CBOB's managers open up about their jobs and love for CBOB.
From workshops every month, to weekly tutoring, to international Bound for Peace trips, running Children Beyond Our Borders is not an easy task. Here’s a closer look at the team who makes it all work behind the scenes.
Marian Segura: Student Chapter Coordinator
Marian is a student at the University of Florida where she is studying Communication Disorders. She is Pre-Med and hopes to one day be a Pediatric Surgeon. As Student Chapter Coordinator, her responsibilities include making sure all the chapters (UF, UCF, AND FSU) are in constant communication with the Nonprofit Organization, Inc. All the chapters have different expectations for each semester, and she works to help them achieve these goals. Something you might not know about her is that she was born in Cuba, and her Hispanic heritage is one of the reasons she feels so connected to this organization.
Juan Leon: Volunteer Coordinator
Juan is a second-year student at the University of Florida where he is studying Biomedical Engineering. He first got involved with CBOB through VIP (Volunteer Internship Program) and loved it so much that he is now one of our managers! Juan is originally from Ecuador, having immigrated to the US at the age of 13, and has a passion for helping those in his same shoes. As Volunteer Coordinator, Juan’s responsibilities include overseeing the workshops at UCF and UF, running the tutoring events, and also managing the Health Initiatives branch of CBOB, including our free pediatric community clinic. A fun fact about Juan is that he has been playing classical guitar for the past three years and is actually minoring in Music Performance.
Shana Call: Operations Director
Shana first got involved with CBOB during her senior year at the University of Florida, where she began as the grant writing intern. One of her favorite experiences from her time with CBOB is working at the monthly workshops. “They all have different personalities and needs but ultimately we find a way to get a positive reaction from them which makes our work worthwhile,” says Shana. As Operations Director, her responsibilities include directing VIP. She is very involved, making sure the interns are not overwhelmed, get the support they need, and are making their respective departments as successful as can be. When she’s not busy with CBOB, her favorite hobby is creative writing.
Melissa Moreno: Creative Director
Originally from Miami, Melissa came to the University of Florida in 2015 and is graduating this upcoming December with a degree in Public Relations. She first got involved with CBOB this summer as one of the public relations interns. She worked her way up to Creative Director, where her responsibilities now include overlooking all the PR campaigns of the organization and maintaining CBOB’s branding and mission. For Melissa, one of her most memorable CBOB experiences was the Summer Retreat, where she got to meet and bond with the whole team. Outside of CBOB, Melissa just got a new puppy named Stella, and as Melissa says, she is “the cutest thing alive!”
Teagan Murphy: Mentorship Director
Teagan is a third-year student at the University of Florida majoring in Family, Youth & Community Sciences with a minor in Nonprofit Organizational Leadership. She has a passion for fighting societal inequalities and social injustices through nonprofit work, which is clearly reflected in both her major and involvement with CBOB. Teagan first got involved through VIP as the fundraising intern during fall 2015. She was promoted to Mentorship Director after she developed the College Prep Mentoring Program, which helps low-income students in Gainesville and Orlando prepare for college. Her responsibilities now also include overseeing the IAMCBOB Scholarship Program and managing the professional development activities for our scholars in Colombia. As if all of her work for CBOB in Florida is not enough, Teagan served on the Bound for Peace trip to Cartagena, Colombia in May 2016.
“Through this trip, I was able to work with a group of incredible, fun-loving kids and create long-lasting bonds with both fellow BFP volunteers and local volunteers from the area we served. The trip left such an impact on me that the following year I went back to Cartagena on my own to visit the kids I met and the friends I made while volunteering. During this return trip, I was also able to attend our first scholar's college graduation celebration, and meet our four other scholars from Medellin who were in town for the celebration. I had an incredible time catching up with old friends and making new ones!”
Endrina Fernandez: Director of Service Trip Program
Endrina was born in Venezuela and is a University of Florida Gator. She first got involved with CBOB in 2015 when she participated in a service trip to Cartagena for two weeks. She returned with a love for CBOB and decided to dedicate more of her time to the organization. Now, as Director of the Service Trip Program, she is responsible for all Bound For Peace trips, the very trip she first got started with. Her favorite experience so far has been connecting with all the children on the service trip. While in Cartagena, she connected with the kids and shared many amazing experiences with them, and they even taught her a dance! Not only did she love spending time with the kids, but had a great time exploring the city as well.
"Cartagena has beautiful scenery and culture, which made it overall an unforgettable experience. Joining Cartagena BFP trip is what motivated me to come back to CBOB and do more. Each kid has a way of demonstrating genuine friendship and appreciation that touches your heart, as cliche as that may sound," says Endrina.
Andrea Ortega: Executive Director
Andrea is currently pursuing her PhD in Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. She is happily married and is expecting her first child, Gaby, very soon! As Executive Director, she has major influence on the team. Her responsibilities include making sure everyone is communicating, and stepping in to solve any issues that arise. She says that if it was not for her amazing team, her job would be way harder.
CBOB has impacted Andrea's life in more ways than one: she actually met her husband on a CBOB trip in 2012! She first got involved with CBOB back in 2009. When she heard there was an organization that allowed you to travel and help kids in Colombia, she was instantly attracted to the program. Since then, she has traveled on a total of 5 Bound for Peace trips! She has not only learned so much about patience and resilience on these trips, but she believes that they have made her a better person overall as well. Her trips have left her with so many memories, some leaving lasting impressions. So many inspiring moments happen in Bound for Peace trips, but one of her favorite stories to tell occurred on a trip to Medellin, Colombia. The members of the trip raised enough money to buy blankets for every single child at a home in Medellin, about 80 kids.
"So, the story is that they planned the best tuck-in night ever, they all helped them eat their snacks, read them bedtime stories, tucked each child in and gave them a kiss goodnight before leaving the home. One child started crying and the volunteer asked 'Why are you crying?' and he said 'Because no one has ever tucked me in before.' I bawled that night, literally everything changed in me when and even my relationship changed with my parents," said Andrea.
Gina Castaño: Development Director
Gina was born in Cali, Colombia and is both a board member and Development Director for CBOB. In addition to CBOB, she is a Teach for America Corps member, teaches a third-grade class in Orlando, is a salsa dancer, Zumba instructor, vegetarian, and human rights activist. As Development Director, her job has led to a talented team of bright interns. She is in charge of work such as partnering with local businesses to host fundraisers, meeting with potential donors, writing the 5-year plan, and more!
She first heard of CBOB during her freshman year at the University of Florida. She is always looking for ways to visit and work in her native Colombia, so the Bound for Peace trips were the perfect opportunity for her. She describes both trips as “incredible and memorable” and says that it is difficult to describe her amazing experiences without crying. She even has “Bound for Peace” tattooed on her collar bone!
A fun fact about her is that she has a 30 under 30 goal: to visit 30 countries before she turns 30. She has three years left and just 9 countries to go!