We wouldn’t be able to make the YUGA Leadership Summit the fun, enriching experience that it is without our expert staff. Check out the backgrounds and bios of the staff from the 2012 Summit. This list will be updated once we’ve hired our staff for the 2013 Summit.
Note: This list does not include the many international Plan staff and development professionals who join us as chaperones, or the speakers and workshop leaders who teach and talk to our youth participants at the Summit. We convene an entire community in order to deliver an amazing Summit!
Laura Brazee, Youth Engagement Manager
Laura manages the Youth Engagement team at Plan and has been at the YUGA Summit for three years. She recently returned from Johannesburg, South Africa where she worked with human rights defenders all over the world and learned to drive on the other side of the road! Her goal is to train thousands of young people (just like you!) how to be advocates and agents of change that make this world a better place for youth. She’s addicted to seltzer water and hummus.
Dounia Bredes, Youth Outreach Coordinator
Dounia manages the outreach and marketing of the Youth Engagement team at Plan, where she works to turn “slacktivism” into “activism.” She hails from a small town in Vermont, but spent a life-changing semester studying abroad in Dakar, Senegal, and now hopes to put her skills (and her Anthropology degree) to work in helping young people make change for themselves and their communities.
Tracy Allen, Senior Staff
Tracy, a middle school guidance counselor in Massachusetts, has enjoyed a long relationship with Plan and YUGA. She is an active volunteer in her community and encourages her students, and those around her, to also lend a helping hand to those in need. While her knowledge of all things pop culture is beyond belief, Tracy also enjoys bragging about her nephews and directing middle school musicals. Her true spark comes from working with young global active citizens who like to dance and want to make a difference in the world.
Mike Raftree, Senior Staff
Mike currently works for the New York University School of Medicine where he slaves away doing cancer research and enjoys teaching molecular biology courses as an adjunct professor. Originally from the farmlands of Indiana, he now lives in the big bad borough of Brooklyn with his beautiful partner Julie and their big bad Rottweiler named Breukelen. Mike loves stepping out of the world of science each summer to work as a YUGA counselor where he meets amazing, empowered youths who have a passion for engaging in important global social issues.
Allegra Marra, Senior Staff
Allegra is a junior at Clark University in Massachusetts, where she studies International Development and Social Change. She was born and raised in “Little Rhody” (Rhode Island) and has been a part of YUGA for 7 years! She is currently preparing to spend a semester studying abroad in Namibia and South Africa where she hopes to learn how to make effective social change. She is also an avid cat lover.
Samir Shah, Junior Counselor
Samir is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he studies Psychology, and after he graduates, he is planning on going to Medical School. He was born and raised in sunny Southern California, so Philly is a long way from home. He loves working with kids and volunteers at local West Philly elementary and junior high schools. He also produces his own electronic music. Samir has been involved with YUGA for 4 years.
Maame Yankah, Junior Counselor
Maame is an Economic Development major at the Templeton Honors College of Eastern University in Pennsylvania. When she is not at school, she spends her time catching up on the TV show “Scandal.” She is also a proud youth ambassador for Plan International USA and 10X10. After college, she hopes to return to her native country, Ghana, and work to promote the betterment of her community and her country as a whole.
Caitlin Indermaur, Junior Counselor
Caitlin is a sophomore at Clark University in Massachusetts, where she is pursuing a self-designed major in Photography, Filmmaking, and Social Change. She was born and raised in Kansas and moved to Rhode Island in high school (we're not in Kansas anymore Toto!). Caitlin is an avid music lover and sings in two bands. She also runs a photography business, taking pictures of the New England music scene. She's been involved in YUGA for 5 years!