Our amazing team is truly at the heartbeat of our organization and what makes us thrive. Each with a distinct background, our team members are able to come together with different areas of strength and expertise to deliver a well-rounded, unique experience. The following team members work tirelessly to guarantee the trip is safe, enjoyable and inspiring.
While we are based in Jamaica, we have several team members operating from abroad. While we may have different country codes and accents, we share in the same mission and vision. Having come on this program before, these team members have the knowledge and clear understanding of what the trip is like from start to finish. Thus, they are able to speak to Parents /students from firsthand experience and give us feedback from the perspective of a past participant on our program.
Omar is an expert in the service based learning and travel industry having mastered the ropes of international volunteering through his family-owned and operated business over the past 15 years. Combining his love of travel and adventure, he uses his vibrant philanthropic spirit to support local Jamaican communities in need. His Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, paired with his extensive experience in the field has prepared him for being proficient in the development of youth programming and the recruitment of volunteers from around the world . In early 2014 he was invited to join the Richard Branson Centre for Entrepreneurs, a distinguished group of Caribbean business leaders.
Holding a Master’s Degree in Social Work and having been in the teaching field for many years, Nicole has an extensive knowledge of learning development and training, as well as a therapeutic approach that is helpful in reaching out to community members, volunteers and everyone in between. Having traveled extensively, Nicole has found an unparalleled feeling of belonging in Jamaica. She hopes to channel her passion for travel, education, and advocacy to younger students who embark on a journey with Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions.
A distinguished graduate from John Hopkins University and professor at the University of the West Indies, Dr. Abel has been a consultant to the Jamaican government and Caribbean Community for a number of years. Having been instrumental in formulating many policies related to health and mental health that have benefited Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, we are so pleased to have him as a part of our team. He is an expert in strategizing information related to our organization and also in optimizing through constraints.
Community Relations Ambassador & Media Specialist- As a faculty chaperone on a service trip, we not only found Brianna’s warm personality and infectious smile to be a reassuring presence to the students, we noticed an expansive set of skills. Her background in communications was evident in encapsulating the essence of each day in the daily blog she wrote for her students’ families, friends and other faculty at the school. She also is a skilled photographer, finding it seemingly effortless to capture very poignant, candid moments whenever she has the camera in hand. In her role as community relations ambassador, Brianna is able to take her knowledge and love for Jamaica and transfer it to other students abroad, giving them information from the perspective of Alum and comfortably guiding through the recruitment process.
Damion masters the art of agriculture having been a farmer in rural Jamaica for the past 5 years. He has a broad background and has worked with an array of crops. Growing up in Manchester, he excels at community relations and is a trusted source for maintaining and establishing partnerships. He is also very ambitious; when he is not on the farm, Damion can be found studying accounting. He chose to enter this field of study not only to broaden his skill set, but also help him plan and maximize his resources on his farm.
Monique is the principal travel agent for Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions and is a leader in the field of tourism and travel. She has the critical role of booking all flights for our organization. Monique excels at optimizing the best travel times, orchestrating special travel arrangements, and handling any and all claims. In her over ten years in the tourism industry, she has encountered nearly ever challenge conceivable and has demonstrated the ability to navigate and quickly problem solve to rectify these situations. We are so appreciate to have her on or team as she supplies a reassurance in this the area and makes clients feel at ease.
A JVE alum, Michael has returned to be part of our team after exemplifying the role of chaperone overseeing 2 service trips. Michael has perfect energy and style for being a trip leader as he has extensive background as a high school educator. This is apparent in watching him interacting with students and also the locals. He has remarkable way of building rapport and everyone naturally gravitates to his fun, easy going personality. His love for sports and experience in sports coaching makes him an invaluable asset in developing our Sports for Social Change Program.
Betsy Wilkins has come to our program with a diverse skill set. She holds a Masters of Education Degree and has over 20 years’ experience working in the teaching field in a number of capacities. Not only does she have classroom teaching experience, she also was responsible for oversight and consultation of a number of Special Education Initiatives set forth by the Ministry of Education of Jamaica. Ms. Wilkins has a love for the Blue Mountains and affinity for gardening and farming provides great synergy for her amazing cooking skills.
Jaedon is a trained Marine Biologist having received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the West Indies in 2013 and is a certified PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor. He has been an integral part of a marine biodiversity initiative and sanctuary project here in Jamaica, assisting in the coordination of awareness, enforcement, monitoring and conservation activities. Jaedon has spent long periods of time on the islands of the coast of Jamaica, the Cays, interacting with the fishing community and earning their trust. He has the essential responsibility of coordinating the activities on these islands.
Llewelyn is a trained Marine Biologist and Fisheries Specialist who studied at the University of the West Indies. Additionally, he is trained and certified as a PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor and Dive Emergency Management Provider and currently employed with the Jamaica Environment Trust as the Conservation Director. He has a wide range of professional experience that makes him a valuable asset to our organization. As a former high school biology teacher, he uses his background and the University’s marine labs, to administer field trips for high school students in the marine environment for the past eight years.
Cheryl’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing has given her solid background and understanding of the tourism domain. Having over 20 years’ experience in this field, she demonstrates her expertise as she is a certified trainer in the hotel and tourism sector. In this role, she is responsible for not only teaching the regulations as they relate to this area, and but also transmitting the high standard of exemplary service she models in her business. Cheryl enjoys meeting new people of diverse backgrounds and learning about different cultures and traditions.
Patsy exemplifies what it means to be a grassroots community leader. Her wonderful, inviting spirit is apparent upon first meeting her. She has over 20 years’ experience in the tourism industry having background working in the rustic, backpacking area of Negril and beyond. Anyone and everyone who meets Patsy, view her to be a respected community leader
Maureen Wright-Evans boasts many years of experience and skills in the business sector. She was influenced to turn her attention to the volunteer service industry because she was greatly affected by the sponsorship and philanthropy of a Canadian couple when she was just 12 years old. She is a woman with an indomitable spirit and is a determined and fierce competitor with a strong passion and will to succeed. Thus, it is no surprise she excels at sales and program development related to the service and student travel industry.
Who knows Jamaica better than a Jamaican? Our local team comes equipped the knowledge of the community and culture to provide the most authentic Jamaican experience as possible all while ensuring a lasting impression on the communities being served.