MEET OUR STUDENT TRAVELERS!

Click on the student's image to be directed to our donation page. On the donation form, please write "ASB Ethiopia" for name of trip to support. Put the name of the student you are supporting in the comment section.

Juliette Nye

Senior

Animal Sciences and French Studies

Hi everyone! My name is Juliette Nye, and I am a senior pursuing a dual-degree in Animal Sciences and French Studies. Once I graduate from the University of Illinois, I plan on pursuing a masters degree in a conservation-related field, followed by a veterinary degree to work with zoo and wildlife animals. On campus, I am a peer tutor, president of Illini Wildlife and Conservation Club, and a member of the Student Advancement Committee, among other things! I am an avid traveler and love the opportunity to visit any new places I can, which is why I am especially excited to be going to Ethiopia with Hillel! I am absolutely fascinated by other cultures and religions and love to learn more about the world in any way I can. Ethiopia is far different from any place I have visited so far, so I can't wait for this incredible experience and to take it all in!

 
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Nicole Pudlo

Junior

Spanish

Hello everyone! My name is Nicole Pudlo and I am currently a junior studying Spanish, with minors in English and Slavic Studies. I am always looking for better ways to give back to my community and get involved in subject areas I am passionate about, and this Alternative Spring Break program allows me to do exactly that! In the past, I have gone on domestic service trips to various cities in the Midwest, as well as served as a program director for a service organization on campus, Volunteer Illini Projects. I am also constantly involved in the Catholic Illini community on campus, most recently being accepted to serve as a team member for the Newman Center’s upcoming Koinonia retreat. Therefore, I am excited to extend my dedication to service internationally, as well as embark on a religious exploration journey to compare my existing knowledge of the Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim faiths to the way they are carried out in Ethiopia.

 
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Elan Karoll

Senior

Communication

Hi, my name is Elan Karoll. I am a senior at the University of Illinois studying Communication. I am excited to travel to Ethiopia this spring break to broaden my perspective on the world, to learn a new country and culture, to explore diverse identities of race and religion, and to share a memorable experience with my peers!

I have never been to Africa before and I fear that my perspective of the world is incomplete without experiencing that part of our planet. I hope to learn about Ethiopia's unique history, culture, and religions. I am specifically interested in the Beta Israel Jewish community of Ethiopia. I am passionate about learning about the various Jewish Diaspora communities. I hope this experience will teach me about myself and about my relationship to the world. I cannot wait to see Ethiopia with my own eyes! I look forward to making many memories with new friends that I will cherish for life.

 
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Hannah Kramer

Freshman

History - Secondary Education

Hey I'm Hannah! I'm a freshman studying history for secondary education. I'm from Vernon Hills, which is a northwestern suburb of Chicago. At the Univeersity of Illinois I am a part of Alpha Epsilon Phi, and Illini Service Dogs. I am also very involved in Hillel, and am one of the co-chairs of the Social Justice Committee. I am so beyond excited to be traveling to Ethiopia this spring break. Traveling has always been a passion of mine, and I can't wait to see all the history and culture that Ethiopia has to offer. Besides just traveling to a new country, I am also excited to meet a great group of Illini and make new friends!  

 
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Irene Zharnitsky

Senior

Economics and Statistics

Hi! My name is Irene Zharnitsky and I am a senior studying Economics and Statistics. I am super excited to embark on this journey and see so much beauty and learn so much history. Also really looking forward to meeting all you amazing people!!

 
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Sarah Stockdale

Sophomore

Industrial Design

I'm so excited to be going to Ethiopia this Spring Break! I'm an avid traveler, but I have yet to go anywhere in Africa and I can't wait to learn about a new culture and see a completely different part of the world. I'm most looking forward to meeting with Ethiopian leaders and getting to know the different aspects of the culture from people who live it everyday. 

 
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William Wu

Freshman

Economics

My name is Will Wu, and I am a Freshman at U of I majoring in Economics. I grew up in Shanghai, China before moving to the States to attend high school in Portland, Oregon. In my free time, I enjoy listening to news podcasts and reading about history and philosophy. As an avid traveler, I am thrilled to visit Ethiopia, a country with a rich cultural and religious heritage that fascinates me. Having lived in two countries myself, I can say that Ethiopia is drastically different from all the places I have ever visited. I think this trip would be an incredible opportunity for me to go out in a completely new environment and experience things I have never seen before. 

 
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Madison Gardner

Sophomore

Interdisciplinary Health

Hi! My name is Madison Gardner and I’m currently a Sophomore at UIUC. I'm studying Interdisciplinary Health. I am very excited to travel to Ethiopia, I have not yet been to any countries in that region. I feel that my experience abroad will be a great opportunity for me to learn more about Ethiopian culture and traditions. I’m also very excited to explore the beautiful country! 

 
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Vicky Kolotov

Freshman

Speech and Hearing Sciences

I'm a speech and hearing sciences major and I'm hoping to minor in linguistics. I am an avid traveler and am fascinated by varying cultures and people. I am beyond excited to meet people who live in a place so different from where we reside. I hope to maybe someday travel to third world countries and improve English dialect for people of economies boosted by outsourcing. 

 
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Arsema Tesfai

Freshman

Political Science

Hi, my name is Arsema Tesfai, and I am from the north side of Chicago. This is my first year at the University of Illinois majoring in Political Science. I am Eritrean, so Ethiopian people and culture hit very close to home. I am excited to go on this trip, because I think it will be the perfect opportunity to expand my horizons, step out of my comfort zone, and provide service. I hope to learn a lot more, not only about myself, but also about communicating and working with others. I look forward to exploring such a beautiful country with Illini Hillel!

 
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Sapphier Negussie

Freshman

Undeclared

Hi! My name is Sapphier Negussie and I’m a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am currently undeclared but intend on majoring in Advertising and Management and hope to eventually start a business of my own. I was born and raised in Chicago where both my parents immigrated to from Ethiopia. Getting the opportunity to experience the culture first hand and understand the background of my parents is incredibly important to me. On this trip, I look forward to experiencing a country so rich in history with new people and understanding the culture in a new light.

 
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Asha Woldu

Junior

Food Science and Human Nutrition | Chemistry

My name is Asha Woldu and I’m a third year undergraduate student here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I study Food Science and Human Nutrition along with Chemistry. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia since I have never been before. My father was born there and I’ve always heard stories but have never seen it for myself. In the future, I want to start my own organization in Ethiopia and Eritrea helping people with the agricultural and food aspect development of the country. I am looking forward to meeting all of you and creating life-lasting relationships with the group and people we meet along the way. Thank you for listening. Amesegenalew! (Thank you in Amharic)

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Galila Dandridge

Junior

Community Health - Rehabilitation Studies

My name is Galila Dandridge and I am a junior here at UIUC. I am majoring in Community Health with a concentration in Rehabilitation Studies. I plan on going to graduate school to become an Occupational Therapist. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends and family, and watching TV. I'm very excited to go to Ethiopia and cannot wait for the trip. 

 
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Marni Israel

Freshman

Social Work

Hi! My name is Marni Israel, I'm a Freshman at U of I studying Social Work. I am incredibly excited to travel and learn about Ethiopia because it will be a great opportunity to learn about a culture that I know very little about. Along with that, I am excited to explore a new country with new and old friends. 

 
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Rebecca Krakman

Senior

Psychology

Hello! My name is Rebecca Krakman and I am a senior in Psychology at the University of Illinois. This trip to Ethiopia will mark the end of my formal Jewish experience in college, but will be the beginning of a life of learning and service. I hope that this trip will enhance my understanding of the world in preparation for my future as an educator.  

 
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Niani Scott

Sophomore

Political Science and African Studies

I am a sophomore studying Journalism with minors in Political Science and African Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Driven by a desire to tell people’s stories authentically, I believe that in order to achieve connectedness and accuracy, I must write through a lens of shared experience in the homelands of native peoples, to get to the root of the story. At 20-years-old, I have already had the opportunity to directly learn about cultures in the homelands of African people. I have spent time in South Africa, Ghana, and Eswatini, and it has inspired me to dig deeper and go further in my journalistic pursuits. I am extremely excited for our trip to Ethiopia! 

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Yingan Wang

Freshman

Statistics and Computer Science

Hi! I’m Yingan Wang and I’m a freshman in Statistics and Computer Science at UIUC. I’m really interested in philosophy, and enjoy learning different forms of cultures, religions, and societies. I’m super excited about this trip because Ethiopia is a unique country with diverse religions, and I want to know more about Ethiopia’s history, music, and literature.

 
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Natalie Genkin

Freshman

Communnity Health - Healthcare Management

Hi everyone I’m Natalie Genkin! I’m currently a freshman at The University Of Illinois studying Community Health with a concentration in Healthcare Management! I am so so excited to get the opportunity to travel to a completely new place and explore everything Ethiopia has to offer. I’m very interested in learning more about the presence of Judaism in Ethiopia and how it’s developed differently in such a different environment than I live in. I’m grateful for this opportunity and what it will bring to me! Thank you! 

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Ari Machtinger

Freshman

Philosophy

Hello, my name is Ari and I am loving my first year on campus here at the University of Illinois. As a student in the department of Philosophy, I am always looking for new ways to challenge my beliefs and learn new things about the world. This is exactly why I want to go to Ethiopia over Spring Break; a trip of the likes will surely broaden my horizons in ways I am not able to predict. Specifically, I hope to gain new insight as we travel to the community of Awra Amba and learn about their egalitarian society.

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The Margie K. and Louis N. Cohen Center for Jewish Life
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