Elizabeth Kelley, who lives in Bellevue, Washington, has been involved with Arete since its founding.
As a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria from April 2003 to June 2005, she taught English and helped to plan and implement Zaedno Napred, the Roma camp, during the summer of 2004. Working on the camp was one of her most rewarding experiences in Bulgaria because it gave her a strong sense of hope for the future of the country and the region as she saw youth leaders strengthen their skills and gain confidence. She came home knowing that she wanted to find a way to remain involved in the camp.
During the planning process for Zaedno Napred, Elizabeth came to understand how difficult it is to find in-country funding for such camps year after year. She believes that in addition to helping keep the camps going, Arete provides a powerful opportunity for Americans to make a real difference in the lives of students by helping them get to camp. In turn, students gain a sense of responsibility and an understanding that what they learn at camp has some context in the wider world.
Elizabeth currently teaches fifth grade. You can contact her at email@example.com.