Sarah McGonagle

George Washington University International Affairs, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Philosophy

Sarah spent her childhood living around the world as the child of a U.S. service member and attended high school in southern Spain. She studied international affairs, women, gender, and sexuality studies, and philosophy at the George Washington University with a focus on conflict resolution. Growing up in a variety of different communities fostered her passion for travel and language learning, a wholehearted love of humanity, and a fervent desire to experience as much of the world around her as possible. During college, Sarah advocated for the rights of women and girls working for her school’s Gender Equality Initiative and interning for the South Asia office in the State Department’s Human Rights Bureau, thereby sparking her interest in teaching in Nepal. To educate is the practice of freedom, as bell hooks once wrote; Sarah is looking forward to using her time as a Fulbright scholar to explore how we can use education to make the world a better, kinder, and more loving place for people of all backgrounds, gender identities, and sexualities. She is passionate about increasing civic engagement among minority groups and women, grassroots movements, nonviolence, anti-imperialism, and LGBTQ issues. In her free time, Sarah enjoys playing and listening to music with friends, punk rock, skateboarding, collaging and making zines, writing poetry, and spending as much time outside as possible. She is excited to learn Nepali, engage students through creative arts, make new friends and immerse herself in the community, and experience as much of the beautiful flora and fauna of Nepal as she can. In the future, she hopes to continue teaching and pursue a PhD in women’s, gender, and sexuality or peace studies (or wherever else the wind may take her).

Pemba Sherpa

SUNY Buffalo Bachelor's in Legal Studies and Psychology

Pemba is a native Nepali raised in Queens NY. She graduated with her Bachelor’s in Legal Studies and Psychology from SUNY Buffalo. During her undergraduate studies, Pemba traveled to India and Nepal to work on community development projects which helped her further solidify her interest and passion for working in communities abroad. Post graduation Pemba launched her career and started working in local government focusing on workforce development and social services programs. Now Pemba is thrilled to be able to go back to her second home and connect with students and educators in Nepal through cross-cultural exchange and meaningful conversations with her host community. She is most excited about exploring the rich history, culture, and beautiful landscapes of Nepal. Post Fulbright, she hopes to attend graduate school and study Public Policy with a concentration in International Development and aspires to pursue a career with USAID or various Intergovernmental organizations.

Alexandra Perez

Hawai'i Pacifc University Linguistics

Alexandra was born and raised in Miami, Florida and moved to Honolulu, Hawai’i to study linguistics. Through Hawai’i Pacifc University, she was able to study abroad in Israel and Brazil. While in Rio, she taught community English courses in the community of Cantagalo. Upon returning to and teaching in Honolulu, she realized her interest in decolonizing pedagogies and language preservation. In December of 2018, she graduated with a Bachelor of Art in TESOL- Teaching English to Students of Other Languages.

Growing up in Miami as a second generation Puerto Rican, the diverse foundations of her upbringing are based in the storytelling of family, friends, neighbors and teachers from all over the world. As a teacher and observer in communities where English teaching wasn’t always desired or welcomed, the importance of culturally mindful practices is ingrained in her. Alexandra recognizes the threat of language colonization links Nepal and her island of Puerto Rico, along with many other places, which is one of the many reasons that drew her to this particular ETA program. In Nepal, she is excited to immerse herself in Nepali language and culture. She looks forward to connecting with her host community and hopes to explore Nepal’s linguistic diversity through collaboration with indigenous communities, too. As for the future, she hopes to work as a teacher in Puerto Rico or even pursue a Master’s degree in Language Conservation.”

Haylee Maude

College of Wooster English and Education

Haylee is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from the College of Wooster in 2019 with degrees in English and Education. Shortly after her graduation Haylee joined the Peace Corps, where she taught ELL in North Macedonia for six months. Following a mandatory world-wide evacuation in March of 2020, Haylee returned to Ohio where she taught 5th-7th grade Language Arts at two inner-city public schools in Dayton, Ohio. Haylee is extremely excited to teach ELL once again and is looking forward to learning Nepali and exploring a new country.

Jacqueline Bengtson( Missy)

Rollins College Religious Studies & Anthropology

Jacqueline, who goes by Missy, hails from Concord, New Hampshire, a small and welcoming community to New Americans. Here she developed passions for cross cultural appreciation, languages, and interfaith dialogue growing up with peers from all over the world. Upon graduating high school, she embarked on a gap year to Nepal, where she took classes in religion, Nepali language, and Ayurvedic science. She continued to pursue her interests at Rollins College majoring in Religious Studies and Anthropology with minors in Middle East and North African Studies and Jewish Studies. She took Sanskrit and Arabic throughout college, and studied Arabic abroad in Jordan. After graduation, Missy was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship to study Urdu in Lucknow, India. Over the years, she has worked as an ELL tutor and with local and international NGOs supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

Missy is honored to serve as a Fulbright ETA in Nepal, an aspiration of hers for over ten years. Missy believes that language and cultural exchange foster mutual understanding and acceptance—an impetus for her role as an ETA. She is hopeful for the lessons she will learn from this opportunity while celebrating our multicultural world with her students and the Nepalese community. In the future, she hopes to become a Social Worker or Anthropologist supporting religious communities, New Americans in the US, and refugees internationally. In her free time, Missy enjoys reading, cooking new recipes, and spending time in nature and with loved ones.

Julia Henke

Brown University Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Julia’s path to Nepal began in many places – in the German-American home in which she was raised, at the World Affairs Seminar where she first met Nepali students, and in the classrooms, gymnasiums, and workshops where she’s grown as a teacher and mentor in the decade leading up to becoming a Fulbrighter. Raised for five years in Germany and the subsequent years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Julia began to appreciate the complexity of learning and teaching language from a young age. The combination of her passions for science and teaching helped create an appreciation for how having diverse experiences can enhance all aspects of life, from engineering design to classroom engagement. Julia was awarded her Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University in 2022, and she is thrilled to be moving forward on her journey of learning through the English Teaching Assistantship Fulbright in Nepal, bringing all that she has learned about teaching to a community which in turn will undoubtedly teach her so much.”