her days with more incredibly adorable children. She hopes to create a classroom community in New York City where students develop an appreciation for literature, as well as each other and the world around them.

Steve is from Chicago, Illinois and graduated in 2007 with a BA in English Literature from DePaul University. Prior to his service, Steve worked as a youth care worker at a group home for adjudicated youth and youth in care and protection. During his service, he served as a Youth Development Volunteer on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia from 2011-2013, where he worked to develop a life skills curriculum for primary school students around the island. Outside of his primary assignment, Steve designed and implemented service learning activities, helped to develop a borrowing library, and facilitated a chess club at the Babonneau Primary School. Steve also assisted in implementing Summer camps for youth with developmental disabilities (Camp Lajwa), camps for youth with Diabetes (Camp D’ Life), and two sports camps for disadvantaged youth. As a Peace Corps Fellow, Steve is excited about the opportunity of teaching in New York City, and hopes to be able connect with his students and encourage them to think critically about the world.

Katie is from Naples, Florida and attended Providence College in Rhode Island. She graduated in 2010 with a degree in Elementary/Special Education and shortly thereafter left for Peace Corps Nicaragua. There, she served as an Environmental Educator working primarily in the local elementary schools, though her favorite activity was her all-female volleyball league. She looks forward to teaching Bilingual Education at the elementary level this coming fall.

Starlight is from Deadwood, Oregon. It’s a very small town out in the coastal mountains. I went to school at Lewis & Clark in Portland Oregon and served in Mongolia with the Peace Corps for two years afterwards. I would like to teach High School Social Studies. I believe learning about other cultures and people is one of the most important things in life. It will help us understand that in essence we are all the same.

A California native, Tiffany is excited to join the 2013 cohort of Peace Corps Fellows as a Masters Candidate in the Intellectual Disabilities and Autism program. Since earning her bachelor degrees in Psychology and Drama from the University of California, Irvine, Tiffany has spent the majority of her time in the field of International Development beginning with three years of service with the Peace Corps in Mozambique. While in Mozambique, she co-founded a non-profit learning center that used the creative arts to teach vulnerable children about HIV care, prevention, and stigma. Post Peace Corps service, she worked at an NGO in Washington DC as a Program Manager focusing on youth projects in Mozambique and Kenya. Tiffany is passionate about issues affecting access to education, therefore working with both inner-city youth with special needs is a two-fold intervention that inspires her.