Meet the Team

The members of this team will be coming together from six different countries to work on houses in a village of Conghua, China. Team members range in age from 16 to 60+, with a wonderful variety of life experiences- read on for more details!

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Jess Wilson
Beersheva, Israel
Jess is the team leader for this trip, and is very excited to meet each member of what promises to be an excellent team! Jess was born in the US, but is currently in her second year of medical school in Israel in a special MD program focused on global health. Jess has previously lived and worked in Thailand, Uganda, and Guyana, and travels extensively. Ever since she started volunteering with Habitat in 2002, Jess has been hooked! She has lead multiple trips in the US for Habitat’s Youth Programming Department, has lead one other Global Village trip, to Cambodia. Other than medicine, travel, and Habitat, Jess also loves music- she plays the flute in her city orchestra as well as with smaller chamber groups at the university. She is looking forward to learning about a new culture and facilitating a great experience for the team!

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Juan Pablo Venegas
Hometown: Santiago de Chile
Currently living in Shanghai, China
Pablo has been studying an MBA in Shinghai for the past three months and plans to keep living there for several years more. He calls China home today, but before he has lived in three different countries throughout his life (Chile, Mexico, France). He enjoys traveling and local cuisine, having savored dishes in more than 25 countries on 3 continents, although he is still unable to cook any of them for himself. He is the big brother of two siblings in a loving family of 5, but currently has no family of his own. This is his first Global Village trip and he is eager to start building and getting to know the team.

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Liliana Alcantara
Arlington, Virginia, USA
Lili is a senior in high school. She is thinking of studying nursing in college and would love to go to school overseas. In her free time she likes dancing, boxing, volunteering and hanging out with friends. She loves to travel and has been to Honduras, Morocco, Spain, and Italy. She did some volunteer work in orphanages in Honduras when she was 16 and thought it was an eye-opening experience. She has never volunteered for Habitat for Humanity before but is excited to experience a different culture, work hands on, and help others all at the same time!

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Mark Clarke
Joliet, Illinois, USA
Hi, I’m Mark Clarke. I am from Joliet, Illinois(near Chicago) but grew up in the Washington D.C. / Northern Virginia area. I am a retired public school Social Studies teacher who is currently teaching U.S. History, U.S. Government, and Psychology full time at Joliet Catholic Academy. I coach two sports: basketball and cross-country. I enjoy reading, walking and running. I have three grown daughters and two grandchildren. This is my second ‘build’ for HFH – the first was in Malawi, Africa. I am looking forward to this adventure, learning about the Chinese culture, and meeting my fellow team workers.

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Jannie Lam
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Jannie is an accounting student at the University of Waterloo, who is pursuing a minor in human resource management. She has a younger sister and enjoys spending time with her family. In her spare time, she loves to dance and go for morning jogs. This will be her second time in China since her last visit 15 years ago. This will also be her first time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and she is looking forward to meeting new people. She is very excited about the upcoming trip and can’t wait to embark in the adventure that awaits her in China.

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Kim Larkins
Los Angeles, California, USA
Kim is a pharmacist by training and currently focuses on Strategy and Planning in R&D at Amgen, a biotech drug company. Kim is originally from Ohio, a fan of Ohio State football, likes any outdoor adventure, and loves to travel. She has been active with Habitat for more than 3 years and spends much of her free time with Habitat as a Crew Lead on Saturdays and as Chairperson of the BOD for her local affiliate. She has participate in two Global Village trips – to Alaska and South Africa – and is looking forward to this trip to China.

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John Gilding
Chandler, Arizona, USA
John recently retired from the Federal Aviation Administration after a 30 year career in Air Traffic as a controller, supervisor and manager. John’s hobbies are travel, photography and thoroughbred horse racing. This will be his second Global Village project; having previously worked on a GV project in Cambodia. He is looking forward to this next project in China and meeting new friends.

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Dee Milne
New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Dee is a Middle School Art Teacher. She loves the outdoors biking, kayaking, running, snowboarding and basketball. She has travelled and lived, worked and volunteered in many countries throughout Asia, Africa and Europe and loves learning new languages and about other cultures. She has previously lived in China but this is her first time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

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Dana Shin
Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
The China trip will be my third build with GV; the first was in Gurgo, Hungary (2007), and the second in Siem Reap, Cambodia (2010). I work for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office as a patent examiner issuing patents on pharmaceutical/biotech inventions. I love to travel, read, and play the piano/cello.

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Tarek Kholoussy
Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, USA                                                My friends call me TK. They also call me a nomad. Whether for work or pleasure (or both!), I feel lucky to have lived in and traveled to lots of places but feel mostly at home in New York City – one of the greatest cities on earth (okay, I’m biased but many folks do agree!). A few years ago, I had the chance to live abroad in London where I no doubt caught the travel bug. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed nothing more than seeking adventurous opportunities to immerse myself in fascinating cultures and become friends with interesting people from around the globe. Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program seems like the perfect avenue to take what I love to do to the next level -by helping others in a meaningful way. Can’t wait!

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Meghan Mulvenna
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Meghan is currently serving as a Special Education Coordinator for a wonderful non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Previously she worked extensively with children with Autism, and continues to be interested in this population. She has lived abroad in both the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean and Thailand. In addition to travel, she enjoys writing, being in nature, and practicing meditation. She has volunteered on a number of Habitat projects in the States and this is her first Global Village trip. She is looking forward to meeting you all in China!

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Cindy Boggs
Illinois, USA
I live in a small suburb 27 miles west of Chicago and am a Program Manager at Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago hoping to retire within a year or so.  My spare time is spent bicycling, working locally with HfH, on the Board of Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue, and chair the Environmental Concerns Commission in the village where I live.

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Kamlu Jassem
Dubai, UAE
Hi, my name is Kamalini Jassem. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist. I also have a Masters in Autism. Currently, I am working in a Centre for Children with Special Needs. I love traveling, reading videography. This is my first ‘build’ and I am really looking forward to it.

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Hydros Jassem

Dubai, UAE
My name is Hydros Jassem. I sell air fresheners among other things. I would like to do the best I can to make this world a better place. The only volunteer work I have done was when I was in school and I never forgot how good it felt. I have traveled quite a bit and love traveling and meeting people, learning about new cultures. My travel keeps reminding me how little I know. I love to listen to music and watch movies. This will be the first experience with GV and H4H. I hope this is the beginning of better things to come. Looking forward to help in every way I can!

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Namitha Jassem
Dubai, UAE
Namitha just graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a degree in aerospace engineering and a minor in French. She’s currently working in Dubai while applying to masters programs in wildlife conservation. She loves to travel, cook for family and friends, listen to music, and be outdoors. This will be her first experience with Habitat for Humanity and she can’t wait for it!

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Abhijit Jassem
Dubai, UAE
I’m a high school senior in Dubai. I plan to study in the United States. I am a huge fan of hard rock and metal music and I play three instruments. I also love reading and always carry several books when I travel. I’ve never volunteered for anything like this before but I’m really looking forward to the experience.

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