Ambassador Scholars 2016

At CCI Greenheart, every year we think we’ve seen everything, and every year our participants continue to amaze us. In our fourth year of theAmbassador Scholarship program, Greenheart welcomed nine participants from six countries. The Ambassador Scholarship program was designed to identify participants who wanted to serve as cultural ambassadors and have a direct impact in their community in the United States. Our Ambassador Scholars defined global leadership with ease by organizing volunteer projects and reflecting on their interactions with Americans. I’ve cherished my time working with ourAmbassador Scholars in 2016. These young people have the compassion and dedication to make waves globally in the future. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for laughing with me, growing me, and serving as inspiration for future generations.

Without a doubt, I know that we have not heard the last from ourAmbassador Scholars, and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Keep being an inspiration Greenheart!

Amber Hayes

Cultural Outreach Coordinator, CCI Greenheart Work and Travel

Marek Ruzicka

Home Country: Slovakia

Host Community: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Marek was an Ambassador Scholar in 2015, and we were thrilled when here turned on the Summer Work Travel program once again as an Ambassador Scholar.The second time around, Marek was more mindful of his surroundings and shared his insights with us. As a young professional, Marek was very determined to take his skills from the Summer Work Travel program and implement them in a future career.

Watch this video to see what takeaways Marek mentions regarding professional development.

Ting Zhao

Home Country: China

Host Community: Truckee, California

Ting, known as Jane to her American friends, enjoyed her time inCalifornia by getting to know her coworkers and regularly volunteering at the local museum. Jane’s exploration of the United States didn’t end in Lake Tahoe;in August 2016 she was selected as a Greenheart Global Leaders Conference attendee in Washington, D.C.

In the following video, Jane recounts her time at the conference and howshe can take this information back with her to China.

Sicong Wei

Home Country: China

Host Community: Moab, Utah

Sicong, or Tim as his American friends call him, arrived in Moab, Utah with the desire to learn about others and the professional world. Tim made great use of his time in Moab and there was rarely a moment when he wasn’t doing anything. From working regular hours at a local hotel to volunteering at multiple organizations, Tim continuously explored U.S. customs while sharing his own through a Chinese Culture Club.

Fernanda Anneliza De La Cruz Berihuete

Home Country: The Dominican Republic

Host Community: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Fernanda was a Work and Travel participant in 2015, but decided to take her program to the next level by becoming an Ambassador Scholar in 2016. She returned to Harrisburg and continued giving back to the community by volunteering with local food banks and holding educational sessions with theGirl Scouts. One thing that Fernanda took away from her program was an understanding of business values. Fernanda shares the importance of customer service and working as a team in her reflection video here.

Katerina Labudova

Home Country: The Czech Republic

Host Community: Millsboro, Delaware

Katerina also participated on the Summer Work Travel program in 2015 and we were thrilled to have her join us as an Ambassador Scholar in the summer of2016. Katerina’s interest in both environmentalism and social justice guided her to find volunteer opportunities. Check out Katerina’s tips on how everyone can help save the environment!

Adela Stefana Budai

Home Country: Romania

Host Community: Ludington, Michigan

Adela Stefana, or Stefy, used her time in sleepy Ludington to learn about the problems we have globally and the similarities we all share. In her reflection of her time in the United States, Stefy remembers the good times,the people she has met, and the places she has explored. It is clear that Stefy has grown so much both professionally and personally from her time in theUnited States. It’s rewarding to see the everlasting connections that Stefy has made and the direct impact that they have had on her life.

Kenyata Thomas

Home Country: Jamaica

Host Community:  Vail,Colorado

What is success? This is the question that many of us ask every day, and Kenyata Thomas of Jamaica learned a new definition of success from his supervisor in the United States. Kenyata had the opportunity to explore success through his day to day activities in Vail, as well as organizing community events. Kenyata’s definition of success stems from his world view and values which he details in the following video.

Russanette Dennis

Home Country: Jamaica

Host Community: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

2016 marked Russanette’s third year on the Summer Work Travel program and we believe that this year had to have been her best experience yet. Russanette took the initiative in her community by making friends and learning more about customs to help eradicate negative stereotypes. In this video, Russanette remembers a past volunteer project and how important our environment is.

Kimone La Shawn Montique

Home Country: Jamaica

Host Community: Branson, Missouri

Kimone’s impressive resume demonstrates her leadership skills and desire to give back to her community. While in Branson, Missouri, Kimone found herself in an environment much different from her own in Kingston, Jamaica. In Branson, Kimone met locals by volunteering at multiple volunteer organizations and learned how important it is to embrace each other’s differences and find common ground. Kimone urges all of us to “walk the walk” in the following video.


·      CI s.r.o.

·      International Institute for Exchange Programs (I2)

·      Community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

·      EachFuture Cultural Network

·      Euro Snack

·      QuinTstar – Moab

·      OFIT

·      Alaska Travel SRO

·      Pine Acres Inc. dba Leisure Point Resort


·      Old Hamlin Inn

·      The Student Work and Travel Programme

·      Marble Slab Creamery

·      The Track Family Fun Parks

All of those individuals, companies and communities who made this program a positive success for the participants and all involved — thank you again!