Aaron Gorenc, International Activities and Education Abroad Manager at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in Appleton, WI, is passionate about students having the opportunity to study abroad. In high school, Gorenc participated in two study abroad exchanges to Germany, and as an undergraduate he studied abroad in Switzerland. Gorenc’s experiences led him to be passionate about the imperative role study abroad plays in a person’s education. “From early on, I wanted to talk with students about how and why a study abroad experience is necessary in the global economy we are in,” Gorenc said.
Happy International Volunteer Day to all volunteers! If you are a volunteer, take today to celebrate yourself as the world recognizes your selfless contributions and expertise. Here at Partners of the Americas, we know our work is solely made possible because of their efforts. You are what make change possible. We THANK YOU endlessly!
Just a few weeks ago our Oregon Partners, led by our Chairman of the Board, Karen Graham, hosted a dynamite conference that brought together over 120 people representing 34 Partners Chapters and 6 community organizations. This event was truly one of the highlights of my career at Partners and a landmark moment in our ability to connect and share effective practices across our network.
Alex Truesdell, founder of Adaptive Design Association, was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship early this week. The award, commonly known as the “genius award,” grants Truesdell $625,000 to advance her organization’s work. The grant is paid over five years and unlike other grants, there are no strings attached. There are no guidelines and no progress reports expected. It is purely meant to inspire creativity and mobility.
Dr. Ana Palla-Kane is a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Palla-Kane works with teachers in the development of strategies to make physical activity programs accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Through Partners’ Sport for Community program, she served as mentor to Dr. Priscila Lopes, an emerging leader in Brazil who works at the Federal University of the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys.
Arriving in Diamantina, Brazil, was an adventure. The historic city in the state of Minas Gerais is about four and half hours by car from the state capital of Belo Horizonte. Roads with beautiful views and landscapes took us to the heart of Brazilian history, where a gorgeous June sunset greeted us.
This past 10th and 11th of September, Partners members, volunteers, board members, and staff gathered from all over the Americas in the beautiful state of Oregon for our What Works! conference hosted by our Oregon-Costa Rica chapter. The event was created to bring our chapter members from North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean together to share experiences and ideas, and to form new alliances with each other.
As executive director of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), Mark Lucas has met scores of people involved in sports—he’s even met Brazilians. “The Brazilian people are so incredibly friendly and insanely passionate about their soccer, I mean football,” he joked.