Meet our Dedicated Volunteers

Amelia De PaolaCurrent Volunteer

Amelia graduated Georgetown University in 2017 with a B.A. in Spanish and a minor in Science, Technology & International Affairs, focusing on global health. She is excited to use her background as a pre-health student and EMT to lead health classes for the Mariposa girls, and her experience in global health advocacy and strategic communications to support Mariposa’s storytelling and digital media efforts. Amelia firmly believes that investing in health, education and opportunity for young girls can change the world and is beyond excited to join Mariposa DR Foundation for her Princeton in Latin America Fellowship year.

Betty Duran-BecerraCurrent Volunteer

Betty is a year-long volunteer at Mariposa and a Princeton in Latin America Fellow. She was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, but has also lived in San Antonio, Texas. She recently graduated from Columbia University (2018) with a B.A in Psychology. In the summer of 2017, Betty completed a global health fellowship in La Romana, Dominican Republic through ICAP at Columbia. She is excited to be teaching health classes at Mariposa, and to continue promoting comprehensive health education among youth.

Victor FilpoCurrent Volunteer

Victor graduated from Middlebury College in 2016 with a concentration in Japanese and minors in Portuguese and Education Studies. His love for Middlebury encouraged him to stay an additional two years at his alma matter, where he worked as an Admissions Counselor who recruited and helped select each incoming class. Now, Victor is ready take a break from­­ Vermont and NYC to return to the DR—where he will work as a martial arts and dance instructor at the Mariposa Foundation.

Johana MataCurrent Volunteer

Johana Mata was born in Mexico and raised in Houston, Texas. She recently graduated from Wellesley College, class of 2017, with a degree in international relations and French. She is excited to be a year-long volunteer through the Princeton in Latin America fellowship at Mariposa, and both teach the Mariposa girls and learn more about non-profit administration at an organization dedicated to supporting the world’s most powerful force for change! After her year at Mariposa, Johana hopes to return to graduate school, and also pursue a career in international development.

Anna SavageCurrent Volunteer

Anna Savage is thrilled to be joining the Mariposa team as a year-long volunteer. She recently graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Comparative Politics. During college, she took part in various music groups, taught yoga, and studied abroad in San José, Costa Rica and Valparaíso, Chile. She is honored to be teaching yoga and music classes at Mariposa!

Vanessa SmithCurrent Volunteer

Vanessa Smith is a recent graduate from Princeton University. While in school, she majored in Anthropology and minored in Latin American Studies and Spanish. During her time at Princeton she was fortunate to be captain of the Princeton Women’s Varsity Basketball team, and to be involved in other creative student-led initiatives on campus such as mentoring programs and volunteering. Here at the center, she teaches leadership classes, current events, social activism, history and wellness. She has also been involved in the planning processes for our upcoming Museum of the Girl. She is so excited to be working with our girls and looks forward to another promising year!

Sandra RuizCurrent Volunteer

Sandra is originally from El Salvador but moved to Los Angeles, California at a young age. Sandra recently graduated from Middlebury College with a major in Latin American Studies. Since high school, Sandra has danced and performed for a couple of student-led dance crews. Sandra is looking forward to connecting with the young women at the Mariposa Foundation through dancing. Sandra is excited for the growth and adventures waiting for them in DR.

Emma WingreenCurrent Volunteer

Emma Wingreen is a second-year volunteer at Mariposa. She recently graduated from Princeton University with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School and certificates in Latin American Studies and Spanish Language and Culture. This past year at Mariposa DR Foundation, she implemented a digital literacy campaign and taught a number of Introduction to STEM and Robotics courses for girls and young women. In her second year, she is excited to continue teaching and to take on new responsibilities in her role as a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Fellow.

Sherry HerdmanReturning Local Volunteer

Sherry is a nurse practitioner from rural Western New York. As a part-time resident of Cabarete and a champion of the girl movement, she created the Mariposa sewing program through collecting donated machines and teaching sewing classes. She has taught our girls how to use their sewing skills both practically and artistically, and continues to help out at the center year after year.

Sherry Herdman

Christopher PerryReturning Local Volunteer

Chris is a high school psychology teacher and swimming coach from Lancaster, PA. An award-winning, student-athlete while attending the University of Pittsburgh. Chris has a degree in secondary social studies education, Sociology and Women’s Studies. Chris has coached swimmers of all ages and levels, ranging from beginners to Olympic level swimmers. Chris comes each summer to help with the Mariposa swim program, often bringing much-needed donations of swimsuits, goggles, swim caps, and other supplies to keep our girls swimming!


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