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Chana means love in Sanskrit. This cohort is all about learning the different kinds of love; community love, self love and friendship. 

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Amanda Gruetzke


Amanda has graduated from Portland Community College, with an Associates in Art. She has been accepted into Wave Finding Academy where she will continue her education. Next year, She will will do Internships and Apprenticeship with the academy. She has plans on becoming a mentor for Carpe Mundi, to work with new cohorts and supporting them.

Amanda says “Life's been different after Carpe Mundi. I’ve learned to appreciate the things I have in life. Carpe Mundi has been the best thing I have ever done in my life. I have more integrity in myself now. I also believe in myself a lot more and have a better understanding of things than others because of the hand on experiences I've had. I have became more open minded nowadays and like to keep challenging myself mentally and physically.”

Her trip to India has changed her and she wants to travel more often. Amanda currently resides in Portland, OR. She plans on moving out, after she has saved enough money. 

Aurora Fulgencio


My name is Aurora, I was born and raised in Oregon. Growing up in an immigrant family, I had big dreams but realistic goals. My plans as a child were simple: get a degree and a well-paid job. Since then, I have realized that money isn't everything. I attend Portland Community College, where my journey begun. I work at the Women's Resource Center in Rock Creek campus. I have learned that I grow each day by helping others in my community. I am still doubtful about what I wish to major in but am sure that I want to dedicate my life to serving my community. When I was accepted into this program it seemed surreal, I applied thinking I would never be selected. Now that I have had time to process the fact that I will travel, I have a ton of emotions racing through my mind. I know this trip will expand my knowledge from all aspects and bring new experiences into my life and those around me.

Cameron Soto


Last winter Cameron was asked to work in Manila and Hong Kong from a ballet school in Portland, Oregon. He will be working as a stage/production manager in Manila for Ballet Philippines. In Hong Kong, Cameron will work as a production consultant for a new company called PAC (Performing Arts Corporation). PAC is a U.S. -based company who will have four galas a year and will have performances in Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.

Cameron is currently in Paris living the nomadic life, after his trip he will embark on his new journey starting in Manila, Philippines. After the Philippines he will move to Wuhan, China to start his work with PAC where he will teach english part-time to 4-8 year olds on a 6-month contract. If he enjoys Wuhan, China; Cameron will begin the process of opening a ballet school, and inside of the school he will be teaching english.

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Cat Jesse


I have always been fascinated at all the different ways a human can live on this planet. I love learning about and cultivating understanding about other people & cultures. I strive to make the most significant, positive impact every day during my time on earth. I know that for me, travelling is essential to build the skills, awareness, and opportunities to be able to impact this world in the best way possible.

I highly value communication. I have a problem-solving mindset and like to find creative solutions. I value relationships with people and good times with them. I have always loved to adventure; Oregon is a great facilitator! Discovering new places in nature or cities/towns has always been a satisfying, spiritual, elating and joyful experience for me. I know that my travels are going to benefit every one of my major passions. I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with Carpe Mundi. I'm so stoked to pay it forward, meet people in Africa, be immersed in new amazing places, become a stronger person, and reach higher spiritual ground.

Iris Romo


Iris was raised in Tucson and moved to Portland to live with family during her third grade year. Iris has recently started as a paid undergraduate summer researcher at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science at Oregon State University. She started her time there by jumping on the R/V Oceanus. There, she collected sediment core samples of the sea floor and, along with a team of graduated students and professors, is using it to determine flooding events in the Columbia River 11,000 - 18,000 years ago. Iris' trip to SE Asia taught her that she wanted to be a geologist, and now shes actively chasing her dream. Her hobbies include practicing Krav Maga, yoga, spontaneous bouts of 80's pop, jewelry-making & metalsmithing, collecting any hedgehog figurine she can find, darkroom photography, meticulously pouring over every little detail of something she gets excited about, and being the voice of Future Connect by encouraging high school students to go to college. She is still figuring out what she wants to do with her life, but whatever she chooses she is determined that it will have some impact on the world. Iris has done nothing but prepare for this trip for over a year now, all the while driving her family and friends crazy with her shameless planning. On her non-crazy side, she hopes this trip will make her a more understanding person and bring her clarity of her place on this planet.

Jake Timney


Jake Timney is 19 years old. He grew up in Portland Oregon and graduated in 2014 from David Douglas High School. He now is the first in his family to attend College. Jake is currently enrolled at Portland Community College. He doesn't really know what he wants to do later in life, but he hopes that this program will help him find the answer. There are many things that Jake enjoys doing such as hiking, rock climbing, and swimming. Even though he likes moving his body he also enjoys learning. He is excited to see and learn about new cultures and environments. He looks forward to leaving his comfort zone and challenge himself mentally and physically. Jake is grateful to get this opportunity to leave behind all the distraction of the modern world and see how people live in the developing one. He can't wait to encounter the vast diversity of the world and seize it.

Kesia Tosh


Kesia is 19 years old and a second year student at Portland Community College. She graduated from Beaverton High School in 2013. She loves playing basketball, is an avid writer of all styles, has studied Spanish for seven years, loves comics, and can play the guitar and brass instruments. She has been involved in the local community by volunteering at the Portland Children's Museum and at Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation. She has always been fascinated by different cultures and learning new things. She never thought that she would have this opportunity to travel abroad until later in her life, but now she can with this program. Kesia loves meeting and engaging with new people and hopes to make a family with her Chana cohort. 

Lilly Lee


Growing up in a large family I was never alone. I've always had someone to play with, talk with, and argue with. My 9 siblings are my everything. My parents emigrated from Laos to Thailand, then to America during the Vietnam War. My grandfather fought with the Americans against the Vietnamese, and that is the reason why I am here today. My name is Lilly, and I am Asian American. I value education, because my parents suffered through such a tragedy. I cannot imagine going through what they went through. Education to me is the key to a successful life. I enjoy hiking, fishing, running, dancing, singing, reading, and watching movies. Someday I hope to become a teacher and I believe this program will help inspire me to make that happen.

Suntea' Ohna Floyd


My name is Suntea'Ohna. Some call me Ohna for short. I can't even explain how fortunate I feel to have the opportunity to study abroad so early in my college career. Studying abroad is something I have always wanted to do since I was 9 years old. I have history learning Spanish and culture of the places I will be going. This is why I chose to travel to South America. I hope my enthusiastic attitude moves the group in positive ways. I am hoping to learn in so many ways and grow as an individual. I love life and everything about it so I am ready to meet everyone and go have a cultural experience.

Raisa Nguyen


My name is Raisa Nguyen and I was born and raised in the beautiful Portland, Oregon. I graduated from David Douglas High School in 2013 and have been attending Mt. Hood Community College since then. I am hoping that through the personal growth and new perspectives I will develop along this trip to SE Asia, that I will be able to find something I am passionate about to pursue; something that I have had much difficulty trying to figure out on my own. The idea of studying abroad always intrigued me, I just never knew how to make it happen. With the assistance and support of my Carpe family, this is now something that is really happening! I have never been away from my family or friends for anything longer than a week and am certain that the opportunity to be in a new and unfamiliar country will allow me to come back anew.

Cassandra Garcia-Torres


Cassandra is 18 years old and is in her first year at Clackamas Community College. She is the first Carpe Mundi student to attend Clackamas Community College and also the first Gilman Scholarship recipient at Clackamas Community College. Cassandra graduated from Mt. Scott Learning Center in 2014. Some places that Cassandra volunteered her time at include Boys and Girls Club, Emeritus Elder Care, Oaks Bottom Refuge Wildlife, Meal on Wheels, Rock'N Roll Portland Half Marathon, PlayWrite, NorthWest Youth Corps and ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering). She has always had a desire to visit new places, along with experiencing new cultures and values. Through Carpe Mundi, Cassandra is fulfilling her childhood dream of traveling to Africa. During her trip to Africa, she hopes to step out of her comfort zone, experience new and exciting cultures, and learn more about global issues.