At the heart of DREAM, you will find a selfless, dedicated volunteer. Our organization was launched by a team of passionate volunteers from Dartmouth College and that spirit continues today. Each year, DREAM works with more than 120 student group volunteers, 22 summer camp volunteers, 10 yearlong fellows and several local and short-term volunteers.
Meet our Academic Year Fellows! If you are interested in becoming a DREAM volunteer or fellow, please refer to our volunteer page.
2019-20 Academic Year Fellow
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Nicole graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2019 with a degree in Political Science and International Development Studies. As a student, she spent two summers and a winter break in the northwest of the Dominican Republic, developing a deep appreciation for the community she found there, and a passion for the rights to education and documentation. Her senior thesis research focused on access to education for undocumented students in the Dominican Republic, where she traveled to six provinces to conduct interviews with undocumented families and school officials. Prior to coming to DREAM, she worked as a consultant for UNESCO, providing updated information on barriers to education for migrants and undocumented youth based on her 2018 research. Through her time as an undergraduate, she also worked on field research projects on democracy and children’s rights in Senegal, Mexico, Colombia, and Laos; interned in an immigration law firm in Indiana; led a Notre Dame campus club in their partnership with a Lao-based NGO; and was a member of the Notre Dame Women’s Boxing Club. Inspired by the talented individuals working on education and documentation in the Dominican Republic that she has met thus far, she is thrilled to return to the country as a fellow in DREAM’s monitoring and evaluation and documentation programs.
2019-20 Year-long Fellow
Miranda Christ hails from Bloomington, Indiana. In June 2019, she graduated cum laude from Princeton University, where she wrote on the ethics of belief for her senior thesis in the Department of Philosophy. During her time at Princeton, Miranda worked as a teaching assistant, studied abroad with Princeton in Argentina, volunteered for primary care clinics, and pursued biochemistry research. In addition, Miranda led first-year students on community service trips and served as an officer for a philosophy discussion group. Miranda has pursued the study of voice, piano, and theatre in a variety of contexts for most of her life. At university, she acted with Princeton’s Spanish theatre group and served as music director and co-president of Princeton’s African singing ensemble. Miranda joined the DREAM Project in summer 2019 as a Music Education Fellow/Theatre Fellow.
2019-20 Year-long Fellow
Chantal was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Growing up, she volunteered with The DREAM Project and developed a passion for uplifting Dominican communities. With a special interest in cultivating open discussions regarding sexual health, she is thrilled to return as a fellow in the Deportes Para La Vida program. Chantal graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota with a double major in Psychology and Business Administration & Leadership. During her time at UST, she completed a program in South Africa in partnership with the University of Cape Town. There, she researched gender inequality as a driver of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the feminization of poverty and the relationships between sex, gender, religion and HIV status.
After graduating, Chantal moved on to gain project management experience at a global company headquartered in Minnesota. Here, she had the opportunity to lead international initiatives and learn more about leading teams and projects towards big goals. She stood as an advocate for Latinos in business and women in the workplace. In the future, Chantal hopes to continue to leverage her experience in business with her desire to make a difference. Now, Chantal is ready to return to the non-profit world and to make a difference in a community she holds close to her heart.
2019-20 Year-long Fellow
Originally from Colorado, Nicole is a 2019 graduate of Elon University. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she pursued double majors in Spanish and International Studies with a Latin American concentration, as well as minors in Human Services and Peace and Conflict Studies. She is passionate about national and international development, with particular focus on early education and language development. During her collegiate career, she explored these interests domestically through several positions as a teaching assistant at programs and schools in Colorado and North Carolina, various tutoring and mentoring opportunities, as well as an internship for a Colorado nonprofit. While at Elon, Nicole conducted undergraduate research over the course of two years in order to examine older sibling perceptions of family roles in bilingual households. Though the majority of her time in college was spent at Elon University, Nicole also studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in Spring of 2018. It was during this time that she further pursued human rights work, while continuing to develop her Spanish language skills, as she interned for the organization Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo. As a Princeton in Latin America fellow, Nicole is working with the libraries and literacy programs at the DREAM Project. Nicole is excited to continue her learning and engagement within the fields of education and youth development, as she works with DREAM during the 2019-2020 academic year.
2019-20 Year-long Fellow
Nicole Jakabcsin is a graduate of Stanford University with a B.A. in International Relations and a Minor in Human Rights. During her time at Stanford, she developed a passion for the promotion of education as a human right and believes that education equity is fundamental to successful human rights advocacy. In her internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the Government Subsecretariat for Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism, she completed diverse research projects including a report on the agency of migrant women in Buenos Aires and a comparative governance report on the right to identity. In her role at the Fundación Mujeres por Africa in Spain she conducted extensive policy research on education equity disparities by gender in sub-Saharan Africa. As an Education Partnership Fellow at Stanford University, she organized and led an early literacy program for low income, immigrant youth. She is incredibly excited to return to Latin America and continue her passion for the intersections of human rights and education as a fellow at The DREAM Project this year.
2019-20 Year-long Fellow
Nina is from northern California and a recent graduate of Brandeis University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. As an undergraduate, she coordinated a student-run volunteer organization, where she created and implemented curriculum for a weekly recreational program for children with Autism. She spent two summers living alongside incoming Chinese students at Brandeis and worked as an Analytical English Tutor during the school year. She also worked in an on-campus psychology lab and completed her senior thesis on maladaptive and adaptive stress coping strategies in the face of depression. In her senior year, she interned at a domestic violence agency, creating the first ESOL course specifically for immigrant survivors in the state of Massachusetts. Nina also studied abroad in a direct enrollment program in Mérida, México, taking psychology courses while volunteering in an after-school program for children whose families worked in the marketplace. She is interested in pursuing a career that supports the mental health of immigrant families through direct services and policy advocacy. As a first-year fellow, Nina will be working in the Montessori Early Childhood Education Program and in the LUCEROS Documentation Program.
2018-20 Year-long Fellow
Victoria is a global health activist devoted to grounding health policy in the grassroots efforts of communities, health practitioners, and care recipients. She has a special interest in and experience with migrant health. She is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, California (2018) with a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis, with a concentration in Biology and a minor in Cognitive Science. Her senior thesis was entitled: “No Mandate Without Acceptance: Lessons and Recommendations for HPV Vaccination Legislation in California,” and provided practical policy recommendations to increase Human Papillomavirus vaccine acceptance nationally and for use for various stakeholder groups. She has interned in various governmental and private organizations. She worked on reproductive rights and children’s health programs in the office of US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); carried out research on migrant health service provision in Central Asia while interning for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Vienna, Austria; and helped develop policy to prevent intimate partner violence and promote HPV vaccination at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Victoria has also carried out extensive ethnographic and qualitative research, including on primarily Sub-Saharan migrant access to healthcare in Morocco while studying abroad in Rabat in 2016, for her senior thesis.
At DREAM, Victoria has worked with the Deportes Para la Vida and LUCEROS teams in program management support and the development of several new projects, including a manual of parent engagement workshops in sexual health and family communication for the former, and delayed declaration workshops for the latter. She is also an assistant for the Monitoring & Evaluation program. She is fluent in Spanish and German, and has studied Mandarin Chinese and Arabic. Originally from Washington, DC, she lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a child, and has been gozando (enjoying) living back in Latin America.
2019 Year-long Fellow
Jill recently received her Masters degree from Cambridge University where she researched sexual health approaches in the Dominican Republic, focusing on how to engage young men in issues of teen pregnancy and gender equality. This work built on her published research with the psychology department of Mount Allison University in Eastern Canada, examining the barriers to mental health services for young men linked to restrictive gender norms and how to imagine a healthier framework for masculinity. She has a passion for gender equality and reproductive rights, along with international educational experience in Vietnam, France, Spain, and the Dominican Republic, including work in a Montessori classroom, and with special needs populations.
Jill is inspired by radical pedagogies, along with anti-racist, feminist, and decolonizing approaches to education that create healthy and constructive environments for all students and families involved. With a genuine belief that education is a crucial player in societal growth, psychological fulfillment, and personal development, she is thrilled to be a part of the DREAM team teaching English with A Ganar and conducting program analysis.
2019-20 Year-long Fellow
Melanie Goldring recently graduated from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis with a Master of Social Work/Master of Social Policy dual-degree. She completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology, Spanish, and Children's Studies also at Washington University in St. Louis. Melanie’s professional interest is in education policy, specifically relating to access to and quality of early childhood education and dual-generation programs to holistically support families with young children.
Melanie is fluent in Spanish and has been working in the Dominican Republic (DR) with the organizations American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad (AYUDA) and Aprendiendo A Vivir since 2013. Through working with these organizations in the DR, she has gained extensive experience in the development, implementation, and evaluation of culturally sensitive international educational programs. Through her three graduate-level practica, she has also been exposed to U.S. local- and state-level education policy practice. Melanie is excited to work with the Montessori and Escuelita de Padres programs with DREAM, as this fellowship will allow her to fuse her academic and professional experiences in the U.S. with her previous international work in the DR into an opportunity to create long-term, locally defined change in the education system in the DR.
Melanie is originally from Los Angeles, California, and has traveled to over 15 countries, including living in Denmark for a semester to study during her undergraduate education. She is a frequent traveler, active dancer, and photography enthusiast. Melanie has a passion for learning from, collaborating with, and empowering others and is dedicated to being an empathetic, compassionate, innovative agent of change in the field of educational equity.