Volunteers

Riley Scott

My name is Riley Scott and I am a senior studying forensic psychology. I got involved with Elena's Light through the University of New Haven, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to work with this amazing organization.

Rebecca Marano 
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My name is Rebecca. I am a senior forensic psychology major at the University of New Haven. My interests include the performing arts and solving various brainteasers. I am very committed to Elena's Light and eager to help these women obtain their goals in their English comprehension and more.

Tashaye O'Neale,
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My name is Tashaye O’neale. I am originally from Brooklyn, New York and I study National Security and Arabic at the University of New Haven. After graduation, I hope to attend graduate school and receive my PhD in Linguistics and eventually go on to become a Forensic Linguist for the federal government

Charmaine Podgurski
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My name is Charmaine, I am currently a senior studying criminal justice at the University of New Haven.  I have a passion for community service as I have completed close to 100 hours since the fall of 2016. I love helping others learn and can’t wait to see how much the woman I am tutoring learns by the end of the semester!

Jessica Wilton
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Hello! My name is Jessica and I am a senior at the University of New Haven. I am graduating in May with a BS in Accounting and will continue studying at UNH for my master’s degree. I was so excited to get involved with Elena’s Light through my class at UNH and have enjoyed all the tutoring sessions that I have done!

Alyssa Ince
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My name is Alyssa, and I'm a junior studying Political Science and Ethnicity, Race and Migration at Yale University. I was immediately drawn to Elena's Light because of their dedication to empowering refugee women. Tutoring constantly reminds me of all the small things I take for granted as a native English speaker.  I'm excited to see my tutee and Elena's Light grow!

Arely Para Lopez 
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My name is Arely Joaly Parra López.  I am a Junior at the University of New Haven double majoring in Forensic Science and Genetics & Biotechnology and minoring in Arabic Language-Area Studies. My interests include soccer, reading, and learning languages. I'm fluent in Spanish and English, intermediate in French and Arabic, and a beginner in Korean. My goal after graduating is to pursue a Ph.D in genetics, so that I may assist with the identification of victims of human trafficking.

My name is Arely Joaly Parra López.  I am a Junior at the University of New Haven double majoring in Forensic Science and Genetics & Biotechnology and minoring in Arabic Language-Area Studies. My interests include soccer, reading, and learning languages. I'm fluent in Spanish and English, intermediate in French and Arabic, and a beginner in Korean. My goal after graduating is to pursue a Ph.D in genetics, so that I may assist with the identification of victims of human trafficking.

Shazline Khan 
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My name is Shazline Khan and I am from Bridgeport, CT. I am currently a sophomore at University of New Haven where I am majoring in Biology with a concentration in Pre-Medicine. My family is originally from Pakistan, so I am fluent in English, Urdu and Hindi and am able to understand some Pashto and Farsi. After graduation, I plan to enroll in PA school where I will study to begin my career as an Physician Assistant.

Lydia Ogbe

My name is Lydia Ogbe. I am a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, in the major of Allied Health Science. I live in New Haven, but I was born and raised in Eritrea, East Africa. I aspire to one day become a Physician Assistant. As an immigrant, I want to help those who are new comers to the U.S. Helping those in need is what brings me joy. 

Meghan Cerino

Hello! My name is Meghan Cerino and I'm a senior studying Political Science and Spanish at the University of Rochester (NY), where I also serve as the president of the Refugee Student Alliance, a community service student organization on campus. I am extremely excited to help Elena's Light tutees gain English-speaking experience and confidence and continue making strides forward in their different personal journeys. 

Bonnie Leon

Hello! My name is Bonnie Leon and I am a retired Paralegal.  I am looking forward to helping women learn the language skills needed to live an independent, successful life in the U.S.