University of Miami ’16, Biology and Music Composition
Nayna grew up in Morris Plains, New Jersey and attended the University of Miami, where she graduated with degrees in Biology and Music Composition. Nayna enjoys traveling and volunteering and knew that being a Program Director in Ecuador would be the perfect combination of the two. She loves being able to spend part of her gap year working with Manna Project and plans to attend medical school at the University of Miami in 2017.
Jimmy Thomas, Program Director
Belmont University '16, Spanish and Entrepreneurship
Jimmy is from Nashville, Tennessee where he studied Spanish and Entrepreneurship at Belmont University. He developed a passion for Spanish and Latin American culture through studying in Valparaiso, Chile, and serving as a translator on a mission trip to rural Guatemala. He saw Manna Project's Ecuador program as an opportunity to immerse himself in a new environment and become a more well-rounded citizen of the world. He enjoys going to concerts, playing soccer and watching hockey.
Sanjana Rao, Program Director
Emory University '16, Biology
Sanjana was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She graduated from Emory University in May 2016 with a B.S. in Biology. Following her service trip to Lima, Perú in 2011, Sanjana discovered her passions in global medicine and health education. When she stumbled upon an application for Manna Project International four years later, she instantly knew she had found her gap year calling. Working with Manna Project gives Sanjana the opportunity to immerse herself in a new culture, develop sustainable partnerships, and positively impact the communities in healthcare, education, and livelihoods. After her time in Nicaragua, Sanjana plans to attend medical school and hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics.
Vincent Ricci, Program Director
Worcester State University ‘16, History
Vincent was born in the Netherlands but has lived in Douglas, Massachusetts for most of his life. He attended Worcester State University earning a Bachelor's of Art in History in May 2016. After attending an alternative spring break trip to Manna Project’s Nicaragua site, Vincent applied to be a Program Director for the opportunity to expand his knowledge and understanding of Latin America. Vincent hopes to continue traveling and is interested in a Master's Program in Latin American Studies and eventually his doctorate. Vincent hopes to pursue a career in academia by becoming a professor of international development.
Niki Beggs, Program Director
University of Texas at Austin ‘16, Health Promotion, Community Health and Wellness
Niki is from Oceanside, California. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Health Promotion and a specialization in Community Health and Wellness. Niki has always desired to work in community development and to live in a foreign country. She is excited to be working with Manna Project International because she is able to fulfill both of these desires and she loves the organization's holistic and well-rounded approach. After Niki returns to the United States, she plans to attend nursing school and eventually become a midwife.
Ayzsa Tannis, Program Director
Vanderbilt University ‘16, Medicine, Health, and Society; Spanish and Portuguese; PR Chair of Inter-American Health Alliance
Ayzsa is from Roswell, Georgia and attended Vanderbilt University, graduating in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Medicine, Health, and Society and Spanish and Portuguese. Ayzsa learned about Manna Project as a freshman. Working as a Program Director is the perfect first step for her future endeavors abroad. After Manna Project, Ayzsa hopes to pursue her Master of Public Health to continue her work in the nonprofit sector in Latin America.
Gavin Allman, Program Director
Carleton College '16, Political Science and International Relations
Gavin is from Los Angeles, California. He graduated in June 2016 from Carleton College with a BA in Political Science and International Relations. Gavin is interested in improving access to healthcare and education, as well as supporting sustainable energy and agricultural programs. In college, he studied abroad in Argentina, Chile, Ethiopia and Tanzania, but spent his time on campus playing soccer and Ultimate Frisbee. Gavin is very thankful to be a part of Manna Project, and is excited to pursue a career in public policy and the nonprofit sector.
Hunter Davis, Program Director
Wake Forest University '16, Health and Exercise Science and Anthropology
Hunter grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and graduated in May of 2016 from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor's of Science in Health and Exercise Science and Anthropology. After previous trips to Central and South America, including three months working for a nonprofit in Tena, Ecuador, Hunter knew she wanted to return to Ecuador to learn more about the culture and values of the region. Her hobbies include working with other nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, photography, and running. After her time with Manna Project, Hunter plans to work with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs in Global Public Health.
Brooke Wilson, Program Director
University of Richmond '16, Healthcare Studies
Brooke Wilson is from Frederick, Maryland and graduated from the University of Richmond in May of 2016. She received her B.A. in Healthcare Studies while playing varsity lacrosse. Throughout her coursework, Brooke developed a passion for global health and community development. After serving and coaching in Kingston, Jamaica as well as Pampas Grande, Peru, she was compelled to continue this work. Brooke was drawn to Manna Project’s mission as an organization and is eager to further develop her cross-cultural understanding and nonprofit experience.
Rachel Kanen, Program Director
Franklin & Marshall College ‘16, Psychology and Spanish
Rachel is from Ridgewood, New Jersey and graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2016 with a double major in psychology and Spanish. Rachel worked as a summer intern with Manna Project in 2013 and fell in love with Manna Project’s holistic approach to development. Rachel vowed to come back to Nicaragua to get to know the communities and the organization more closely. While studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and traveling throughout South America, Rachel's passion for Latin America grew along with her desire to return to Nicaragua to make an impact. Rachel plans to pursue a career in clinical psychology.
Stephanie Crouse, Program Director
West Chester University of Pennsylvania ‘16, Finance, International Business and Spanish
Stephanie is from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and minors in International Business and Spanish. In 2015, Stephanie spent two months working with Manna Project as a short-term volunteer and fell in love with the communities that the organization serves, prompting her to return for thirteen months as a Program Director. Working in the educational and business development programs has fueled her passion for creating more economic opportunities for women. After working with Manna Project, Stephanie plans to pursue an MBA in International Finance and work for a nonprofit organization to continue serving others.
Tucker Brown, Program Director
Hampden-Sydney College '16, Economics and Business
Tucker is from Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in May of 2016 where he Majored in Economics and Business. Tucker also played on the varsity lacrosse team at Hampden-Sydney College. Tucker is excited to work with Manna Project as he believes in the values instilled by the holistic approach to development. He is also very excited to help grow the game of lacrosse through Lacrosse the Nations.
Rachel Zolotarsky, Program Director
University of Delaware ‘16, Marketing and Spanish
Rachel is from small-town Springfield, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2016 with a Marketing major and Spanish minor. Throughout college, Rachel worked with a variety of nonprofits as a volunteer, intern, and part-time employee. A summer internship with Manna Project in 2014 left Rachel aspiring to return once again. Rachel's family immigrated to the United States in 1991, sparking her interest in culture, language, and community development. Rachel was drawn to the holistic nature of Manna Project’s development work. After her time in Nicaragua, Rachel hopes to use this experience to keep finding ways to change the world.