Teen Travel Network
Meet Our Team
With almost two decades of experience overseeing, supporting and facilitating GLA programs all over the world, Jessica (Jess) is excited for the opportunity to help lead Teen Travel Network, a travel program for the next generation where teens can build authentic relationships with the places they explore and practice their independence by learning from the pros and local guides.
Jess has always been a passionate advocate for leadership development and initiating personal change; she is proud to be a first generation college graduate. Her passion for international education and social entrepreneurship stems from various experiences studying, living and working abroad–this path led her to join the founders at Global Leadership Adventures and Terra Education in 2007, ignited by the mission of the organization and its relationship to the African Leadership Academy.
She is a graduate of Oregon State University, where she studied history, anthropology and Spanish. She believes in the genuine inspiration and transformation of the next generation through authentic, international learning experiences. Jess currently lives in San Diego with her husband, two sons Adryan and Kieryan, and their leopard gecko Sunny.
Director of Programs
Mary, our Director of Programs, believes that learning and travel go hand in hand. Mary initially studied to be a high school math teacher, but quickly discovered that her love for education and working with teens extended outside of the classroom.
Mary began working with Terra Education (the home of all of our wonderful teen summer program brands) in Costa Rica in 2016. Since then she has supported a diverse range of programs and departments, including leading and managing teen travel programs in Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the United States. Community building, youth empowerment, and experiential education, are at the core of Mary’s lifelong passions- which also include writing, learning new languages, and perfecting her guacamole recipe. Mary grew up in California, lived in Costa Rica, and now calls Boston, Massachusetts home. She holds a M.S. in Creative Practice Leadership from Northeastern University.
Admissions & Program Manager
A Chicagoland native, Thomas discovered his love for culture and travel through studying Spanish and French in high school. In college, he studied abroad for a semester in Poitiers, France and another semester in Córdoba, Argentina. Thomas graduated from Saint Louis University in 2018 with majors in Spanish, French, and International Studies and minors in Latin American Studies and Urban Poverty Studies.
After graduation, he moved to Santiago, Chile where he lived for 3 years working with the homeless population and teaching English before joining the TTN team. Thomas recently received his Master’s in International Policy and Development from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.
Becca lives on the coast of North Carolina, calling the beach home for herself. Her fascination and passion for travel and cultural exchange began while attending university, where she studied Spanish and non-profit management.
During her college career, Becca spent a semester in Peru and began traveling and working in the responsible tourism industry, which located her to Tanzania, leading group travel programs for adults. She continued working seasonally after graduating, running programs in the Dominican Republic and Peru for TTN’s sister company, GLA, before joining TTN full-time in 2022.
She fell in love with group travel upon discovering that community can be created anywhere and anytime, regardless of differences in culture or language. Becca hopes to share this sentiment with each traveler who joins the Teen Travel Network.
Andrew is our EU team member. He was born in the UK, and raised in Colombia. He found his love for working with youth from an early age, when he started volunteering at the age of 15, in summer schools, with children of difficult backgrounds. He then returned to his country of birth to further his studies in International Development at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
After graduating with his Bachelor’s degree, he decided to travel the world and has amounted to over 30 countries. He has been in charge of programs of youth learning and integration with the EU Erasmus+ Program and the Belgium Red Cross and is fluent in Spanish and English, Italian, French, and is currently working on learning German as his 5th Language.
Eden is originally from Edwardsville, IL and is fascinated about all things science, nature, and culture. She attended Loyola University Chicago where she received her BS in Anthropology. In 2014 she went to Costa Rica to get her TESOL certification, fell in love with the country and its people, and has lived there ever since.
She spent the last almost 9 years working as an English teacher in elementary schools as well and giving English classes to teenagers and adults in her community. She’s also worked in the tourism industry and is passionate about helping her fellow expats learn Spanish. Eden can do it all, as she not only serves as a TTN Admissions Coordintor, but she has been in the field with TTN as the Local Director for our Costa Rica: The Utimate Adventure trip in 2023!
She has lived in Costa Rica for almost 8 years and is “casi tica” according to her friends and neighbors. In her free time she loves being outside, riding her bike, dancing, spending time with friends and cats Lola and Coco, doing macramé crafts and traveling.
Meet Our Trip Leaders
International Director - Europe: Mediterranean Wanderlust
Cody is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, and did his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida and his graduate work at the University of Georgia. After working for many years in higher education with a focus on supporting first-year and under-represented students’ transition to college, Cody turned his attention to the international field.
He has since led programs in England, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. When not working, Cody is often traveling and backpacking around the globe, and has just completed a 7-month backpacking trip throughout Europe and the Middle East. Cody is very excited to be returning to the GLA family and to be leading an inaugural program with the Teen Travel Network.
International Director - Costa Rica: The Ultimate Adventure
Ryan is originally from Glasgow, Scotland, and is passionate about travelling, volunteering and learning about world cultures. He graduated with an MA in Hispanic Studies and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen in 2015. Ryan has 12 years of experience working with non-profits throughout the Americas and the UK that focus on women’s rights, education, youth
development, leadership and environmental conservation.
Ryan has lived full time in Latin America since January 2016. He currently lives and works in Costa Rica where he teaches High School History and Philosophy at an International School.
In his free time, Ryan enjoys going on hikes with his 2 dachshunds, singing, reading, traveling and having engaging conversations. Ryan’s experience with education informs his belief that young people are best placed to bring about positive change in the world.
Ryan was our International Director for Costa Rica: The Ultimate Adventure in 2023 and led an epic group of travelers around the country.
International Director - Italy: The Signature Experience
Rudy was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and got his degree in Global Studies from Arizona State University. Rudy has been a huge advocate for youth travel to experience the world. He has led endless trips with our sister company Global Leadership Adventures. He shares a passion for youth development & tourism, which has allowed him to work in over 49 countries.
Rudy currently works as a Bilingual Life Coach and aspires to become a national certified coach.
He is more than happy to lead our students this year and continue working with youth from all demographic backgrounds in his 11th season with us.
Local Director - Europe: Cities that Shaped Europe & The STEAM Experience
Marie was raised in Bordeaux, in the South West of France. She worked as a teacher and a humanitarian worker in many different countries such as Cambodia and Costa Rica. She graduated with a Master degree’s in International Affairs at Aix-Marseille University.
She currently lives in Switzerland where she teaches French to foreign children. She loves traveling, discovering new cultures, and meeting new people. She loves to share her knowledge of European languages, histories, and cultures with young people.
Marie was a Local Director with TTN in the summer of 2023, inspiring and guiding two groups through the EU on our Cities that Shaped Europe program and The STEAM Experience.
International Director - Europe: Cities that Shaped Europe & The STEAM Experience
Gina was born and raised in New York City. She has over 10 years of experience leading and training middle and high school students for service and leadership in programs both locally and internationally. She received a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Chatham University in Pittsburgh.
Gina loves to travel and write about her experiences on her travel and lifestyle blog. She has traveled around Europe, Morocco, South America, and has lived in Thailand. Gina currently lives in Marietta, Georgia and is publishing her first children’s book this year. Gina has plenty of experience traveling with groups of teenagers throught Europe and she led 2 amazing groups of travelers through two TTN programs in the summer of 2023, EU: The Cities that Shaped Europe and EU: The STEAM Experience.