ERIK WERNER

Erik Werner, Director of Youth Engagement
Erik Werner
Director of Youth Engagement

During elementary school I had a life-changing opportunity to live with my family in Cali, Colombia. That experience not only awakened a fascination with language and culture but a deep questioning of why so many are born into poverty and how we can help break the cycle. I was taught at an early age that we should do our best to 'lift up' our fellow humankind and in order to do so we need to better understand each other's cultures.

After earning a B.A. from Caroll College in International Studies and Spanish, I volunteered with the Peace Corps in a small Quechua-speaking village in the province of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Following the Peace Corps I pursued a Masters in Education from the University of Washington and then taught Middle and High School Spanish and ESL for several years. My passion for working with youth led to guiding summer community service travel programs for teenagers in Costa Rica. After spending 20 years of combined experience as a Trip Leader, Country Director, Office Administrator, and Co-Owner of Global Works, I assume the position of Director of High School Programs with Cross-Cultural Solutions, I believe it's all come full circle as the CCS-Squads Abroad model provides opportunities for middle and high school groups to delve deeper into cultures while performing impactful volunteer work that improves the health and educational outcomes of youth organizations around the world.

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During elementary school I had a life-changing opportunity to live with my family in Cali, Colombia. That experience not only awakened a fascination with language and culture but …

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