Welcoming Our Summer 2016 EFL Fellows!

Summer 2016 EFL Fellows Emma, Leandro, Darren, Amy, Katrina, and Kyra.

Summer 2016 EFL Fellows Emma, Leandro, Darren, Amy, Katrina, and Kyra.

Introducing the Summer 2016 EFL Fellow class of the STEP! II Program. 6 fellows from the United States and Colombia have been selected to teach intensive English as a Foreign Language classes at TYO. Read all about them!


Emma grew up on a ranch in northern California. Her undergraduate degree is in International Relations and French, with a certificate in peace and conflict resolution from Bennington College. After completing her undergraduate degree, she moved to NYC to work as a program manager for an international NGO and spent the next few years traveling around and working in Africa and Cuba. She recently completed a Master’s in International Education from NYU and is excited about the opportunity to learn about another area of the world.

Emma has taught in sixteen countries across five continents and hopes to visit her sixth continent within the next two years. Her professional interests include education research (particularly within displaced communities), community-based education projects, monitoring and evaluation, and how education systems are built in various communities.


Leandro Salazar, a born and raised Colombian, is passionate about education in crisis, development, and human rights. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Education Sciences – Teaching of Foreign Languages (English and French). In 2011, Leandro moved to the south of France as a Spanish language teacher for primary and secondary education students within the framework of an agreement between ministries of education. While in France, he completed two Master’s degrees with one being in Hispanic Studies and the most recent in International and Intercultural Negotiations at Aix-Marseille Universite. Since then, he has collaborated with Ministries of Education and with various United Nations agencies in the field of education curriculum design and development, and policy reform in conflict affected settings.

Currently working at the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Education Section in Geneva, Switzerland, he provides administrative and technical support in all stages of the operation management cycle to programs and partnerships primarily relating to primary and secondary education for refugees in various challenging geographical locations worldwide. In addition to work, Leandro enjoys playing football (soccer), dancing to Latin-American rhythms, running marathons, traveling, and volunteering.


Darren is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and graduated from Gettysburg College in December 2015 with a Bachelor’s in English with minors in Educational studies and Middle East studies.

Darren worked with Gettysburg’s Center for Public Service as a Program Coordinator for a community farm that addressed and educated others about food insecurity. He also served as one of their Summer Fellows developing projects for multiple community programs at the intersection of poverty, immigration, and food justice. During that fellowship, he was the head teacher of English classes held for adult immigrants in the area.

Darren hopes to start a career in international development involving the Middle East and North Africa, a passion further supported by a semester spent in Rabat, Morocco in the fall of 2015. He studied his fifth semester of Arabic in Morocco and practiced journalism under veteran journalists from an NGO named Round Earth Media. He produced a feature article, soon to be published in US News and World Report, on the Tanger-Med port and its effect on Morocco’s long-term economic development.

Darren has a strong interest in literature and film and hopes to use these passions in his work as an avenue for students to read the world more critically.


Amy grew up in a small suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. She holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Applied Linguistics and Classical Vocal Performance from Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music, respectively. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Columbia University Teachers College.

Amy has worked with English Language Learners both domestically and abroad, with teaching engagements ranging from English language and literacy classes for adult immigrant and refugee students residing in a housing project in South Boston, to working with preschoolers at a bilingual school in Madrid, Spain. Currently, she works as an educator at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

When she is not studying or in the classroom, Amy enjoys singing, traveling, hiking, and long-distance running. She is joining the program after participating in a summer vocal arts workshop for young opera singers in Groznjan, Croatia.


Katrina grew up travelling the United States, the daughter of migrant workers who eventually settled in north-central Missouri. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in German from Truman State University and a Cambridge CELTA completed at the British Language Training Centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Katrina gained her first experience with the challenges of language learning and cultural integration while finishing secondary school in South Korea, and it has since been her goal to better understand and help guide others through similar processes.  She peer taught German 130 and 131 in college and modified this curriculum for use in a local elementary school’s high ability program. As a trainee she instructed adult immigrant populations and has also organized intensive English camps and literacy workshops for underserved county schools in Taiwan.

After working with TYO this summer, Katrina will be joining the German Fulbright-Kommission in Oberhausen, where she will teach English at the Bertha-von-Suttner-Gymnasium and work on local integration projects for incoming Syrian refugees. She hopes to make a career of learning and teaching Germanic languages and aiding in cultural adjustment. Outside of class, you can find her hiking or imagining herself a film critic, among other things.


Kyra was born and raised in New York. Kyra attended George Washington University and received an undergraduate degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Global Public Health and a minor in Dance. She loves baking, traveling, learning new languages and dancing. She is interested in working in the emergency relief and public health fields with mobile populations.

This will be Kyra’s third time teaching as a participant of the International Internship and Fellowship program at TYO. In Summer 2013, Kyra joined TYO as an international intern and taught English classes at An-Najah University. During the Spring 2016 session, she was an EFL teaching fellow leading an elementary level English class. She is excited to return to TYO not only to continue teaching EFL to the youth of Nablus and build upon her previous teaching experiences outside of TYO, but to also explore new learning opportunities in the mental health and trauma care realm with local TYO staff.