Jennifer comes to OWN with nearly twenty years’ experience in non-profit management and development. Born in Seattle, Jennifer was inspired to become an advocate for social change after her first study abroad experience to Romania in the early 1990s. She went on to become an avid activist for rights and equality of Roma (Gypsies) in Eastern Europe, managing a wide range of international initiatives. She designed and managed programming for youth leadership and community development and facilitated collaborative work among organizations from over eight European countries.
After many years working with grassroots organizations, Jennifer later joined the Open Society Foundations in Budapest. As part of a senior leadership team, Jennifer coached and supervised program managers on youth leadership, community organizing and organizational development. Her longstanding experience with non-profits, minority communities and social justice work also led her to serve as expert evaluator and strategist both for Open Society Foundations and other international donors over recent years. Jennifer completed an undergraduate degree in history at California State University, Chico, and later went on to pursue an M.A. in Politics of Alternative Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. She speaks Romanian and Hungarian languages fluently, and basic Roma (Gypsy) language. She brings her love of language learning, travel and international education to the organization. As OWN’s Director of Programs from 2007 to 2009, Jennifer oversaw all core programming and staff of the organization. She is passionate about OWN’s mission and thrilled to return and lead its work developing the next generation of global leaders.
Founder and Senior Advisor
Kristin was selected as an Ashoka
Fellow “as a leading social entrepreneur whom we recognize to have innovative solutions and the potential to change patterns across society.” Her passion for cross-cultural understanding began with her one-year study abroad experience as a Rotary exchange student in South Africa at age fifteen. That experience changed her life and set her on a committed path to explore the world, challenge injustices, and pursue transformational learning opportunities for herself and others. Towards the end of the Cold War, Kristin began studying the Russian language in college and then lived in Moscow right before the break-up of the Soviet Union. She graduated with honors and a triple major in Soviet Area Studies, Russian Language, and International Relations at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Kristin then became the International Projects Director for a Seattle-based, international events and consulting company called Bob Walsh Enterprsies, Inc., where she directed the operations of the Moscow and Tbilisi (Georgia, ex-USSR) offices. Kristin spent her twenties living and working abroad in Moscow, Paris, London, and Tbilisi, where she developed a passion for global thinking, international project management experience, and a keen appreciation for understanding other cultures. At the age of 30, Kristin moved back to the USA and Seattle and decided that after years of living abroad, it was time begin her life’s work by combining her passion for international understanding and commitment to social justice. In 2002, she founded OneWorld Now!, the global leadership program for undeserved youth. Just two years later, OneWorld Now! was recognized as “one of the nation’s most innovative after school programs” by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. OneWorld Now! is now a national model for international education that ensures access for historically underrepresented youth. Kristin was appointed by then-Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on the Board of Trustees for The Evergreen State College (2007-12). Kristin currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Fund for Education Abroad in Washington, D.C. She is also the Official Spokesperson for the Global Access Pipeline (GAP), a national consortium whose mission is to increase the representation, preparedness, and retention of underrepresented groups in the international arena.
Language Program Manager / Arabic Language Instructor
Rachid Rhenifel was born in the Moroccan city of Fes. He received his B.A. in linguistics from the University of S.M. Ben-Abdellah in Fes. He moved to the U.S. in 1998 and lived in Austin, Texas before moving to Seattle. He speaks Arabic, French, German, and English. Rachid has taught for OneWorld Now! for many years and is happy to be working with a great team and wonderful students. His hobbies include playing soccer and tennis.
Academic Program Manager / Arabic Language Instructor
Sarah Standish is an Arabic teacher native to the Pacific Northwest. She grew up in Portland, Oregon and learned Arabic in college while majoring in Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College in New York, during which time she studied abroad in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco. After completing her BA, she spent a year studying Arabic literature in Damascus, Syria, where she felt fortunate to be able to explore a beautiful country only a few years before it would be convulsed by civil war.
She began teaching Arabic upon her return to the United States, where she was the founding teacher of the first Arabic program in a public school in Oregon, in addition to teaching a few classes at at the community college and college levels. Seeking a different challenge, she moved to Seattle in 2014 to work with OneWorld Now! and is excited to explore a new city and a new context for teaching Arabic. She is the author of Syria – Culture Smart!, a traveler’s guide to Syrian culture, and is currently writing a high school Arabic textbook.
Kirsten Rogers, MPA
Director of Development and Communications
After a two year hiatus, Kirsten returns to OneWorld Now! as Director of Development and Communications. In her former role as Events and Development Manager and Summer Programs Manager, Kirsten supported with fundraising, community and student events, as well as the Study Abroad Program and Summer Language Camps. In her new position, Kirsten looks forward to continue to grow awareness and support for the program and students and build the OneWorld Now! community.
Kirsten’s passion is cultivating thriving communities through online engagement and communications strategies. Fostering authentic connections is one of Kirsten’s core values, something she has been doing for over ten years of non-profit and development work in international education, social and human services and health. Kirsten earned her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and served two years in Morocco with the Peace Corps’ Small Business Development program. She speaks Moroccan Arabic and hopes to master French and Spanish one day. Through her consulting practice as a Social Communications Strategist, Kirsten guided startups to successful launches and small businesses to build loyal and engaged customer communities. In her spare time, Kirsten appreciates travel, getting lost in book stores, taking photos, trying new restaurants, and playing with her dogs.
Operations and Student Outreach Manager
Jayanika is passionate about social justice and strengthening community. Jayanika grew up on the island of Guahan/ Guam and graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2011 with an emphasis in Political Economy. After graduating she volunteered with Winrock International Farmer-to-Farmer and US AID in Nepal, Bangladesh and Nigeria. She spent a year in Nepal reconnecting with family and learning to speak Nepali.
Jayanika is committed to working and cultivating conscious leadership in youth and herself and has worked closely with Upward Bound and the Student Conservation Association. Looking to continue higher education, Jayanika moved back to the Pacific Northwest and is very excited to become more involved with the local community and be a part of OneWorldNow!.
Kathryn, born and raised in Seattle, is a 2008 alumna of OneWorld Now!. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and Comparative Religion. She speaks conversational Vietnamese and Teochew Chinese. She aims to apply and attend a graduate program for social work.
Chinese Language Instructor
Ms. Chia-Ching (pronounced “Jiajing”) was born and raised in Taiwan. She earned a Psychology degree from the University of
Washington. Before moving to the U.S, she taught English as a Second Language to elementary and middle
school students for several years. She has always been interested in the similarities and differences
in cultures, and is passionate in teaching and learning languages.
As a native Mandarin Chinese speaker,
she has taught Mandarin Chinese to individuals and groups ranging from three-year-old adopted orphans
to families planning to travel to China, from middle-school students to computer engineers. She also
has experience teaching Chinese-related courses such as Chinese cooking classes, and Chinese calligraphy.
She is an enthusiastic professional who offers strong skills, pays attention to the details of language
acquisition, and who cares about the progress of the students. Ms. Chia-Ching holds the State of Washington
Education Certificate, a Teaching Certificate specialized in world language instructions in immersion
and student-centered classroom teaching techniques. Ms. Chia-Ching loves dogs and nature, enjoys cooking,
making crafts, doing yoga, and traveling.
Korean Language Instructor
Kyung-Ja came to Seattle in 1997 from Seoul, South Korea. She holds a M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
(TESOL) from Seattle University, and a B.A. in French Language and Literature from Hanyang University
in Korea. Teaching is Kyung-Ja’s passion. Previously she taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at
private schools for several years in Korea. Since 2006, she has had a wide range of language teaching
experiences as an ESL instructor at college and as a Korean instructor at various organizations.
fall of 2015, she joined One World Now! and was thrilled to be part of the OWN language program as the
Korean language instructor. She is excited about working with future global leaders, by helping them
learn the Korean language and culture. Besides teaching, she is passionate about helping others in need.
She is the founder and the President of Music for the People, a local non-profit organization. She believes
in making a difference in the world.
Arabic Language Fellow
Adam grew up in Seattle and holds a degree in history from Gonzaga University. After spending a semester studying in Morocco,
he returned to work in Rabat as an English teacher with AMIDEAST. Having recently returned to America,
Adam is eager to share his passion with students of OWN.
Club Program Manager
Caitlyn Lamdin is a Vermont native who is passionate about the intersection of international education and social justice. At Vassar College, Caitlyn received her B.A. in Religion and Africana Studies and minored in both French and Arabic. During her tenure at Vassar, Caitlyn traveled to Ghana as teacher, Morocco as student, and Tunisia as intern. She then received the Ann Cornelisen Fellowship for Language Study and returned to Morocco to study Modern Standard Arabic for one year. Upon her return, Caitlyn joined the Teach for America 2012 Mississippi Delta Corps and taught high school French in Greenville, MS for three years. During that time, she founded Greenville Goes Global (GGG), a program to expand access to international travel for the economically disadvantaged students of the Mississippi Delta. GGG has brought over 50 students to Europe and Mexico since 2013. Caitlyn left Mississippi in 2015 to pursue a Master’s in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She completed her practicum with OneWorld Now! and recently transitioned to a full time role, where she works on language club expansion and study abroad. She is also the founder and manager of the GoGlobal Grant, which awards international travel scholarships of up to $500 for low-income high school students.
Chinese Language Instructor
Jin Chen earned M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction Chinese from Cleveland State University, and got Chinese Language Teacher License of the Ohio state. Before moved to the U.S., she was a principle and had four years teaching Chinese and management experience in her own school in China. Jin is also good at creating electronic
comic books, audio books and videos. Incorporate technology into her mini-books for language teaching. Students are highly motivated and interested in learning Chinese.
Arabic Language Instructor
Eman was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. Before moving to Seattle, in 2014, she spent all her past life in Damascus with
her family where she also worked in accounting. She is fluent in standard Arabic and most Arabic dialect languages. She has experience in teaching Arabic for the speakers and non-speakers of Arabic. She has joined our team this year and is very excited to continue doing what she loves the most, teaching Arabic. Additionally, Eman loves nature and outdoors. she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.
Russian Language Instructor
Dana is a Montana native with a passion for languages, travel and people, with a double B.A. major in International Affairs and English from Lewis and Clark College, and a minor in Eastern European Studies. An LC study abroad in 1985 in the former Soviet Union, arriving just a month after Gorbachev took power, sparked her love of the Russian people and culture, which a second program through A.C.T.R at Moscow’s Pushkin Institute during the summer of 1987 further cemented.
Dana has extensive experience in both the private and non-profit sectors – working initially with Daewoo International, a Korean-trading company, and then three years with the Refugee Federation Service Center as a Job Developer and ESL instructor, helping former Soviet refugees, as well as other nationalities, transition to life in the U.S in the early 1990’s. Dana also led two tours of American students and business tourists to the Soviet Union at that time with MIR Corporation, a Seattle-based company specializing in travel to the former Soviet Union. She is highly proficient in Russian, and can function in both French and Korean.
In 1992, Dana joined Marine Resources Co. Int’l, a Seattle-based joint Soviet/Russian-American fishing company that pioneered ties between the Russian Far East and the Pacific Northwest that continue to this day. With offices throughout the RFE and Moscow, and later in Pusan, S. Korea, MRCI was an exciting place to be during the wild years of the Soviet Union’s break-up – Dana worked for many years as a Project Manager and Account Liaison with numerous MRCI Russian partners, managing communication, packaging and equipment sales and logistics to Russian ship-owners and crews. In 1996-97, along with her husband, Dana spent 14 months in Pusan, S. Korea as Co-Director of the MRCI Pusan office, working with both Russian and Korean partners, and various MRCI offices, handling a myriad of logistical and crew issues for Russian vessels transiting through Korea, which has left her with a lasting appreciation and love of the Korean people, and their food.
After MRCI, Dana worked for Bob Walsh Industries as Director for Georgia Project Development on the company’s many projects in Tbilisi, Georgia (the former Soviet Republic of Georgia), leaving just prior to the birth of the first of her two children in 2000, at which point she began a career as a free-lance writer, covering business, education, travel and health topics for Seattle’s Child Magazine, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Mid-West Express, Seattle Woman, and Bainbridge Island Magazine, which she continues to do.
Dana re-focused her energies towards Russia in 2011, joining the Board of Directors of the Bainbridge Island-based non-profit Camp Siberia (now Bainbridge Island-Kitezh), an organization that paired Bainbridge High school age youth with Russian orphans for a few weeks every summer in Russia. In 2012, when the original Siberian destination no longer worked, Dana helped Camp Siberia re-locate their program to Kitezh, a foster community for Russian orphans south of Moscow, where she also led a group of Bainbridge students in the summer of 2014.
In the spring of 2015, Dana approached her old boss, OWN’s founding Board Member Bob Walsh, to discuss the idea of adding a Russia program to OWN’s existing programs in Arabic, Chinese and Korean. With tremendous support, they established the OWN MRCI Talbot Russia Scholarship Fund to enable underserved youth to experience Russia, with Dana taking the first OWN Russia Program students to Russia the summer of 2016. Dana is delighted to be teaching OWN’s first Russian language program, and looks forward to taking another group of OWN students to Russia next summer.