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Jatzibe is the goddess of happiness in Nahuatl, an indigenous language in Central America.

Jatzibe Growth Stories created for the annual Capstone and Storytelling night.

April Fancher-Mckinzie


My name is April Fancher-Mckinzie. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Graduated from Franklin High School. Oldest of three kids. Raised by a single mom and will be the first to go to college. I have a guinea pig and two cats.

I enjoy photography, playing golf, cooking, camping, listening to music,  hanging out with friends, traveling and working with small children. Currently enrolled to attend Portland State in the fall. Studying to become an elementary school teacher.

I am really exited to be traveling, experiencing new things, and gaining friendship that will last a life time. Can't wait to meet everyone.

Hillary Gonzalez-Terraza


Hello, my name is Hillary Gonzalez and I am 19 years old. I am a Latina who was born and raised in Oregon. I graduated from Tigard High School last year and entering my sophomore year at Portland Community College where I am taking general courses. My hopes are to transfer to Western Oregon University to major in early childhood education. I am a first generation college student which I take a lot of pride in. I look forward to inspiring future generations of my family as well as other students to go to college and continue their education. I love being outdoors, photography, drawing and hanging out with my family on my spare time. I am so excited for this journey that is yet to come. I cannot wait to explore and learn about a different country and all of its culture. I am looking forward into getting out of my comfort zone and growing as a person. 

Kiara McDermid

Kiara during her trip. 

Kiara during her trip. 


Kiara after her trip.

Since I have come back from traveling my life has gone back to normal of working and getting ready for school. The trip made me realize how lucky I am to have the basic resources in my life and to reserve and grow upon my community. Besides looking into community volunteering, I have finally gotten a job in my career aspects that I want in life. This fall term I will be staying put in my homeland of Portland and working on getting my Bachelors degree. I am nervous and excited to be going back to a normal college campus though I know I will nail it, I will just need the extra support of caffeine and my loved ones as always.

Syd Weldon


Syd during her trip.

Syd after her trip. 

Syd after her trip. 

My name is Syd Weldon, and since I have been back from Central America, I turned 20! Along with reaching this new age milestone and no longer being in my teen years, I have reached even greater ones while I was abroad. I grew up Saint Helens, a small town just outside the Portland Metro Area. The trip was the first time I was able to leave my hometown without anyone from my small town life accompanying me. This newly found independence allowed me to reflect on myself and view myself from the most organic perspective I have ever seen myself. I discovered that I was an extrovert despite the fact I used to live a life of solitude, thrived in community, and allowed myself to seize the day! This allowed me to come to my life at home with a newer perspective on myself and challenge the scripts my small town life threw back at me as soon as my flight landed. I have been involved in the community by volunteering for the Saint Helens Economic Development Corporation, and the Saint Helens Public library. I have been preparing to finish my associate’s degree at Portland Community College before transferring to Portland State University (majoring in International Studies!). I have taken on some extra activities and side projects such as joining the French Alliance in Portland, Edit the Jatzibe Growth Stories video (which you can watch in the URL above!), and learning how to cook different recipes. Finally, I have inspired many in my life to travel, which has inspired my mom to venture with me to Vancouver, B.C, and my special someone to get a better paying job so he could get his passport and follow me wherever I may go. This has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and only the beginning to many years of travel. CarpeMundi!  

Tanasia Bishop

Tanasia during her trip 

Tanasia during her trip 

Tanasia after the trip.

Tanasia after the trip.

Tanasia Bishop is a 24 year old Data Analyst and Admin Support staff member at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) in Portland, OR. After studying abroad in Central America Tanasia saw her options and opportunities expand. While traveling abroad, she learned to overcome her fears and started to dedicate herself to working hard to achieve her personal and professional goals. After returning to the Northwest, Tanasia successfully transferred from Portland Community College to Portland State University which was a goal she had always aimed to accomplish. During her sophomore inquiry she plans to take classes such as Healthy People/Healthy Places, Community Studies, and Leading Social Change as she is striving to earn her degree in Social Psychology. In addition to this change of scenery, Tanasia is now able to practice her driving skills after effortlessly passing her knowledge test and receiving her permit.  She is determined to regularly practicing and improving her driving skills so that she may be able to obtain her license by the beginning of the 2018 Fall term. Even after all these huge accomplishments Tanasia knows this is only the very beginning and she will relentlessly continue to work towards become more independent, more proactive, and more confident in her herself and her abilities.