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Emmannuel Akinbode Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria Emmannuel Akinbode is from Lagos, Nigeria. Emmannel is interested in the role education can play in reducing poverty, preserving the environment, and ensuring a more healthy community. He currently works with a tech firm developing open-source online learning management systems. He has been affiliated with VolunteerCorps Nigeria, where he developed his passion for civic work.

Orlando Carvajal Hometown: Washington, D.C. Orlando Carvajal is from Costa Rica. Orlando is interested in this program because of his volunteer experience throughout his youth and adulthood. He is the founder of Dale Una Mano a Costa Rica, a non-profit organization that fosters youth leadership through servicelearning, volunteering, and cultural exchange between youth and adults.


Shannon Duskie Hometown: Cawker City, Kansas Shannon Duskie is from Cawker City, Kansas. Shannon is motivated to educate the kids in her small community about how people can come together to improve the quality of life. She believes the certificate program will help her promote active citizenship between young and old both personally and professionally.

Bronwen Espen Hometown: Granville, Ohio Bronwen Espen is from Granville, Ohio. Bronwen strongly encourages student education when it comes to issues that jepordize the safety, education, emotions, and thoughts of students on campus such as sexual harrassment and rape. Espen is passionate about these issues and desires more knowledge of founding community engagement. As a program participant, she will use her aquired knowledge to begin building new partnerships to support the local SHARE (sexual harrassment and rape education) organization.

Beth Ndirangu Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya Beth Wanjiku Ndirangu lives bravely with cerebral palsy. For the last three years, she has been the corporate ambassador of the Cerebral Palsy Society of Kenya. Beth holds a Bachelor of Education degree in English and Literature from Kenyatta University, and is well versed in disability and education matters. She’s a secretary in the office of the Senator of Nairobi, a member of the Kenya UNESCO Youth Forum, and a budding author.

Shelley Mann Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri Shelley Mann is from Kansas City, Missouri. Shelley is currently inspired to combat the negative stigma surrounding food stamps and food insecurity. Shelley believes the purpose of education is an applicable approach: Shelley believes that the certificate program will help her to develop leadership skills to build relationships academically and professionally. Shelley sees this as an opportunity where she can apply her learning to her learning to advance her work.


Matthew Olthoff Hometown: Kensington, Kansas Matthew Olthoff is from Kensington, Kansas. Matt was a paramedic and eventually a member of the Fire Department in his community. He is deeply passionate about being in a position to publically serve his community. Matt wants to educate the community about safety, as he expands his horizons to wanting to help veterans and particularily troubled teenagers. Matt believes that the Staley School of Leadership is a step in the right direction to achieving his dream in serving the community.

Bethany Opstedal Hometown: Fircrest, Washington Bethany is from Fircrest, Washington and is the Volunteer Services Coordinator at Providence SoundHomeCare and Hospice. Bethany loves working with, and is inspired by volunteers. She sees a great opportunity to begin engaging youth with hospice work. Bethany obtained her Certificate in Volunteer Administration last year and looks forward to continuing to develop her skills.

Lindsay Porter Hometown: Wamego, Kansas Lindsay is from Wamego, Kansas and works as the associate editor for the K-Stater magazine at the Kansas State Alumni Association and is passionate about environmental sustainability. As part of the Certificate program, she would like to make progress on educating the Manhattan and Wamego communities on the issues of recycling, water conservation, and energy use.

Kendra PresleyVan Houten Hometown: Orlando, Florida Kendra is from Orlando, Florida and is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Adventist University of Health Sciences where she built the first volunteerism program on campus. Kendra hopes to address homelessness and poverty in the Orlando community through her involvment in the Certificate program. She recognizes that progress can never be made alone, and is looking forward to educating other individuals and stakeholders about the root causes of these issues.


Maureen Roche Hometown: Millbrook, New York Maureen is from Millbrook, New York and serves as the Senior Administrator and Grants Administrator for the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Dutchess County. She has a broad range of nonprofit and government experience, and wants to continue educating youth about their civic rights and responsbilities.

Jamie Tyler Hometown: Manhattan, Kansas Jamie Tyler supervises student teachers in Manhattan, Kansas. Jamie hopes to exercise leadership within the certificate cohort from an educational lens. Her goal is to prepare and educate future teachers to the best of her ability.

Maria O’Hollearn Hometown: Palo Alto, California Maria O’Hollern is the director and founder of the Family College Success Center, which empowers traditionally underrepresented individuals to exercise leadership. Maria has extensive experience in business and a master’s degree in multi-cultural studies.

Ishaku Haruna Hometown: Gombe, Nigeria As a lecturer in Gombe State University, Ishaku is passionate about education as a tool for driving social changes. Having identified the high rate of illiteracy as one of the causes of Boko Haram insurgency in his community, Ishaku founded a community literacy and vocational training school that engages street youths in basic literacy and skills acquisition.


2017 Community-Engaged Leadership Certificate Cohort