2016-2017 Program Directors
Worcester State University ‘16, History
Vincent was born in the Netherlands but has lived in Massachusetts for most of his life. He attended Worcester State University and graduated with his BA in History in May 2016. In addition to history, Vincent also focused his studies on political science, foreign services, and Latin American studies. After participating in an alternative spring break trip at Manna Project’s Nicaragua site, Vincent applied to be a Program Director in order expand his knowledge and understanding of Latin America. Vincent would like to spend the next couple of years in Latin America before choosing a Master's program and returning to the United States. He hopes to pursue a nonprofit career in community development with a focus on Latin America. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, researching and writing scholarly work, meeting new friends, and discovering new cultures.
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.
San Diego State University ’14, Economics
Marcus grew up in San Diego, California and graduated from San Diego State University in May 2014 with a BA in Economics. Having traveled to Central and South America and taken classes in international development, Marcus knew that he wanted work for a non-profit serving the communities in these countries. Marcus applied to Manna Project as a Program Director hoping to grow professionally and gain a better understanding of Ecuadorian culture and life. Marcus enjoys playing sports, going on hikes, and traveling. After his time with Manna Project, Marcus wants to further his education in international development and continue working in communities in Latin America.
Westmont College ‘16, Hispanic Studies and Cross Cultural Sociology
Hailey was born and raised in sunny San Diego, California. She graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies and Cross Cultural Sociology. Hoping to increase her knowledge of the nonprofit sector, gain valuable teaching experience, and, of course, improve her own Spanish, Hailey joined Manna Project Ecuador. She deeply appreciates Manna’s holistic approach to community partnership and service. Her favorite pastimes include soccer, volleyball, spikeball, surfing, camping, traveling, drinking tea and reading.
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.
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.
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.
Franklin & Marshall College ‘16, Psychology and Spanish
Rachel is from Ridgewood, New Jersey and graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2016 with a BA in psychology and Spanish. Rachel worked as a summer intern with Manna Project in 2013 and fell in love with the organization's holistic approach to development. She vowed to return to Nicaragua in the future to make a greater impact. 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 work with Manna Project. Rachel plans to pursue a career in clinical psychology after her 13 months abroad.
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.
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.
University of North Florida ’16, Health and Exercise Science
Ethan is from the small town of Bristol, Florida. He graduated from the University of North Florida in 2016 with a degree in Health and Exercise Science. While at college, Ethan worked as an Emergency Medical Technician in a hospital seating, which sparked his love for health and medicine. Ethan choose Manna Project because he appreciated the holistic nature of Manna Project’s development work and wanted the opportunity to gain experience in the medical clinics in Cedro Galán and Villa Guadalupe. After his time in Nicaragua, Ethan hopes to attend graduate school to become a Physician Assistant.
Villanova University ‘16, Comprehensive Science and Spanish
Heather Smillie is from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Villanova University in May 2016 with a double major in Comprehensive Science and Spanish. As an undergraduate, Heather completed a variety of courses in physical and natural sciences, including pre-medical classes. She also participated in varsity field hockey. Through an internship translating and interpreting in the Villanova Law School Clinic, she developed a passion for legal studies and helping to serve underrepresented Hispanic populations. After participating in Manna Project International, Heather plans to attend law school to study Health Law and eventually become a hospital administrator.
University of Massachusetts Amherst ‘17, Public Health Sciences and Education
Nicole is from Gloucester, Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Sciences and a minor in Education. As an undergraduate, she was passionate about giving back to the local community and spent over 100 hours volunteering at Beverly Hospital, a small speech therapy clinic, and a local nursing home. After graduating a semester early, she was compelled to continue volunteering and decided to pursue her passion with Manna Project. She has always had a strong interest in women’s health, as well as community health outreach, and hopes to develop a stronger understanding of both through her experience in Nicaragua.