About Participate Learning
Best for the World Honoree since 2013
What Do We Do at Participate Learning?
At Participate Learning our mission is to unite our world through global learning. Many of us are former teachers, principals, or school district leaders. All of us believe that global education is a catalyst for changing lives.
We are proud to be recognized as a certified B Corporation (B Corp) since 2011, and have been designated as a Best for the World Honoree since 2013.
As part of our B Corp commitment, one of our success measures is the positive impact we make on our employees. We do this by offering interesting, challenging work in a collaborative, flexible, and open culture, and encouraging employees to pursue their professional and personal passions along the way.
Our Commitment to Excellence
Since the beginning, we have committed to providing best-in-class service and support to our partner schools and Ambassador Teachers. We are pleased to share that our customers report a high level of satisfaction with our services based on our most recent survey, as indicated by our Net Promoter Scores.
When asked ‘On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend Participate Learning to a friend/colleague?’ 95% of Ambassador Teachers surveyed indicated a response of 8 or higher, confirming a strong sentiment of support for Participate Learning.
Participate Learning, formerly known as Visiting International Faculty and later VIF International Education, was founded by Dr. Fred Young (pictured above, center) to celebrate and promote the value of international perspectives in U.S. education.
We placed and supported thousands of international K-12 teachers in U.S. classrooms, and have since become the largest U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program sponsor in the teacher category.
We began to use our expertise to create additional global education and language acquisition programs.
Teachers in our programs gained more support and connection through the use of our online, collaborative professional development platform.
VIF International Education changed its company name to Participate in order to more accurately reflect our current programs and services, today and in the years to come.
Participate divided into two companies, Participate Learning and Participate Inc. Read more about our path to Participate Learning.
Participate Learning is named a Best for the World B Corporation for the third year in a row.
Our experienced team members work together to provide each school and district with the resources needed to launch and maintain successful programs.
Many are former educators who have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be in the classroom, and they understand the challenges and opportunities that come with teaching.
Chief Executive Officer
David drives Participate Learning’s people-first approach to best serve our teachers and partners every day. His strong belief in the power of global education comes from his personal experience with a foreign exchange student his family hosted that opened his eyes to the world.
David brings 32 years of experience working with North Carolina public schools. He has served on the boards for Participate Inc., the Public School Forum of NC, the Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity, Elon University School of Education, 21st Century Learning, and SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals.
David holds a B.A. in History from Wake Forest University. He also completed the Bell Leadership Institute Program at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2022, he was named to Momentum 100’s Impact CEO list.
David has participated in numerous work and study abroad programs, and has visited 50 countries and counting. When he is not working, David enjoys volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and working with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. One the weekends he can be found on the soccer field where he takes great pride in being a fútbol dad.
Chief Academic Officer
Jake oversees our Product, Implementation, and Partnership departments to deliver high-quality, research-backed solutions to our partner schools.
Jake brings 23 years of education experience to Participate Learning. He has worked as a World Language Teacher, and as a Principal at both NC’s first stand-alone Newcomer’s School and at a Spanish Immersion School. He also has district-level experience as the Executive Director of Instructional Technology and Innovation in Guilford County, NC and the Chief Operations Officer, and the Chief Academic Officer in Orange County, NC.
Jake holds a B.A. from Eastern Michigan University in Education. He also has a MA in French Language and Literature, an Ed. S, and an Ed. D in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
When he is not serving our school partners, Jake serves as an officer in NC’s Army National Guard. He always enjoys traveling and listening to great stories.
Chief of Staff
Chief Human Resources Officer
Ranya leads strategic and operational Human Resources at Participate Learning. Prior to joining Participate Learning, Ranya worked in progressive HR leadership roles in life sciences and financial services companies.
Ranya completed her BS in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University. She holds three HR certifications: SHRM-SCP, SPHR and GPHR. She has prior experience serving on the Board of Directors for the Triangle Chief Human Resources Officers Association and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, where she led the Compensation Committee. In 2021 Ranya was recognized as a Triangle Business Journal’s Women in Business award winner.
Outside of her work, Ranya enjoys sunshine, water sports, and travel, especially when it involves visiting friends and relatives around the world.
Chief Financial Officer
Felix is a finance expert in education, having served in a finance role with Participate Learning since 2004. In 2021 he was named as Chief Financial Officer, and carries his quality work ethic across multiple responsibilities with a wide variety of stakeholders including shareholders, board members, internal and external customers, and many partners and contractors. In his spare time, Felix enjoys volunteer work, running, and hiking outdoors with his family.
Associate Director of Education Programs
Murielle leads our Education Programs team, supporting Program Managers and partner schools throughout North Carolina and Virginia. Her passion for dual language began in her home of Costa Rica, where she taught dual language for 9 years, before teaching in Cumberland County as an Ambassador Teacher for 5 years. In 2015 she joined Participate Learning as a dual language program manager before being promoted to Associate Director in 2020.
Murielle holds a Bachelor’s degree in preschool education and a master’s in English language from the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. When she’s not working, Murielle enjoys relaxing at home with her husband and dog, Duke.
Senior Manager, Education Programs
Irene brings a wealth of immersion experience to her role as education programs manager, supporting our Ambassador Teachers and partner schools as they implement Dual Language Programs. She comes to the work with 17 years of classroom experience in both full immersion and 50/50 programs, and has served as a UDL coach, teacher leader, and grade-level chair. Since joining Participate Learning, Irene has presented at several education conferences and enhances our programs as a curriculum writer.
Irene holds a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and a Masters in Pedagogy from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Spain. She has lived in four countries: Australia, Ghana, Spain, and the United States, and loves chocolate, popcorn, and karaoke.
Education Programs Manager
Dr. Laura Macartney expertly supports our Dual Language Program partners and comes to this work with 22 years of education experience. Laura has served as a dual language elementary teacher (in both Spanish and English) in Michigan and Costa Rica, and has also served as a literacy specialist, principal, assistant principal, and district professional development and leadership specialist in Michigan, Florida, The Bahamas, and North Carolina.
She holds a Bachelors in Elementary Education and Spanish from Hope College, a Masters in the Art of Teaching with an emphasis in Bilingual Education from Aquinas College, and a Ph.D in Instructional Leadership from Northcentral University.
When she’s not working or traveling to our partner schools, Laura loves to spend time outdoors and immerse herself and her family in different environments and cultures.
Education Programs Manager
Before joining Participate Learning, Molly taught for 10 years as a dual language and bilingual teacher in Texas, as well as a FLES and ESL teacher in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in Spanish Literature and a Minor in ethnic studies from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and a Masters of Education Administration from Lamar University.
Molly had an interest in language learning from an early age; her eighth grade Spanish teacher fostered her love of the language and culture. “I truly believe that bringing global awareness and education, especially those schools and students who otherwise would not have access, is of the utmost importance.”
Outside of work, Molly loves spending time with her husband and 7-year-old daughter traveling as well as cooking and watching movies.
Education Programs Manager
Laura Díaz supports Dual Language Programs across North Carolina. Originally from Spain, Laura has more than 20 years of experience as an elementary and middle education teacher and teacher development specialist, with work experience in Spain, the UK, and the U.S.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and a Masters degree in Bilingual and Dual Language Education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, where she worked as an adjunct faculty member. In her spare time, Laura enjoys traveling to new places and attending live concerts and sporting events.
Education Programs Manager
Judy supports our Mandarin dual language partners and is the curriculum developer for our Quan Qiu Hua middle school program, which integrates global connections and language learning. Judy’s expertise in Mandarin dual language immersion programs have provided her with multiple opportunities to present at state and national conferences, including the National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC), the International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education, and the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC) annual conference.
Judy, along with two other educators, received the 2021-22 BLCUP Award for K-12 Professional Development from the Chinese Language Teachers Association, a nationally recognized professional network. She holds a Master of Education in Early and Elementary Education from the University of Toledo and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.
Judy is a passionate educator and lifelong learner, and enjoys volunteering at her daughter’s school, where she serves as the PTA teacher appreciation coordinator.
Education Programs Manager
Carolina is a former Participate Learning Ambassador Teacher and brings a wealth of practical knowledge to her role as a program manager supporting Dual Language Programs. In addition to 16 years of classroom experience, she most recently served as Director of HOPE Academy, which provides early-childhood education in Robbins, North Carolina, and has previously worked as a Dual Language Spanish teacher and School Director for English for Kids in Venezuela.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education as well as a specialization in School Administration from the Universidad Metropolitana of Venezuela, and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Elon University. She is a mother of two children and loves animals; her Doberman, Dante, is a constant companion. In her spare time she loves playing team sports, traveling, and enjoying good food with good company.
Education Programs Manager
Andrea is a former Participate Learning Ambassador Teacher and is a skilled resource for the Dual Language programs she supports in her role. Andrea was most recently a Dual Language Instructional Coach for Union County, where she provided professional development and support to dual language teachers. She also served as the DL Representative to the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina two years in a row.
Andrea holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physical Education from Libre University in Colombia, her country of origin.
Education Programs Manager
Randall has 28 years of education experience, including being a teacher and the Coordinator of English Learners and Dual Language Programs in Guilford County, NC. He has also worked as a professor at the University Latina in Costa Rica and an Assistant Director of the Spanish Center at Elon University.
Randall holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Universidad Internacional de Las Americas in Costa Rica. He also has a Masters Degree in Executive Leadership in School Administration from Gardner Webb University and a Graduate Certificate in Administration of Dual Language programs from East Carolina University. In 2018, Randall was recognized by the Latino Coalition Community of Guilford County as a “Notable Latino of the Triad.”
In addition to his work supporting implementing Dual Language Programs for students in North Carolina, Randall proudly shares his passion for languages at home, where he and his wife are raising their daughter to be trilingual in English, Spanish, and Mandarin.
Global Team Lead
Lindsey, a seasoned education professional, brings a wealth of experience to her role. With 14 years in K-12 education, she has served as an ELA teacher, literacy department chair, Grade Level Team Lead, instructional coach, Director of Middle School Culture, and Assistant Principal. Lindsey’s dedication to educational equity and global change was sparked during her college years, where she founded a youth council for the Center for the Human Rights of Children. Her passion for high-quality reading instruction led her to obtain a Reading Specialist Certification and become Nationally Board Certified.
In 2014, Lindsey’s dedication was recognized when she was named KIPP Ascend’s Teacher of the Year. Her experience has shown her the profound impact that a strong student culture has on academic outcomes and student well-being. In her free time, she enjoys indulging in cold brew, tending to her garden, and cherishing the joys of motherhood with her 4-year-old.
Education Programs Manager
CJ supports our partner schools and teachers as an Education Programs Manager for Global Leaders. With more than 11 years of classroom teaching experience, CJ also has training and expertise in designing learning experiences around the topics of Cultural Competence, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Equity, and Temperaments. He holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing and Advertising from Marquette University, and a Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Notre Dame.
“My role in global education is helping educators build spaces where students can see and understand themselves, be seen by others, and make their voices count. Global Leaders is a vehicle through which our children and teachers can build understanding, empathy, and effective communication to take action in the world around them.” Follow CJ on Twitter here.
Global Leaders Strategy Coach
Kim has a diverse background in education technology and instructional design. Before joining Participate Learning, she spent four years as a teacher in a Global Leaders school in Wilmington, where she taught first, second, and fifth grade. During that time, Kim was named as one of Participate Learning’s Teacher of the Year Finalists and won Global Teacher of the Year at her school. After leaving the classroom, continued building expertise by working for companies like Seesaw and Discovery Education.
She loves her work as a Strategy Coach because of the way it can help schools make the vision of a better, more united world a reality. Kim feels strongly about several SDGs, but is particularly passionate about #12, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and would like to work collectively within her community to take action to keep her region healthy and abundant for future generations.
Director of Partnership Development
Freebird is a leader in education with a passion for teaching in a way that makes students the heroes of their own stories. He joined Participate Learning in 2022, having recently served for two years as the North Carolina Board of Education’s Director of Legislative Affairs and Community Outreach. In 2019, he was named North Carolina’s Teacher of the Year, after teaching high schoolers for 14 years, as well as in a role at Elon University as an adjunct professor.
As a lifelong educator, Freebird brings a unique passion for global education to his role as Director of Partnership Development, and is focused on expanding opportunities for global learning to K-12 students as well as professional development opportunities for university students in teacher preparation programs.
In his spare time, Freebird enjoys the adventure of traveling to new places with his family and colleagues, and making connections with others over a good meal.
Associate Director, Partnerships Development
Before joining Participate Learning, Ashley taught for 13 years in North and South Carolina. In 2018, Ashley was selected for the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, where she took a rigorous course that culminated in a three-week long international field experience teaching and learning in Morocco. She strongly believes in the added value of our Participate Learning programs, as it directly reflects who she was as a teacher.
“To be in education today is to be brave and courageous, and Global Leaders is brave and courageous work. It requires us to be hopeful for the future of our world, and to pass that hope along to our students. This framework builds up an undeniable agency in our students that is transformative. After all, there’s nothing like knowing, with certainty, that you can change the world.”
Senior Director, Product and Marketing
Anamaria, Senior Director of Product and Marketing at Participate Learning, has been with the organization since 2007, holding various roles over the years. With a Master’s Degree in Cross-cultural Communications from Indiana University, Bloomington, Anamaria believes in the importance of global learning in uniting our world and helping people recognize our common humanity. She is passionate about working for an organization that brings people together and contributes to creating a more peaceful world.
Director of Research and Evaluation
Alison has a strong background in education and was most recently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Education at UNC Chapel Hill. She has a Master’s in Music Education and a PhD in Education, focusing on Culture, Curriculum, and Change. She is passionate about global learning and believes that we have much to learn from each other. Alison loves working at Participate Learning because of its commitment to supporting teachers to do their best work, which has a great impact on students within the partnership footprint. She was awarded the Student Undergraduate Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and recently became certified as a Tableau Desktop Specialist.
Marketing Communications and Design Manager
Heather has a rich background as both a special education teacher in Virginia (K-5) for six years and an Exceptional Children’s teacher in North Carolina for two years. Throughout her educational journey, she has been driven by a deep commitment to ensuring fairness and equality for all students. Heather firmly believes that global learning provides essential tools—opportunities, access, awareness, and empathy—to level the playing field and make the world a better place together. Celebrating students, embracing diverse cultures, and honoring educators ignite her passion as she eagerly dives into her work each morning. For Heather, it is an honor and a privilege to play a part in sharing our collective stories.
Emma Moore, a Marketing Coordinator at Participate Learning, began her journey as an intern after studying Elementary Education at UNC Chapel Hill and contributing to STEAM programs at Kidzu Children’s Museum. With the completion of the Data Analytics Certificate through eCornell, Emma brings a diverse skill set to her role. Her passion for uniting the world through global learning stems from her belief in equitable education as the cornerstone for a brighter future. Particularly, she is dedicated to Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, recognizing that global change begins with local actions.
Jim has experience in animation and video editing from his time working at ad agencies creating videos for IBM and Fidelity Investments. He now works at Participate Learning as a multi-disciplined creative lead. He believes in the power of global learning to address global challenges by providing knowledge and skills needed to understand different cultures, beliefs, and ways of life. Jim finds it rewarding to use his creativity to design visually appealing and informative content that effectively communicates information in a clear and concise manner. He has won awards and recognitions for his work in photography and completed the CAI Fundamentals of Supervision Certificate Program.
Senior Graphic Designer
Katie has eight years of experience in art and design. She has been a small business owner in the creative industry and has worked as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. She believes that using education to celebrate and learn about cultures from all over the world is crucial and enjoys being part of it. Katie is passionate about SDG 5, which promotes Gender Equality. She believes it is essential to have more diversity and inclusion in important decision-making spaces.
Sr. Product Marketing Strategist
Paula has worked in various roles at Participate Learning, from Communications Coordinator with the Teacher Support team, to her current role as Sr. Product Marketing Strategist, where she currently supports marketing efforts to promote the company’s mission. Having grown up in a small town in North Carolina, she believes it’s essential for future generations to be exposed to global cultures, making them more empathetic and open-minded. Paula enjoys interacting with Participate Learning’s Ambassador Teachers and school partners, and seeing the connections they make with each other and their students.
Associate Director of Partner Engagement and Communications
Michelle, a lifelong learner and global educator from Nova Scotia, Canada, began her journey with Participate Learning in 1999 as an Ambassador Teacher in North Carolina. Throughout her 24-year career in education, she spent 14 years teaching in North Carolina, England, and Paraguay before joining the Participate Learning staff in Chapel Hill.
Michelle is passionate about global learning and believes that we are all better when we know, understand, and appreciate more about each other. Her favorite way to start the workday is with a quick scroll through the #UnitingOurWorld hashtag. She is constantly inspired by the innovative ideas and hard work of the Ambassador Teachers and education partners in integrating global issues and SDGs in their classrooms to prepare students for future success. In her current role as Associate Director of Partner Engagement and Communications, Michelle is honored to support our teachers and partners as they strive to prepare students for successful leadership and career experiences in the future.
Social Media and Communications Strategist
Abby joined Participate Learning as a Digital Marketing Intern in 2018 and is currently a Social Media and Communications Strategist. She is Google Analytics certified and passionate about global learning as it provides new opportunities for students to learn about the world and find their passions. Abby finds inspiration in the creative lessons, activities, and projects of our Ambassador Teachers and partners, and enjoys working closely with social media to stay connected with them.
Juliana brings a diverse background to Participate Learning, having worked with various nonprofit organizations focused on social impact, poverty alleviation, education access, and voting rights. With a bachelor’s degree in English from North Carolina State University and a passion for global learning ignited during her semester in Tel Aviv, she is enthusiastic about promoting cross-cultural connections and perspectives. Juliana’s dedication to the Sustainable Development Goal of good health and well-being is evident as she advocates for affordable and equitable healthcare for all, both in the United States and worldwide.
Conexiones Product Manager
Jason has extensive experience in teaching language and global education to K-8 students, including working with an at-risk immigrant and refugee community as an AmeriCorps member, teaching in a bilingual public school in Spain, and teaching Spanish and global elective courses in North Carolina. He has also led experiential learning trips focused on language learning for secondary students. Jason’s passion for cross-cultural experiences that develop empathy and curiosity for people of different backgrounds is reflected in his mission to work towards a sustainable and equitable future. He has been recognized for his work as a main speaker at the 2019 Scholarship and Awards Brunch for the School of Education, a Education Policy Fellowship Program Fellow, and as a winner of several awards, including a Judge’s Choice Winner of Homegrown Film Festival.
Manager, Instructional Learning
Lynly has 11 years of experience in elementary education as a teacher and reading specialist. With 3 degrees, she is also certified in the Reading Recovery Program and has an International Baccalaureate (IB) certificate for the Primary Years Programme (PYP). She is passionate about global learning, believing that it helps us become more empathetic and understanding towards others. Lynly is inspired by the opportunity to do meaningful work that she is passionate about with a team that shares her commitment to making a positive impact in the world.
Ambassador Teacher Experience
Director of Teacher Experience
Maria has an impressive 24-year track record at Participate Learning. She began her tenure as an International Representative responsible for recruitment in Central America and Mexico. With her team, she developed and strengthened the teacher selection process, which led to her promotion to Manager and eventually Director of Teacher Selection. In 2019, Maria was promoted again to Director of Teacher Experience, where she collaborates with her team to provide support and enhance the experience of teachers at Participate Learning. She is privileged to have witnessed firsthand the impact that Ambassador Teachers have on their students and communities. Maria is passionate about Participate Learning’s mission to unite our world through global learning, and believes education is key to preparing children to take responsibility for our world and communities. She finds inspiration in the shared purpose of bringing the world together and is motivated by the impact that teachers have on their students and fellow teachers.
Paige is a skilled hospitality professional with a degree in Hospitality Management from Florida Atlantic University. She has worked with the Walt Disney Company in both their college and management programs, and with Rosen Hotels in their Convention Services department, gaining experience and furthering her knowledge of the industry. During the pandemic, Paige moved to North Carolina, where she worked with the Executive MBA program at UNC planning events for students, where she was awarded the Dean’s Performance Award for staff at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, before joining the Participate Learning team in 2023. Paige is passionate about learning about different cultures and believes in the importance of being a global citizen. She finds inspiration in working with a team that is dedicated to the organization’s mission and is motivated by their passion and commitment.
Senior Communications Specialist
As Senior Communications Specialist, Andrew excels at ensuring quality and timely messaging for Ambassador Teachers, and works closely with the Teacher Support and Instructional teams to create value for teachers. Andrew has worked for over 13 years in UNC Global and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UNC-Chapel Hill, and most recently as the dean’s communications strategist at the Duke University School of Nursing. As someone who has traveled and lived in different countries, Andrew knows firsthand how a global education can reinforce empathy and respect for others. He believes in reducing inequality and promoting diversity and empathy to build a more equal and representative society, and feels passionate about SDG 10, Reduced Inequalities.
Ambassador Teachers Program – Placement
Ambassador Teachers Program – Teacher Resources
Teacher Resources Associate
Dana has a rich background in education, having taught third grade for six years in Arlington, VA, and Carrboro, NC. Once her youngest child entered kindergarten, she transitioned to administrative roles at Fleet Feet, Inc., and later at Franklin Street Partners, a wealth management firm. Passionate about global learning, Dana dives into her work daily striving to make the lives of Ambassador Teachers easier as they commit to teaching in the U.S. and fostering international connections.
Associate Director, Teacher Resources
Etsu has been a valuable team member at Participate Learning since 1995. Etsu first joined Participate Learning as an Ambassador Teacher from Costa Rica and taught in North Carolina and Georgia. She brings with her a wealth of direct knowledge about the teacher experience, which allows her to empathize and connect with teachers to help them when they are struggling but also celebrate with them during their successes.
In her current role, she manages the Teacher Resources team of instructional specialists and Teacher Resources associates, ensuring our Ambassador Teachers have a positive experience and that they receive timely instructional and logistical support. For Etsu, our mission comes to life through students. When our teachers bring their culture with them to small communities, no matter how difficult that journey may be, their work cultivating young minds is critically important to spreading peace and cultural understanding.
When she’s not working, Etsu enjoys reading, trying new foods, and traveling to Costa Rica for quality time with family.
Isabel has 17 years of teaching experience in various specialties, including dual language Spanish immersion, elementary education, and adult ESL. She has obtained certifications such as MEd Instructional Design, Early Childhood education, Elementary Education K-3 and Spanish World Language.
Isabel is passionate about sharing culture and experiences, as well as expanding awareness and understanding about global issues to help foster empathy, tolerance, and inclusion. She finds it rewarding to know that every little thing she does can make a difference in the life and cultural experience of Participate Learning’s Ambassador Teachers, ultimately impacting the lives and education of many students.
Mandolyn is an experienced educator with 14 years of teaching in public schools in Virginia. She has taught kindergarten, second, and third grades and served in various roles, including district curriculum writer, Summer Academy Assistant Coordinator, and Innovative Learning Coach (ILC), where she supported teachers’ professional growth and development in effective deeper learning instructional practices.
Mandolyn has multiple digital certifications and has received various awards, including Glen Allen Elementary 2021 Teacher of the Year. She is passionate about global learning and believes that learning about diverse cultures allows for positive and meaningful interactions and increases knowledge, understanding, and empathy.
Michael has 25 years of experience teaching grades PreK-3, and spent 11 years teaching overseas in Portugal and the Netherlands. Michael grew up in a rural area in southern Virginia, where he had limited exposure to different cultures and ways of life. Michael is passionate about Participate Learning’s mission to unite our world through global learning and believes that education and knowledge can dispel many misconceptions and fears. He is particularly passionate about SDG 2, Zero Hunger, and believes that basic needs, such as access to food, must be met for children to achieve other goals.
Michelle has a decade of experience teaching and tutoring K-5 in Durham Public Schools and the Emily K Center. She was awarded Teacher of the Year at her school in 2019 and started working with Participate Learning in June 2022. Michelle strongly believes in creating a sustainable environment for future generations, and sees global learning as a way to unite people and create more globally-minded citizens working towards a better future. She is inspired daily by the determination of Participate Learning’s Ambassador Teachers, who leave their support systems and home countries to infuse global competencies in their classrooms and seek positive change.
Miriam has 20 years of experience teaching high school Spanish and ESL in public and private schools. In the early 2000s, she spent 4 years working in Teacher Support when the organization was known as VIF International Education. Miriam believes that global education can foster mutual understanding, tolerance, and acceptance, and that teachers have the greatest impact on students’ lives. Her SDG passion is Goal 4: Quality Education, which can break the cycle of poverty and open doors to opportunities for people who would not have them otherwise. As a former ESL teacher, she believes in equitable education for everyone, including those whose language is not the majority language in the local community.
Instructional Support Manager
Rocío is an experienced educator with a passion for supporting teachers to provide quality education to their students. With over 20 years of teaching experience across all K-12 grades, she specialized in bilingual education and served as an Ambassador Teacher in the first Participate Learning dual language program school in Cumberland County. Since then, Rocío has worked as an instructional specialist, providing instructional support, professional development, and training to new teachers. In her current position, she oversees the coaching and continued retention of Ambassador Teachers. Rocío believes in the importance of global learning and building a society of global citizens who practice global competencies, while promoting peace, tolerance, and understanding.
Teacher Resources Associate
Rocío is a dedicated educator who has taught for 36 years, starting in preschool and moving on to elementary and middle school math. As a former Ambassador Teacher who loved her experience, she carries that enthusiasm into her current role, where she helps teachers have a positive experience in the U.S with Participate Learning. She is passionate about providing quality education to students and is committed to ensuring that teachers have the support they need to achieve this goal.
Teacher Resources Administrative Assistant
Stephanie is passionate about fostering global understanding and curiosity about other cultures, and enjoys the way this aligns with her Bachelors degree in Global Studies and her work at Participate Learning. She has a compelling interest in SDG 5, Gender Equality, which she believes is the root cause of many of the other global issues we face. Stephanie has received training in disaster response and preparedness and community engagement through the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and completed the Carolina Navigators service learning program focused on global education and intercultural competence.
Manager of Teacher Support
Tiffany is an experienced educator who worked as a teacher for 14 years, teaching elementary and middle school students. During her career, she played various roles, including grade level leader, cooperating teacher, and providing professional development at the district and statewide level. Tiffany found a sense of belonging within our shared values and celebration of diversity, which provide opportunities for educators worldwide to promote awareness and compassion. Tiffany’s passion for helping others is evident in her work and she is excited to see the positive impact of our collective efforts.
Admissions Associate Director
Krisya has been a part of Participate Learning since 2004, working in various roles within the Admissions Department. She has a background in business administration and customer service, which has allowed her to support teachers through the application and certification process. Krisya is passionate about bringing cultures together through education and international exposure. She is proud to be a part of this mission and is motivated by the excitement of teachers to live this international experience. Supporting their dreams and guiding them through the process is very rewarding for her.
International Admissions Associate
With a background in combating human trafficking with an international nonprofit organization, Fabiola brings a wealth of experience to her role as an International Admissions Associate. Her previous work involved a diverse range of tasks, from advocating for policy changes to providing consultation and networking with government agencies and law enforcement. As a Theory of Knowledge teacher for the International Baccalaureate program in Costa Rica, she empowered students by fostering critical and creative thinking skills. Fabiola’s passion for global learning stems from her belief in its power to connect communities and unlock everyone’s potential. She finds inspiration and purpose in assisting others in achieving their goals, making a positive impact on individuals’ lives.
International Admissions Specialist
Marlee started her journey with Participate Learning as an intern in the Teacher Resources department. After spending more than a year exploring Colombia and India, and also worked as a bilingual office coordinator in a community dental clinic in North Carolina, she returned to a full time position with Teacher Resources, providing timely support and managing the Local Adviser program. In 2020, she leveraged her experience supporting teachers in our program and moved into an International Admissions Specialist, where she currently works to prepare teachers for their teaching experience with Participate Learning.
Marlee believes that global learning allows us to celebrate and respect our differences, and is essential for learners to become open-minded, curious, and empathetic. She finds it especially rewarding to connect with teachers from around the world and help them achieve their goal of teaching in the U.S.
Admissions Team Lead
Kelli started her career student teaching high school Spanish in Dayton, Ohio. After graduating, and to improve her Spanish, she moved to Costa Rica, at first on a temporary basis, then, more permanently, working in various academic positions before joining Participate Learning in 2013. Over the years at our organization, Kelli has been promoted and continues to grow in her role, currently serving in a leadership position as Admissions Team Lead. She believes in our collective mission of creating globally-minded individuals who care about the world and about people from other cultures. She takes her inspiration from the teachers she works with who are changing the world every day in their classrooms.
Senior International Admissions Specialist / Licensure Specialist
Rachel is a passionate former educator with experience as a 5th grade and ESL teacher, as well as an ESL Program Coordinator. She strongly believes in the power of education and has witnessed the positive outcomes it can bring firsthand. As a Senior International Admissions Specialist, Rachel enjoys staying connected with other educators and meeting people from different parts of the world.
Senior International Admissions Specialist
Colleen has been working in selection and support roles with Participate Learning for 16 years, starting as a Teacher Support Adviser. Since 2008, she has worked as a Licensure Specialist at Participate Learning, helping incoming and active teachers with the licensure process. With a background in teaching German language and culture, Colleen enjoys working and communicating with teachers who are ready to explore the world. She has lived and worked in Michigan, Germany, North Carolina, Virginia, and now Vermont. Colleen is also a certified RYT 200 Yoga Teacher and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She believes that a wider perspective of people, cultures, and customs fosters understanding, empathy, and collaboration, leading to a happier, healthier, and more peaceful world.
Admissions Administrative Assistant
Ivette began her time at Participate Learning as an Admissions intern, before transitioning to an Admissions Administrative Assistant. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from UNC-Greensboro, having graduated in 2019. Ivette brings her expertise and passion to the Admissions team, having previously worked as a Business Services Coordinator in the NC DHHS Ryan White program, focusing on HIV/AIDS. Her commitment to global learning drives her, as she believes it has the power to promote cultural understanding, eliminate biases, and foster tolerance.
Ivette finds fulfillment in the impact she can make on students and the communities we serve, contributing to the shaping of education for future generations.
Senior International Admissions Specialist
Silvia is a dedicated Senior International Admissions Specialist with 12 years of teaching experience in various schools across Costa Rica, China, and Greensboro, NC, where she worked as an Ambassador Teacher. She is passionate about promoting cultural appreciation among students and believes that Ambassador Teachers play a significant role in this. In her day-to-day work, Silvia is driven by a desire to help teachers create inclusive and equitable quality education opportunities for their students.
Admissions Team Lead
Michelle began her career as a college admissions counselor before transitioning to K-12 education. With a decade of experience, she has taught Spanish at the high school level, served as an ESL teacher in middle school, and worked as a Teacher Assistant in an elementary school. Michelle’s professional journey at Participate Learning began with a role as an Admissions Specialist, but she now offers guidance and support to others as an Admissions Team Lead.
Michelle firmly believes in the transformative power of cultural exposure, recognizing its ability to shape individuals, foster empathy, and broaden perspectives. She finds daily inspiration in the work our Ambassador Teachers do with their students and is amazed by their flexibility, perseverance, and resilience.
Senior International Admissions Specialist
Kas is a seasoned professional at Participate Learning with an impressive 18 years of experience in international education. Within the organization, she has dedicated 16 years to the Teacher Selection and Admissions department, where she excels at recruiting, selecting, and supporting incoming international Ambassador Teachers. Prior to joining Participate Learning, Kas spent two years at the UVA International Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her passion for global education was nurtured during her year abroad in Chiapas, Mexico, between high school and college. Kas’s exceptional contributions have earned her recognition, including a nomination in the “Inspiration” category for the Triangle Business Journal’s Women in Business Awards in 2021.
Witnessing the profound impact that teachers make in their classrooms, as students learn directly from individuals from other countries, fills Kas with joy. She finds it remarkable to bring the world to students through personal interactions. Through her work with candidates, Kas continually learns about the world and forges meaningful connections. Meeting these teachers in person during orientations and welcoming them to the U.S. is an indescribable and rewarding experience for her.
International Admissions Associate
Mariana holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and has been a teacher for over 10 years, including preschool and elementary school. She is also certified in Montessori teaching and STEAM education and robotics. Mariana strongly believes in Participate Learning’s mission to unite the world through education and creating global citizens. Most of all, what she really enjoys about her job is that she gets to be a part of a company that cares about others, and cares about quality education, and making a positive change in the world. She enjoys helping teachers fulfill their dream of teaching in the U.S. to become the connectors of culture and knowledge as they bring joy into classrooms.
Admissions Administrative Assistant
Ingrid has a diverse professional background, having worked at Wells Fargo, the Nasher Museum of Art, and as an Assistant Manager at a local restaurant. Ingrid strongly believes that global learning fosters curiosity, understanding, and helps bring people together. She is particularly passionate about SDG 5, Gender Equality, and is concerned about the disproportionate impact of climate change, gender-based violence, and lack of access to education on women and girls, even in developed countries like the U.S. She recently completed her Master of Public Health in Global Environmental Health at George Washington University. She believes global learning teaches curiosity, understanding, and helps to bring people together.
Join Our Mission
We are always looking for great people to join our team, and are searching for talented, fun, and motivated people who are passionate about uniting our world through global learning.