2008-09 Fellows

Emilie Aguirre ’08 

Dominican Literacy Project, Barahona, Dominican Republic

Emilie AguirreOriginally hailing from San Diego, Emilie graduated with a degree in Sociology.  As an undergraduate, she took various courses in Spanish and Portuguese, spent a summer abroad in Brazil and conducted her senior thesis research on the Hispanic immigrant population in New Orleans. Emilie spent much of her time in college working at an educational therapy practice in Princeton, and is very excited to be among the first PiLA fellows to work with the Dominican Literacy Project.

Devang Amin ’08

Valley of the Pines School, Parramos, Guatemala

Devang Amin Devang is a Chemical Engineering major from Pittsburgh, PA.  During the past four years, he has enjoyed the SVC break trips he joined, the time he has spent tutoring peers, and his three summers doing research.  Despite being excited by the intellectual challenge of scientific research, he wanted to pursue his love of traveling, teaching, and volunteering more fully before continuing his education.  He feels very fortunate that PiLA has given him the unique opportunity to combine so many of his interests by allowing him to spend time doing volunteer work in the developing world, of which his Indian immigrant parents have made him very aware throughout his youth.  He will be traveling with PiLA to the village of Parromos, Guatemala, where he will be teaching 4th-9th grade students English, science, and math.  He also hopes to introduce sustainable development technologies to the region.  He is extremely excited about this very unique opportunity.  After PiLA, he plans to enter an MD-PhD program in order to practice medicine, to teach, or to do medically-relevant research.

Christopher Breen ’08

Deloitte, Mexico City, Mexico

Christopher BreenOriginally from Springfield, Massachusetts, Chris majored in Politics with a certificate in Latin American Studies.  He was also a member of the Princeton Swim Team and diSiac Dance Company.  A community service trip to Argentina during high school piqued his interest in Latin American and led to him to pursue this interest through his courses and independent work at Princeton.  During the summer of 2007, he returned to Argentina to work for the Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC) in Buenos Aires, where he researched decentralization in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.  Chris is Deloitte’s first PiLA fellow and will be working in the Corporate Governance division on projects involving both NGOs and private sector companies.

Tim Cheston ’08

Dominican Literacy Project, Barahona, Dominican Republic

Tim ChestonOriginally from Falls Church, Virginia, Tim graduated with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School and a certificate in Latin American Studies. During his time at Princeton, Tim spent a semester abroad in Argentina, studying at the University of Buenos Aires and Torcuato Di Tella University. Tim also spent a summer in Bolivia working for a microfinance association and traveled with a class to Costa Rica to examine the education system. While at Princeton, Tim served as president of the ONE Campaign, Oxfam, and the Student Global AIDS Campaign, while also a Community Action leader and member of the Gospel Ensemble. Tim will be working with the Dominican Literacy Project in Barahona, Dominican Republic to organize a community census to aid in future planning, as the beginning of a career in international development.

Ana Cordovil '07

Endeavor Global, Santiago, Chile

Christina LaraA native of Portugal, Ana earned her degree at Princeton in the Sociology Department with a certificate in Latin American Studies.  While at Princeton she was strongly involved in the organization of programs to promote awareness of international and public affairs, including the implementation of an inner city teaching program for high school drop-outs in nearby Trenton. Past work in public service includes working as a language teacher in a Slovenian refugee camp and a year-long volunteer position in a school in rural Venezuela. Ana has a strong interest in issues of social justice, public policy and social development. After her fellowship with Endeavor, she hopes to continue work in the non-profit world for a few years before returning to graduate school to complete a degree in economic development or public policy.

Jason Diggs ’08

ProPeru, Urubamba, Peru

Jason DiggsHailing from San Diego, California, Jason graduated from Princeton with a degree in Spanish. He became interested in pursuing a PiLA fellowship after spending his past two summers in Guanajuato, Mexico and Buenos Aires, Argentina. As an undergraduate, Jason was a member and senior captain of the Varsity Water Polo team. He is very excited to explore a new country, Peru, where he will be working on various development projects in Cusco and the Urubamba Sacred Valley through ProPeru. Jason is greatly looking forward to this new opportunity and knows that the various experiences he has over the next year will help guide his decisions for the future.

Nathan Fabian, Georgetown '08

Arias Foundation, San Jose, Costa Rica

Nathan FabianNathan is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and calls San Jose, California his home. While at Georgetown he studied Science, Technology and International affairs and concentrated in Global Health issues. Spending a significant portion of his undergraduate days studying in Latin America, both in Quito, Ecuador and Buenos Aires, Argentina, has nurtured a passion for Latin America that extends from child healthcare and development, to community strengthening. He is excited to be able to represent the PiLA organization at the Arias Foundation in Costa Rica.

Mike Hidalgo ’08

Alianza Educativa, Bogotá, Colombia

Mike HidalgoA Spanish major and Latin American Studies certificate from Los Angeles, Mike is thrilled to return to Latin America and begin his job as director of English studies at Alianza Educativa, a private organization that administers five first-rate charter schools in the underprivileged southern section of Bogotá, Colombia. Mike's interest in Colombia began the summer after freshman year when he worked with a human rights lawyer in Madrid who was defending the right of a group of Colombian refugees to get political asylum in Spain, and continued through his senior year when he wrote his thesis on the relationship between guerrilla groups in Mexico and Colombia and the intellectual community in each country. While researching for his thesis, Mike had the opportunity to travel to rebel controlled territory in Chiapas, meet with ex-guerrilla commanders in Mexico City, and converse with Colombian intellectuals in Bogotá. He also spent a semester abroad in Buenos Aires and the summer after sophomore year investigating the maquiladora industry in Mexico City. Afterwards he plans to continue working abroad and pursue a law or graduate degree.

Mariana Kim ’07

Pro Mujer, La Paz, Bolivia

Mariana Kim Mariana Kim was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, where her parents have been living for over thirty years. She graduated in the Class of 2007 with a degree in Sociology and a Certificate in Latin American Studies. Immediately after graduation, Mariana participated in a yearlong Princeton Project 55 Fellowship at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights in Chicago, administering a state-funded program that helps immigrant communities access safety net resources. Currently, Mariana is back at home and working at ProMujer, an international microfinance network that provides business development training and health education to Latin America's indigenous women. After her fellowship, Mariana plans on attending law school in the US.

Vera Kiss ’08

Convivencia Educativa, Mexico

Vera Kiss Vera is from Budapest, Hungary and will be working for Convivencia Educativa in Mexico, an organization that seeks to improve education throughout the country, with a focus on rural communities. Vera majored in Anthropology with a certificate in Portuguese. Her passion for Portuguese and development work has taken her to intern in Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro during the summers. As a Dale award recipient she carried out an independent dance and music project, exploring the traditions of three regions of Brazil. At Princeton Vera was in charge of Princeton Capoeira, a group dedicated to Capoeira and other Brazilian dance forms, and has organized several Brazilian cultural events on campus. She is excited about gaining intimate knowledge of another region of Latin America.

Lily Lyman, Harvard ’08

Endeavor Global, Santiago, Chile

Lily Lyman Lily, a native New Yorker, will be working for Endeavor Global in their office in Santiago, Chile. At Harvard, she concentrated in Social Studies, with a focus on international development and international relations. She was also a member of the varsity lacrosse team and a volunteer tutor. She spent her sophomore summer in Mexico City, working for the microfinance bank Compartamos, and her following summer at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. After completing her fellowship at Endeavor, she hopes to return to the U.S. and potentially attend law school.

Stephanie Margulies ’08

Mexican Institute for Family and Population Research, Mexico City, Mexico

Stephanie MarguliesA Woodrow Wilson School major, Stephanie began studying Spanish at Princeton and developed an interest in Latin America in general, and immigration policy in particular.  She studied immigrants’ health care access in her task force during the spring of her junior year.  During the summer before her senior year she had a fellowship at the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Immigration and Justice, where she researched the experiences in the criminal justice system of the foreign born and those with limited English proficiency.  Expanding on this for her senior thesis, she examined the impact of immigrant parents’ language barriers on the educational achievement of their children and on the experiences of these youth in the juvenile justice system.  At Princeton, Stephanie was an Outdoor Action leader for three years, and she is leading a teen community service trip to Peru following graduation.  In Mexico City, Stephanie will be working for the Instituto Mexicano de Investigación de Familia y Población (IMIFAP), a public health nonprofit organization that specializes in implementing policy focusing on HIV/AIDS, domestic violence prevention, and reproductive health.  After her year with PiLA, Stephanie plans to attend law school and eventually to work in public interest law or public policy

Irena Nayfeld, Rutgers ’08

WorldTeach, Ecuador

Irena NayfeldIrena Nayfeld graduated from Rutgers University with Honors in Psychology, a Criminology Certificate, and a Sociology Minor. While in school, Irena was involved in working with children from underserved populations through the Big Buddy program, a service-learning internship at a Head Start preschool, and the implementation of a science program in preschools in New Brunswick. Work with children and parents who are primarily Spanish-speakers and love for travel has inspired her desire to work in Latin America. After returning from Ecuador, Irena will attend a doctoral Developmental Psychology program at the University of Miami, where she will be developing programs for preschoolers from underprivileged backgrounds.

Ian Ramsey-North, Haverford ’08

El Rincon de Malinalco, Malinalco, Mexico

Ian Ramsey-NorthIan Ramsey-North will be working with El Rincon de Malinalco, a nonprofit organization that provides educational and economic support to the people of Malinalco, located in southwestern Mexico.  Ian is excited and thankful for the opportunity to work and live in Malinalco, a community responding to the pressures of globalization, increasing economic inequality, prejudice, and emigration.  Ian studied political science at Haverford College, where he had the opportunity to study the aftermath of Guatemala's 36 year civil war.  He took time off from school to live and work in the community of Santiago Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala.  He hopes to be able to apply his experiences in school and abroad to his work in Malinalco but is equally ready to learn and grow in his work with El Rincon de Malinalco.

Kate Reid ’04

Endeavor Global, Mexico City, Mexico

Kate ReidKate Reid will divide her time between Endeavor’s central office in Mexico City and the office of FinComún, one of Endeavor’s entrepreneurs.  She spent the past several years working in Washington, D.C., first as a grantwriter for Character Education Partnership and then as a project assistant in client assessment at Microfinance Opportunties.  At Princeton, she was in the Woodrow Wilson School and also earned a certificate in the Study of Women and Gender, all the while racing for the University’s Track and Field team.  Her future plans will most certainly involve Latin America and microfinance.

Cordaro Rodriguez ’08

WorldTeach, Ecuador

Cordaro RodriguezCordaro Rodriguez is from Charlotte, NC. He is a senior in the Department of Psychology and plans to attend law school. He will be teaching English in Ecuador this coming year and hopes that this experience with PiLA will enable him to better serve the Latin American community within the US as a civil rights attorney.

Julia Sivon, Kenyon '07

Papalote Foundation, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Julia SivonJulia graduated from Kenyon College in 2007 with majors in International Studies and Spanish. While at Kenyon, Julia was a member of the Ladies Field Hockey team and participated in a program at the local elementary school teaching Spanish to fourth and fifth graders. She is now excited for the opportunity to again work with children through the Papalote Foundation, which is opening a new children's museum in Cuernavaca, Mexico. After her fellowship, Julia hopes to stay involved in children's education initiatives in the non-profit sector.

Michael Solis ’07

Human Rights Watch-FLACSO, Santiago, Chile

Michael SolisA New Jersey native, Michael graduated with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School and certificates in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies.  He spent his first year out of college working as a Luce Scholar for the National Human Rights Commission of Korea in Seoul, South Korea. There Michael processed the human rights complaints of migrants and refugees, volunteered and served as an activist with Amnesty International, and published articles through OhmyNews International on issues such as the Korean "comfort women" and the forced eviction of foreigners with HIV/AIDS. Michael is excited to return to Latin America and contribute as much as possible to the human rights field while working for Human Rights Watch in Chile. Afterwards he hopes to gain additional experience abroad and earn a degree in International Human Rights Law.

Boris Spiwak ’08

Endeavor Global, Mexico City, Mexico

Boris SpiwakA Comparative Politics major, born in Venezuela, Boris will be spending the coming year in Mexico City, working for Endeavor Global on their search and selections committee.  On campus, Boris taught English to Princeton employees from Central America and was also Treasurer of Acción Latina, which offers social events for Latino and Latin American undergraduates.  He also spent a summer in South Africa, volunteering at the Ven-Africa Ranch, where he taught English to Zulu children and worked with community leaders to plan for a new pre-school.  After his PiLA fellowship, Boris plans to attend graduate school in a still-undetermined field.

Marya Stansky ’09, Summer Intern

Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Marya StanskyA native of Weston, Massachusetts, Marya is Politics major and a member of the James Madison Program at Princeton. She will be working with the Madres de Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she spent her junior spring semester studying abroad. The Madres are internationally renowned human rights advocates, best known for their fight against the military regime of the 1970s that abducted their children during the Dirty War. She hopes to use her experience as a foundation for her senior thesis on resistance movements and public protest, and is excited to spend time working with such fascinating political figures on an individual basis. As Co-Project Coordinator of the PitStop tutoring program and head of Teach For America's campus campaign, Marya has a lot to look forward to upon return to campus in the fall, but hopes that she will be fortunate enough to return to South America after Princeton.

Meredith Wilensky, Washington University ’08

Amazon Conservation Association, Los Amigos, Peru

Meredith WilenskyMeredith majored in Environmental Studies, with a minor in dance.  She has studied with the Organization for Tropical Studies, in Costa Rica, where she focused on Ethnobiology.  At University, she volunteered for several environmental education outreach programs and participated in a conference on climate change.  She also worked as an intern at Earth Share of Missouri and at Sandy Springs Conservancy, where she created a manual on watershed management.  This year, she will work at a research station in the Peruvian Amazon where she will perform scientific work as well as do some grant-writing.