Rebeca Becdach

Hometown: Madison, AL
High School: Randolph School
Tufts 1+4 Location: Madrid, Spain
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Child Development & Education

Rebeca is half Ecuadorian and half Venezuelan, and was born in Chicago. She is passionate about working with children, devoting many of her summers to volunteering as a teacher’s assistant at the Huntsville Museum of Art and as a camp counselor. She was also a math tutor for underserved children as part of her school’s Youth Leadership Council. In addition to her love of creating art, she is dedicated to being active. She played soccer and ran track throughout high school. Her soccer team won two Alabama state championships and she has won multiple medals running track. She hopes to share these passions with the children she works with in Madrid. She is equally interested in psychology and the human brain, and hopes that focusing on child development will give her a new perspective of these fields. A true adventurer, Rebeca loves to travel and experience the outdoors, from the Grand Canyon, to Sweden, to Morocco. She is excited to immerse herself in a new culture, perfect her Spanish, have new experiences, and gain a new perspective on the world, which will make her experience at Tufts all the more meaningful.


Sophia Carroll

Hometown: Nyack, NY
High School: Nyack High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: Santa Catarina, Brazil
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Wildlife Preservation & Environmental Sustainability

Sophia’s bridge year in Brazil will allow her to explore her many interests, from environmental sustainability and food justice to international politics and economics. She was fortunate enough to grow up in Nyack, New York, a diverse and close-knit community, and rowed competitively while contributing to her school newspaper, founding her school’s first Model UN, and participating in an environmental club.  Sophia’s connection to nature was fostered by her experience at summer camp in the Adirondacks. The experience of being without electronics taught her to appreciate her immediate surroundings, and growing and harvesting her own food launched her passion for food justice and curiosity about the source of America’s food and its larger footprint in the world. After participating in a two-week French exchange program with her school, Sophia’s interest in other cultures blossomed. She is excited to be able to both learn and help in another country and experience another culture first-hand.


Jiyoon Chon

Hometown: Mill Creek, WA
High School: Henry M. Jackson High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: Madrid, Spain
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Child Development & Education

Jiyoon was very active as a leader in service throughout high school and is passionate about giving back to the community. Having moved to the United States at a young age and growing up as part of a bilingual, immigrant family, she realized the importance of education, culture, and language. She is also a musician and has played the flute and the piano for most of her life. Jiyoon loves to travel and meet new people and hopes that this Bridge Year experience will allow her to understand different aspects and perspectives of life far away from her home in Seattle. Her volunteer experience has inspired her love for working with children and she is thrilled to serve as a mentor and friend to the children in Madrid. Jiyoon is interested in pursuing pediatrics and knows that her Bridge Year experience will be tremendously helpful in preparing her for her future endeavors.


Erica DeBarge

Hometown: Portland, CT
High School: Portland High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: Madrid, Spain
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Management

As a travel enthusiast, Erica is ecstatic about spending her Bridge Year in Madrid. Her exposure to foreign cultures at a relatively young age resulted in a passion for global citizenship (in addition to a pretty strong sense of wanderlust). Erica is a proponent of social change and hopes to engage this interest while interning in Madrid. She looks forward to working with others to achieve the goals of her organization. She also hopes to expand the leadership skills that she has already acquired from being a Student Senator for four years, an active participant on multiple soccer teams, captain of her high school soccer team her senior year, and a lifeguard at a local pool and summer camp. Erica also hopes to greatly improve her Spanish skills when in Madrid. Her other hobbies include baking, reading, and adventuring. When she returns to Tufts, she plans on majoring in mathematics and/or international relations.


Mateo Gómez

Hometown: Mountain View, CA
High School: Los Altos High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: León, Nicaragua
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Child Development & Education

Mateo has passionately devoted his young life to serving and working with other youth. Whether it be tutoring in subjects like English and math, teaching private music lessons, or even directing a short film that featured an all-child cast, he has benefited greatly from the experience of collaborating with kids from a wide variety of backgrounds. In his free time he enjoys running and practicing the violin and piano. During his Bridge Year, Mateo hopes to use education as a means to empower the kids he works with to pursue their goals. In addition, he is also excited to learn more about his own Nicaraguan heritage, and to explore the country’s vibrant culture. As a Tufts student, Mateo plans to study civil engineering and knows that having had the time during his Bridge Year to explore other areas of interest will make him all the more enthusiastic as a student.


Eugene Henninger-Voss

Hometown: Etters, PA
High School: Red Land High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: Santa Catarina, Brazil
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Arts & Cultural Preservation

Eugene is passionate about most things under the sun.  In high school, he could be found leading the debate team to championships, on quiz bowl teams, or at Science Olympiad competitions. He especially enjoyed his time volunteering off and on stage at a local theater and participating in various honor wind and jazz bands. Eugene’s experiences in the theater and music programs have helped him realize that the arts are an essential part of the human experience and a defining element of culture that often receives far too little attention, respect, and funding. Eugene hopes to help counteract these trends as he immerses himself in the culture of Brazil.


Mikel Quintana

Hometown: Clinton, NY
High School: Clinton Senior High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: Madrid, Spain
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Child Development & Education

Mikel was born in Brooklyn, NY; lived in Melbourne, Australia, for 5 years; and then moved to the village of Clinton in upstate NY. Mikel is a first generation American with a guiding focus on global citizenship. He has family on three continents and has lived in the U.S., Australia, and Ecuador. In high school, Mikel participated in Model UN and multicultural clubs, volunteered at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and was part of his school’s National Honor Society chapter as a senior. During the 2014-2015 school year, Mikel was a Rotary Youth Exchange student to Quito, Ecuador, where he was able to refine his Spanish as well as witness and learn a new and different perspective about global events and cultures. Mikel has plans to study international relations while at Tufts and the Tufts 1+4 Bridge Program will help him to gain international work experience while being of service to those in need.


Evan Robison

Hometown: Wallingford, CT
High School: Choate Rosemary Hall
Tufts 1+4 Location: Madrid, Spain
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Child Development & Education

Evan is passionate about the arts. He has played piano since he was four years old and has been a part of many choral groups throughout his life, as well as a few musical productions. As an older cousin, Evan loves kids and looks forward to spending lots of time with children over the next year. He enjoys traveling and is an avid European soccer fan, as well as a fan of the New England Patriots. He is interested in economics and loves sailing. Throughout the next year, Evan is looking forward to experiencing European culture and bringing his own experiences to his work.


(Maya) Stone

Hometown: Bethesda, MD
High School: Walter Johnson High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: León, Nicaragua
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Sustainable Communities

Stone grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, then moved to Cairo, Egypt, when she was 10 years old. Witnessing the Egyptian revolution sparked her interest in international politics, which led her to join the Global Issues Network Club at her school. She moved back to Maryland for high school, where she joined her school’s theater community, taking acting classes, and becoming a member of the cast and crew in school productions. As well as theater, Stone enjoys doing community service during her free time. Her move abroad and international travel have given her a love of meeting new people and exploring the world. She looks forward to using her passions for environmentalism and community service during her Bridge Year, and plans to study political science at Tufts upon her return.


Sawyer Uecke

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
High School: Ronald Reagan College Prep
Tufts 1+4 Location: León, Nicaragua
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Sustainable Communities

Sawyer is an idea person. He likes creating, debating, or simply talking about ideas with anyone willing to do so. Welcoming all ideas, the spontaneous one of taking a year off between high school and college while traveling to Nicaragua sounded like a great one! As an upcoming student at Tufts University, Sawyer plans on majoring in astrophysics. The desire to be a participant in the renewable energy and sustainable communities service area stems from his love for science as well as his hometown. Sawyer grew up in Milwaukee, where he was faced with many community issues that developed a longing for working to build and grow a better community. Sawyer plans to take the life skills acquired during his Bridge Year to develop a wider perspective of the world. Coinciding with this newfound knowledge, Sawyer hopes to continue his journey with ideas, creating everlasting ones with a purpose of bettering his and others’ surroundings.


Jordyn Voss

Hometown: Great Falls, MT
High School: Charles M Russel High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: Santa Catarina, Brazil
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Education & Training

Jordyn grew up in the middle of Montana. She and her family were always hiking, camping, and since her mother is a music teacher, playing music. She has always loved learning about the history and ecosystem of her area in any way she could, and tends to bombard her family with trivia. Jordyn was the co-founder of her high school’s first-ever gay-straight alliance, and served as concertmaster for her school and local youth orchestras. Her passion for leading and teaching will carry into her work in Brazil, where she will focus on education and training. Jordyn is excited to experience a very new culture and learning style, and looks forward to making some lifelong friends in the process. At Tufts University she will most likely study economics or international relations.


Di Wu

Hometown: Auburndale, MA
High School: Newton North High School
Tufts 1+4 Location: Santa Catarina, Brazil
Tufts 1+4 Service Area: Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Management

Di grew up in Shanghai, China, and moved to the United States in the middle of eighth grade. She is passionate about culture, communication, and photography. In high school, Di was deeply involved with Newton Cultural Affairs as a photographer, and the Newton North High School cross country team as a captain. She wants to take a Bridge Year before dedicating herself to a college education because she is not yet sure what she wants to study in the future. She hopes a Bridge Year will allow her to better understand herself and the world around her. Moving to America from China has made her more independent and mature, and caused her to deeply appreciate the importance of experiencing new things and new cultures. Her goals for the year are to assist at her placement, document all the beauty in life, learn a new language, and better understand herself.