Adriana is a global enthusiast and believes in the power of community-based approaches to create sustainable change. She is currently working on program development with an NGO called MindLeaps, as they expand their skill-based "Virtual Academy", a program delivered via low-bandwidth platforms and videos, to refugee and vulnerable youth in Uganda, Rwanda, Guinea, Macedonia, Kenya, and Mauritania. Adriana is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer ('17-'19) where she worked for two years as a Youth Development Specialist in a rural town of Southwest Morocco implementing collaborative projects for youth to build life skills and become actively engaged in their communities. She co-led a six-month outdoor leadership program for 10 youth to summit Mt. Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, and built partnerships with a local women's aerobics class in order to integrate girls in the program for the first time. Adriana has experience in program management, curriculum development, and research in the development sector.
Adriana is passionate about refugee rights and believes in the power of storytelling to shed light on under-reported populations and places. She helped facilitate a summer educational empowerment program for Palestinian & Syrian refugee youth in South Lebanon and participates in activism in the U.S. defending Palestinian rights. Wherever she goes, her notebook is ready to collect stories and observations - to listen to, write about, and share.
Her undergraduate studies in Syracuse, NY emphasized community-based learning experiences, inspiring her to reach out to refugee resettlement agencies working in the community, assisting some of the largest refugee populations in the U.S. She taught 90+ hours of citizenship classes to newly-arrived refugees and led a year-long research project titled "The Meaning of Home in the Life of a Refugee", highlighting the often emotionally perilous journeys people will take to find safety. Adriana holds a dual degree in International Relations and Citizenship & Civic Engagement and is a founding member of the CCE Program in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She spent a semester studying and interning in Washington D.C. at the National Defense University's College of International Security Studies (CISA) where she published an academic article analyzing Hezbollah's influence in Lebanese society.
With a regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa region, Adriana speaks Moroccan Arabic and has a working knowledge of the Levantine Dialect and Modern Standard Arabic. In her free time, she enjoys watching compelling documentaries, exploring new ways to channel creativity, and hiking in the Hudson Valley.