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Dharma Cohort 

Dharma is Hindu/Buddhist term, which means "right living." It is our hope that this year will help you figure out what that means for you.

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Travon Braswell

Braswell is currently attending Portland Community College. He is in his final year of completing his associates in Art. After completion of his associates, he plans on transferring to Portland State University to major in Business Management.

“Carpe Mundi has taught me to become more independent and confident. I have learned a lot of communication skills through networking and the skills I have learned has allowed me to have a deeper and more personal conversation with my peers. Carpe has also taught me, there is more to life than what's on my cell phone. I have been more active since my travels abroad and would like to keep traveling.” 
Travon lives in Portland, OR; with his mother, younger brother and cousins. After completing his Bachelors, He plans on opening up a barber shop within his community. He also plans on doing a backpacking trip to Central America within the next year.


Peyton Nguyen 

"My trip have validated and strengthen my motivation to pursue my goals to become an international relief and aid worker. I want to contribute my time and energy in giving back to those in need in developing countries. I feel that I can best do this through pediatric nursing. There is much demand for nurses in developing countries, and I plan to finish my school in the U.S. and after I have acquire enough experience, I want to apply for the Peace Corps or other international aid programs so that I can share my expertise and education and use it to make a difference and help others in need." Peyton is studying at Portland Community College to finish her associate transfer degree in science. She plans to transfer to a four-year university for Nursing, and apply for internships and job shadows with careers in international relations and nursing. "Since Carpe Mundi, I have gained a new awareness of my roles in my relationship with others and myself. I learned to be more patient and empathetic to ideas and viewpoints that are different from me, along with staying true to my values and instincts." Carpe Mundi has inspired her to continue her education in the medical field and given her the confidence to seek out her passions and interests in both in school and in her life. Peyton currently resides in Oregon, but plans to travel and work abroad after she acquires her degree and work experience.


Blanca Alvarez-Lopez

Blanca is 18 years old and graduated last year from Reynolds High School. She is currently taking classes at Mt. Hood Community College for her A.A.S. in Mental Health and Human Services. Blanca is hoping to one day be a school counselor because she wants to help students like herself who needed a counselor to give them light. She has volunteered with her high school to remodel Imagination Station Park, and she has volunteered at Alder Elementary teaching fifth graders about emotions and communication skills. She hope that through this program she can gain the chance to connect with others, obtain greater self worth and confidence, and to view life in a larger way. Blanca hopes to study in East Africa, South America, or India. 


Kervencia Limage

Kervencia is 23 years old and was born in Haiti. She is currently taking classes at Portland Community College to receive her Associates in Science. Her hobbies include exercising, reading, cooking, spending time with family and friends, painting, and going hiking. Kervencia loves to volunteer whenever she can and enjoys being apart of a community. She has volunteered with the Portland Public School program to encourage students who have dropped out of school to return. Through this experience she was able to share her own experiences and struggles. She hopes that through this program she will be able to affect the lives of others, build socialization and communication skills, and give her a chance to grow outside of the classroom. Kervencia hopes to study in Central America, South America, or East Africa. 


George Ruiz-Chi

George Ruiz is attending Portland Community College, in which he will obtain an Associate's degree to transfer to Portland State University. He plans on pursuing Criminal Justice at Portland State University because of his interests in Law enforcement.

Next year he will be attending PCC (Portland Community College) to finish his associate's degree. With the money he’s saved, he plans on traveling down to Mexico or South America during the summer. “Carpe Mundi has been life changing. I have learned more about myself and what my goals are. I have learned to be more present and to enjoy every minute of life because it’s a precious thing. I have become more active and love to go dancing, hiking and exploring cities.”

George resides in Portland, Oregon with his finance and loves portland so much he never plans on moving. His plans for the future are to continue his education in Criminal justice, get married, and travel the world with his partner. He would like to finish his bachelor’s degree before getting married and start his career. “All of this is going to take time but the time will soon come.”


Kenya Hall

Hi! My name is Kenya! And no, I am not from there.  I was born and raised in good ol' Portland Oregon! I am 21 and currently attending Portland State University as a psychology and foreign language major. If the world works in my favor, I plan on going into psychiatry (fingers crossed) and interpreting for Spanish speakers and those who use sign language; breaking the language barrier, but who knows what the future holds. When I am not in school or working, I am volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters! I have a new found love for hiking. I enjoy getting lost within my surroundings and the adventure of finding my way back home. I enjoy getting lost in a book. I look forward to losing myself while abroad, and to the journey of finding myself and rediscovering who I am, and who I have the potential to be.  I live for the nights of bonding with friends over cheesy jokes, random fun facts, and meeting new people. I hope that studying abroad with Carpe Mundi will help me step far out of my comfort zone. I have hope that I will be able to become a more independent, humble, and creative individual. What I want to take from this journey is to experience a different culture, a different take on life. And make a difference in someone else's. I am hoping to study abroad to either India or east Africa.


Susan Vang

Susan wants to become a psychiatrist for younger children. She plans to major in psychology and minor in environmental studies. Next year, Susan will be finishing her associates degree at PCC, and plans to transfer to either PSU or U of O. From her trip, Susan learned the skills to be a responsible consumer and mindful of her privileges from the scarcity that she witnessed in South America. The trip has given her a new perspective of coming from a developed country to a developing country, she saw the different values in people and plans to incorporate those values in her life back in Oregon. She learned to be more aware of how she travels and her interaction with other travelers. Susan currently resides in Gresham with her parents and cannot wait to travel more after she saves up some money. The quote, "anything is possible but nothing is for sure", from her trek guide in Machu Picchu, made her realize of all the possibilities she has and encourages her that nothing is for sure, so she must try her best. 


Monet Ezra

Monet Exra is finishing up classes at Portland Community College. After receiving her associates she will transfer to Portland State University next fall. Monet will be pursuing a bachelors degree in Journalism. Next year, Monet will be attending PSU. She believes working and schooling will take up most of her time, but also plans of adventuring on the weekends she is free.

"After Carpe Mundi and returning to the states, my motivation has been boosted immensely. I am enthusiastic and aware of all the options and places the world has to offer. I feel accomplished and replenished."

Monet currently resides in Portland,OR. Her future plans are to complete her degree in Journalism and to find a job overseas, where she can continue to travel.


Andrea Eckert

Andrea Eckert is a student at Portland Community College. She’s currently working on completing her associate's degree so she can apply for a nursing program. Next year, she will continue her associates at Portland Community college.  “Carpe Mundi has taught me the importance of communication and working with groups. I have learned to be tolerant with various scenarios that are thrown at me on a daily basis. I have learned how to process my emotions and feelings. My Cohort (Dharma) has been very supportive through the hard times in my life such as becoming an adult, I’m so glad to be apart of such a great team.”

Andrea lives with her mother and brother in Beaverton, OR. Her future plans are to become a registered nurse, ultimately a traveling nurse and to take her vacations in West End, Roatan Honduras; where she would like to spend her days scuba diving.


Alexander Cruz

Alex Cruz is finishing his final year at Portland Community College. After completing his associates at PCC he will transfer to Portland State University, where he will start his Bachelors in Education. He then would like to start his masters in education, and one day obtain his doctorates in music.

“Life has been different since Carpe Mundi; In a good way of course. My ambition for traveling abroad has been sparked. I am trying to create my own opportunity to travel again, which has pushed me to save money. Saving money is something I have struggled with in the past." 

Carpe Mundi has also given me the opportunity to be a teacher’s assistant at Latino Network through Americorps. I work with students to help them succeed in class, and to support the teacher. "I love working with kids and hope to become a music teacher one day” says Alex. Cruz currently lives with his mother in portland, OR. He hopes to find a place of his own one day where he can continue his life goals, which is to create music. He plans on completing his first album in a couple of years.


Alondra Flores Avina 

I will be going back to Portland Community College to finish my Oregon arts transfer degree then transferring to a university to earn a bachelor's degree, than a masters. I'm looking forward to finishing up my associates degree and once I transfer to earn a degree in international studies/ global development in a university. After my experience with Carpe Mundi I have learned to live in the present and appreciate what I have in life. Also, through my experiences abroad I was able to get out of my comfort zone, it's surreal to be in another country and feel confidence within yourself. Not only have I gained self growth, but my passion for helping people in need has grown. This is why I hope to travel to developing countries especially Latin America and aid communities/ schools in need. I reside in Portland, Oregon for the time being. I plan to travel more! And hope to live in other countries as well. I would like to expose myself to new culture, and travel to Europe and Latin America, and explore more of Asia.



Phong Kyaw

Phong is attending classes at Portland Community College. He is working on completing his transfer degree, where he will transfer to a four year university to work on his bachelors in Criminal Justice. He also plans on apply for a internship in a interested career field.

“Life’s been challenging since my trip abroad. I have a different perspective of life, and how easy we have it here in the states. I’ve become grateful for all the things I have and especially my family and friends. I have a positive perspective in my education and will continue my schooling.”

Phong is currently living in portland, OR. His future plans are to complete his Bachelors degree and to start his masters. He says there is a possibility of joining the Army, but it depends on where he is in life after school.

“I Would love to keep traveling during the summers and keep challenging myself, mentally and physically.”