Nicoleta-Ionela Brinza, Romania
Originally from Romania, Nicoleta returns to the United States again for her Work and Travel Program in Chicago. She has previously had the chance to explore America coast to coast, yet she still is excited to return. Nicoleta believes that a better world starts with communication and understanding of others.
“For me, volunteerism means kindness. Knowing that my ideas and actions will certainly have a positive impact on something is the greatest thing that could happen to me.”
Mihaela Gadirca, Moldova
Originally from Moldova, Mihaela returns to the United States in the Work and Travel Program as an Ambassador Scholar. She is in Chicago, where she hopes to gain independence and confidence. Mihaela believes that volunteering is bigger than the needs of one person. She hopes to better the lives of children through community service. Read more in her blog.
“When my program ends, I will come back to my country and I will become a volunteer of a charity organization. That way, I will continue to bring happiness to kids and poor families.”
Jan Kartusek, Slovakia
Coming from his home country of Slovakia to the United States three times already, Jan is certainly no rookie to the program. He has already traveled much of the U.S. during previous visits, but hopes to discover even more this time during his stay in Alaska. Like a true Ambassador Scholar, he has brought his commitment to volunteerism to the U.S.
“Volunteerism is one of the ways of helping other people or the community. You don’t do it for money, but for a good feeling that you helped someone or did something which will improve the lives of the others. I myself have volunteered many times in Slovakia and it’s always a success story when you can say that you did something for someone with no hidden agenda.”
Abdulsamet Kilicarslan, Turkey
Abdulsamet comes from Turkey to pursue his dreams of living and traveling in America. He has previously had the experience to work with AIESEC, the largest youth organization in the world, participating in cultural exchange between peers from across the world. This summer, Abdulsamet is staying in Maine where he shared his volunteerism with his host community.
“To me, volunteerism means helping people, animals, or nature without any exception, loving life more, happiness, and consciousness.”
Lulu Kong, China
Lulu is from China and is thrilled to return to America for her second time with the Work and Travel Program, while in Pennsylvania. By volunteering through the Greenheart Club during her last program, Lulu earned $250 from CCI Greenheart to start her own project, “Warm Winter.” Lulu sewed hats and scarves and sent them to a disadvantaged community in China. She is excited to bring her spirit of volunteerism back to the U.S. and share her culture with new friends.
“I want to help more and more people as I can. I want to make our world better and more peaceful. Once I start volunteering, I will never stop.”
Olga Mikulska, Poland
Olga is a determined Ambassador Scholar from Poland who made an IMPACT during her stay in the United States. Interest, Modesty, Positive Energy, Altruism, Commitment, and Tenacity are the tenets to which she adheres to, to show her dedication to volunteerism. Olga is staying in Colorado where she hopes to volunteer with deaf children and become immersed in American culture.
“Many people forget that acts of kindness come back even with redoubled strength. And such acts of kindness are what volunteerism is for me. It is about restoring faith in humanity and infecting people with our enthusiasm. What matters is our altruism and generosity of spirit.”
Marta Odainic, Moldova
Marta returns to the United States for her second visit with the Work and Travel Program. In her home country of Moldova, Marta has shown her passion for helping others through programs helping those infected with HIV/AIDS and informing teenagers about prevention. She is staying in Chicago this summer, where she anticipates volunteering for environmental awareness programs.Read more in her blog.
“The experience I gained helped me better understand myself and the world around me. It helped me develop my leadership skills, self-confidence and a greater understanding of the complexities of the world around me.”
Tomasz Paciorkowski, Poland
Coming from Poland, Tomasz is a passionate Ambassador Scholar who is enthusiastic about American culture. He volunteers as an English teacher and hopes to inspire his future students with his own experiences. During his stay in Colorado, Tomasz plans to help his host community by mentoring younger children. Tomasz also has a wonderful sense of humor, which you can see in his blog.
“I want to be a teacher who inspires others. I want to be a teacher whose passion is contagious. I want to have the power to influence young minds and help them develop. I would like to help my students broaden their horizons.”
Jesse Richards, Jamaica
Jesse is from Jamaica and is excited to learn more about America during his return visit on the Work and Travel Program. He believes that cultural exchange is an important experience, and hopes to share his culture with Americans as well. Like the service he performed in his home country, Jesse mentors younger children while he is in Maine this summer.
“I think that volunteerism embodies the model idea of being human. No man is an island; no man stands alone; and as humans, we need each other. Volunteerism allows me to connect heart to heart with those in need.”
Aybuke Saldir, Turkey
Aybuke first experienced the Work and Travel Program in the United States in Virginia, and she thrilled to return as an Ambassador Scholar. Aybuke was able to participate in a recent Greenheart Project where she and other participants helped plant trees in her home country of Turkey. She is excited to be in North Dakota for the summer where she volunteers her time at a local library.
“I think volunteering is something people do to help other people or the environment without expecting any financial benefit from it. Just knowing that they helped should be enough. It helps us to improve our social skills and raise awareness.”
Kevin Smith, Jamaica
Coming from Jamaica, Kevin is happy to be a part of the Work and Travel Program again in Pennsylvania. He has become enlightened by the experience of sharing cultures with his American friends as well as international peers. In his hometown, Kevin has been working to rebuild a community center and hopes to have it finished when he returns. He of course is excited to volunteer in America, too!
“The most impactful thing that I have done in my community is helping to develop and maintain a community center. I helped create a safe area for children to play and for members of the community to meet and interact.”
Yu Yang (Alina), China
Also from China, Yu Yang, or Alina, is enthusiastic to work and travel this summer in the United States. She is placed in New York, where she hopes to improve her English and learn about American culture. Yu believes that communication is essential for understanding the importance of community service.
“It hit home that enthusiastism, hardwork, persistence, and responsibility play an essential role in being an excellent volunteer.”
Bilian Zhang (Olivia), China
Bilian, also known as Olivia, is from China and has had the pleasure of traveling to the United States twice before. This time, she is working in Pennsylvania. She is ever-eager to return and gain many more experiences. Like CCI Greenheart, she believes that one of the greatest forms of public diplomacy is through cultural exchange. Bilian advocates helping others and sharing knowledge about the environment and other cultures.
“I worked as a volunteer representing my university to introduce the methods of protecting the environment to the Beijing citizens at an exhibition. Nowadays the environmental problem is getting serious. I think it’s every one’s duty to take care of our Mother Earth.”
Jizell Dionisio, the Philippines
Jizell is originally from the Philippines and is thrilled to spend her first time away from her home country in the United States. She is placed in California and Colorado and is eager to get involved with community service. Read about her excitement on her blog.
“Feeling the cold breeze on my skin and seeing the clear white snow covering the precious land of California, I felt how close I am to reaching my dreams. This program in the USA is one of the best and most remarkable moments in my life.”
Naon Foongfuang, Thailand
Naon is an ambitious participant from Thailand. She has made a difference in her community by volunteering at an all-girls orphanage, helping serve food. She is excited to show her dedication to community service while she is staying in the Chicagoland area. Check out her blog to learn about her visit so far.
“I am willing to help them without hesitation…Seeing them smile really brightens my day.”