“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." -Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
Andrew first found his passion for teaching by tutoring middle school students at the beginning of his high school career. His passion for teaching grew from there to a more comprehensive goal of meeting all of a students' needs. He came to understand, as Project Rousseau now tells its students and extended community, that academic problems rarely have academic causes. Beyond the classroom, he was eager to expose students to all of the knowledges, qualities, and skill sets- altruism and compassion for others, cultural awareness and exposure, self-confidence, study skills, etc. - that he feels are most important. Project Rousseau has grown out of these desires, and he continues to be inspired by the progress of our students.
Andrew holds degrees from Columbia University and Oxford University.
Beth Thorne - Chief of Staff
"There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience" Archibald MacLeish
Beth first joined Project Rousseau as part of the 2015 Oxford summer internship. She was immediately drawn to the internship because it presented her with the opportunity to use her organization skills to make a difference and address educational inequality. Beth now focuses on our Broadening Horizons and Community Service pillars as she feels particularly strongly that these elements are key to our students' development.
Beth recently graduated from Oxford University (BA Human Sciences) and in the future she hopes to have an impact in the education sector. Beth is a huge sports fanatic - she played varsity cricket, captained the college hockey team and also played netball, Eton fives and tennis.
Alycia Bouchard - Program Director
“There is reason to believe that people everywhere can lift themselves up, but they have to be given tools to do so. We can only open doors so that they can walk through them.” - Jacqueline Novogratz
Having spent many summers as a camp counselor, Alycia was excited by the opportunity to continue working with youth when a Project Rousseau chapter started at Vanderbilt in 2014. She was inspired by the way Project Rousseau was opening doors for its students with its multitude of programs, and became a proud mentor and later, chapter president.
Alycia graduated from Vanderbilt University with majors in Political Science and Human and Organizational Development. On campus, she was also involved in Vanderbilt Social Ventures and served on the executive board of her sorority. Alycia is particularly interested in comparative and international education and is a firm believer in the power of education as a force of positive change in communities across the globe.
Sam Cordner - Student Support Coordinator
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
Sam is a rising junior at Columbia University majoring in Political Science and French.
After meeting Andrew early in his freshmen year Sam was keen to get further involved with Project Rousseau. Since then, Sam has worked with us as an intern both during the summer and academic year. Sam has been extensively involved in supporting individual students, including those who are returning to education or undergoing particularly difficult personal circumstances.
Sam is an alum of the Sutton Trust US Program and a member of the Columbia University cycling team and Columbia Pops Orchestra.
Alejandro Zarate - Regional Director
"My desire to help stems from the idea that true progress only occurs when we all grow and learn together."
Alejandro first joined Project Rousseau in the spring of 2013 as Chapter President of The City College Chapter in New York City. Having such a unique ability to connect to our students and motivate our volunteers we begged him to stay with us and join our team as a Regional Director. Alejandro now manages 5 of our Chapters.
Alejandro holds a degree from The City College of New York having majored in Biology and minoring in Theatre. He is working towards becoming a health professional, catering to the needs of an ageing population. As an undergraduate, he was a first responder in CCNY's volunteer EMS squad. He also held a leadership position in the Golden Key Honors Society chapter.
Anoosha Moturu - Regional Director
"Project Rousseau's focus on a holistic approach to mentorship is what really resonates with me because I believe that experiential learning through special events can create some of the most deep-set and memorable learning environments."
Anoosha joined Project Rousseau in 2014 as Chapter President for Rice University. She is a Cognitive Sciences major and plans to go on to medical school to become a physician. She is also involved in the Classical Indian dance group and an acapella group on campus.
Grace Richardson Banks - Volunteer Consultant
"There are many problems, but I think there is a solution to all these problems; it's just one, and it's education." - Malala
Ever since starting university Grace has been engaged with social mobility and education ventures, both at home in the UK and across India, Burma and Nepal. Having graduated in the summer of 2016, after studying History at Oxford, Grace has continued to work on education projects, as well as working with startups and galleries in London. She stumbled across Project Rousseau while researching renowned education charities and looks forward to being able to work on a more focussed and long term project.
Alistair Somerville - Volunteer Consultant
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Having found that working with young people in new cultural contexts brought out the best in him, Alistair pursued a number of roles in education, both in and outside his native U.K.. As a language assistant and then business English teacher and camp counsellor in Austria he began to develop an individualised approach to help each student exceed their own expectations, which he tried to continue as a primary class teacher in North London after graduating from university. He hopes to bring the value of these experiences, and an interest in and commitment to Project Rousseau's ethos, to the charity and its students.
Alistair has a BA from Oxford University in History and Modern Languages, and a PGCE in Primary Education from University College London. He is an enthusiastic runner and squash player, and captained his college hockey team.
Rosalie Wells - Volunteer Consultant
"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it." - Maya Angelou
Rosalie is passionate about access to university, and is keen to go into either charity work or teaching. She was immediately struck by Project Rousseau’s mission and the effectiveness of the charity, and hopes to build on her background in access work, charity volunteering and marketing.
Rosalie has graduated from Oxford with a BA in English Literature, and spent her time at Oxford working for the charity Just Like Us, being an access ambassador for the English department and as part of the university’s LGBT+ and Women’s Societies.
Susanna O'Brien - Volunteer Consultant
Susanna was most drawn to Project Rousseau's philosophy that academic problems rarely have academic causes. She just finished her Masters in Psychology and Education at the University of Cambridge, where she was interested in gender gaps in attainment, and undertook research on how students think and feel about their academic abilities. She was previously involved in the access efforts of her undergraduate college in Oxford, and is now excited to work more closely with students at Project Rousseau, to help them achieve their ambitions for the future.
Johanna Dalland - Gap Year Fellow
"it was when i stopped searching for home within others / and lifted the foundations of home within myself / i found there were no roots more intimate / than those between mind and body / that have decided to be whole" - Rupi Kaur, milk and honey
Johanna learned about Project Rousseau through the Global Citizenship Programme at her school, Rysensteen Gymnasium, one of Project Rousseau's partner schools in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before starting with Project Rousseau, she participated in various volunteering projects, such as helping refugees with school work and biking with elders. She has been an active member of various clubs in her school, attending Model United Nation conferences and traveling on various exchanges to different parts of the world. These experiences have all developed her belief that knowledge, education, and tolerance are the keys to a safer and better world, something she is excited to promote through Project Rousseau during her gap year.
Johanna wishes to travel around the world and volunteer in less developed countries to improve educational standards. She hopes to pursue a degree in Geography or Architecture, both with a focus on global warming, sustainable solutions, and an international cooperation.