MVYLI’s Team 2017
Kristina is a recent graduate from Lasell College, in Newton, Massachusetts with the Master’s of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication. She came to the United States after graduating from LCC International University in Lithuania, with Bachelor’s of Psychology, expecting to learn from the culture that is so young, yet so experienced in the fields that she was curious about.
Kristina comes from a very small post Soviet country in Eastern Europe – Lithuania and belongs to the generation that saw the transformation of the free country and free mind of people. It hasn’t been until she first learned about non-traditional education approaches that she saw a traditional education system to be old-fashioned and not allowing to develop free, dreaming, and open mind of students.
Ever since, Kristina supported non traditional education approaches that led her to work with high school students in running and developing a student operated radio station. She also became a part of a School of Success, which inspired her to look for a better tomorrow and interested her enough to come back as a university student and organize a few events with the organization for local high school students. Volunteer and participatory experience in Global Leadership Summit and Editor-in-Chief position at university’s student newspaper gave Kristina a better understanding of what leadership is and how it can be used as a tool to achieve one’s goals.
Kristina joined the team of MVYLI as a project coordinator and Graphic Designer in 2016 with the desire to share her experiences in the educational journey. She is happy to share her enthusiasm and unstoppable curiosity for the unknown, knowledge of the ‘human mind machine’, determination in chasing the dream, motivation to get out of one’s comfort zone, and experience of the voyage through the land of multiculturalism. Kristina plans to further study graphic design and turn her personal passion for home decoration into sustainable business.
As the Platform Project Coordinator, oversees all aspects of the Institute’s Platform – from design to prototyping with users, then integration with developers. Each week John joins with facilitators working with our youth who are prototyping the Institute’s TouchStone Leaders Planning Tools. This highly personalized process gives our youth a visual image of their personal dreams for their lives, their island and for the world. It has also helps crystallize the various steps of the Institute’s programs: from the Summit, to College Prep Program and Career Mentor & Joh Shadow Day Program. In a very supportive environment with our facilitators and youth, they start seeing themselves becoming their dreams.
John’s childhood dream was to be an inventor, an electrical engineer and live the life of a mad scientist. He wanted to build a proper autonomous robot. He dreamed of starting his own company after college. He wanted to design and make video games and toys and was obsessed with remote controls and hifi gear. In high school John started his first company making floor plans and built a proper robot with two friends designed to clean their rooms. After graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he majored in Electrical Engineering John started a company, ReQuest Inc, that is now 20 years old. In a time where phones had cords and computers talked over phone lines John designed and built their first product, AudioReQuest, in his bedroom which became one of the first MP3 players ever sold. After 13 years at ReQuest expanding into high end Audio and Video storage and commercial digital signage John left to work for the Activision studio Vicarious Visions working on the next generation guitar for Guitar Hero and the magnetic toys for Skylanders: Swap Force. Most recently John fulfilled his final childhood dream and spent 1.5 years biking around the US living in a tent while working on another startup: HearGlass, an improved type of hearing aid built into a pair of glasses.
Throughout John’s entire career and schooling he has been helped along the way by mentors and he has always loved helping friends and family who are starting a business or navigating technical challenges. In joining the Institute John helps today’s youth realize their childhood dreams.
Shawna Brown is MVYLI Project Coordinator with the Career Mentor & Job Shadow Day Program. It is especially wonderful to have her on the MVYLI team, since she was a founding member of the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative. Shawna is among the first alumni to graduate for college: Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland with a Bachelor’s of Science in Counseling Psychology. Shawna graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.
In 2011 Shawna first served as a youth delegate to the MVYLI’s Youth Summit for Sustainable Development. Shawna was an active member in MVYLI’s year round program – attending College Preparatory Workshops and College Field Trips — visiting seven colleges. She participated in MVYLI’s Job Shadow Day at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s operating room and radiology departments with Nurse Manager Barbara Morgan. Shawna’s community service projects included a beach clean up with AmeriCorps members at the Cape Pogue Wildlife Reservation on Chappaquiddick on Martha’s Vineyard. She represented MVYLI at the Bioneers by the Bay Conference in New Bedford with 1,000 youth from New England and the Cape & Islands Youth Congress in Barnstable. In 2012 Shawna served as a MVYLI Visioneer helping to organize the Summit and helping train younger students to reach for their dreams. In 2016, Shawna served as Project Coordinator for the Institute’s 12th Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development.
Shawna is proud of her Jamaican roots and shares them with island youth at the Summit and MVYLI’s programs. Marie Allen sponsored Shawna to attend the Dr. King Dinner and receive a NAACP Junior Membership. For her MVYLI Sustainability-In-Action Project, she helped create the Cultural Health Project that involved a site visit to The Food Project in Boston and an intensive workshop with Marsha Reeves-Jews. In conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, Shawna inspired seniors at the Tisbury Senior Center with the Cultural Health Project.
While at Washington Adventist University, Shawna Brown participated in “Service Day,” a community outreach program in which she provided assistance to the less fortunate members of the community in the Maryland/Washington, DC area. In 2016 Shawna organized MVYLI’s Community Service at Windemere.
Shawna interned at Washington Adventist Hospital in the rehabilitation department where she provided counseling to patients facing major challenges due to abuse, addiction, and more. After gaining her Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Shawna plans to work at a rehab hospital and eventually create her own practice.
Marianne is the Founding Director of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute and the author of educational series Stone Soup for the World: Life-Changing Stories of Everyday Heroes and education curriculum. The Institute’s unique model is impacting young people in island, rural and urban communities to change their lives & their world. This model is the foundation for the Institute’s 8 youth-community leadership initiatives on 7 islands in 3 countries and inner cities of Holyoke, Oakland, Baltimore, Cincinnati. www.soup4worldinstitute.com
For its 20th Anniversary, The Institute is launching the TouchStone Leaders platform to scale our work globally. A curious student of Design Thinking, Marianne embraced its principles into the Platform prototype.
The Institute’s Facilitator Certificate Program will train millennials to catalyze innovative partnerships, collaborative action to address local-global challenges. Over the years Marianne trained numerous millennials to become local Project Coordinators, transforming the lives of young people in their communities. These millennials inspired her to develop the TouchStone Leaders Platform to connect them, reinforcing their combined strength to build a humane, sustainable world. Grounded in the Institute’s Education Curriculum, empowered by its innovative training and technologically connected, this Community catalyzes projects and start up social entrepreneurs with major impact. www.touchstoneleaders.com
Marianne is a life-long learner whose innovative education allowed her the freedom to design her own undergraduate degree with the Rudolf Steiner International Training Center in Aberdeen, Scotland. She received her MBA in Organizational Development at Boston University. Marianne’s management/leadership development experience encompasses a wide range – from corporate executives with Wilson Learning Management Systems to lifestyle coach, professional mentor to women and young and emerging leaders. Working intimately with the next generation of leaders gives her hope for our collective future.
With deep New England roots, Marianne lived in the Bay Area during her corporate consulting career where she developed national corporate social responsibility initiatives and public private partnerships in education and economic development. A world traveler, Marianne has visited 41 islands, living only on islands for 20 years.