Lydia is a 22 year old graduate of Middlebury College where she earned her B.A. in psychology and Spanish. She is passionate about traveling, learning new languages, and becoming immersed in different cultures. She joined Project Favela because she saw it as a wonderful opportunity to experience Brazil as not only a tourist, but a contributing member of a community.
Benjamin, 26, completed his BA in politics at Oberlin College, then went on to Middlebury College where he earned his M.A. in Spanish Linguistics. Passionate about learning new languages and being active in community development, Ben came to Rocinha aspiring to solidify his Portuguese and to use his previous teaching experience to make an impact within the local community. He expects to learn as much as he teaches during his time with Project Favela.
Abigail is 25 years old and lives in London, England. After obtaining a Psychology (hons) degree from the University of Sheffield, Abigail worked as an Administrator and Project Coordinator for Rethink Mental Illness. She is currently a Senior Project Manager within Perrett Laver - a global executive search firm. Abigail has a passion for travelling, trying new foods, and watching foreign films. She has extensive experience within the third sector and has volunteered both locally and internationally for many years; she has organised and carried out a charity skydive, assisted in several Romanian institutions, and has taught in a number of schools across Italy. Abigail was inspired by Brazil's energetic and colourful culture and is keen to learn more about life within the favela.
James is a 25 year-old graduate of Durham University in England, where he studied German, French and Spanish. He now works as a Software Engineer for British Airways, and was inspired by Brazilian films and songs to volunteer in Rio. James has taught English in schools in Spain and Italy and hopes to use music and sport to support Project Favela's vibrant education programme.
Jillian is an aspiring social entrepreneur from Lancaster, Pennsylvania who's love of helping others, animals, and art has been a constant in her life. She has just obtained her digital photography certificate from the New York Institute of Photography and is excited to spread the joy of creative expression with the children of Rocinha. Her love of Brazil stretches back to when she was a young teen, and she hopes her time here with Project Favela is an entryway into a lifelong love affair of helping others and bettering Brazil.
Tara is a 21 year-old Anthropology graduate from London. She has a keen interest in pursuing a career in international development, with a specific focus on education and community based development. Tara has come to Brazil hoping to gain work experience and an insight into an different culture, whilst obtaining a better understanding of the discourse that surrounds modern development practises today.
Laura was born in England and am currently living in Oxford. She will begin university studies at the University of California, Davis in March. She has a passion for football so living in Rochina has provided her with the opportunity to connect with the local community and learn more about the social issues affecting residents.
Tore is a 26 year old from Norway, living in London. In Norway, he studied IT and Communications and worked for s everal years in the oil and gas industry. He is currently traveling before returning to university studies.