PROJECT SOAR STAFF
Olivia DiNucci is an American Peace Corps Morocco Youth Development Volunteer who served her first two years in Essaouira and will be extending her Peace Corps service for a third year as the Project Soar Field Manager. Programming around women and girls in promoting equal opportunity and education is where she focused her energy and alongside Moroccan counterparts she implemented projects including Healthy Lifestyles Workshops for Women, Girls Media Training, Girls Leading Our World Camp, as well as assisting her host mom in starting a small cooking class business, Khadija's Kuzina. Prior to Morocco studied Political Communications at Emerson College where she also played basketball. She worked for World Learning International Youth Exchange Programs, the Wisconsin State Senate and the UN World Food Program. She volunteered at Project Soar and was immediately attracted to the girls, the mission and the potential of the organization.
Jaouad Gajja is the English teacher at Project Soar. He was born and grew up in Marrakech. He got his BA in Linguistics at the University Caddy Ayyad in Marrakech and has since been teaching English and Arabic in several schools. At the moment, he teaches English at the Madrasa for language and culture in Marrakech. Jaouad started volunteering at Project Soar in March 2016 before becoming a regular staff member. In his free time, he creates visual lessons and learning infographics. At Project Soar he loves the idea of empowering girls by educating and coaching them. He believes that Project Soar is something that is needed all over Morocco
Natalie Opocensky came across Project Soar during her workaway in Marrakech 2015. She is based in Vienna, Austria where she recently started her own business as a freelancer in Web Content Management, Communications and Photography. Natalie finished her studies in Business Administration while working in a family business specializing in Catering and Event Management. She later worked in Human Resources for the Austrian Red Cross Headquarters before taking some time off and moving to Morocco. During her 6-months stay in Morocco, Natalie attended several Project Soar activities, always with a camera in her hand capturing special moments of the Project Soar work. She now is back in Austria supporting Project Soar as Marketing and Communications Officer and administrating the Project Soar website and social media activities.
Stephanie Alman’s dedication to economic development has led her to New York City, where she is working at WeWork to build digital products that foster entrepreneurial communities and offer small business support. She previously managed programs and partnerships that empower women entrepreneurs through capital, mentorship, networking, and business education at the Tory Burch Foundation. Prior to her time at the Tory Burch Foundation, Stephanie supported Maryam Montague, President of Project SOAR, in Marrakesh, Morocco. She then ventured to the tea fields of Sri Lanka, where she established sustainability strategies and programs at a non-profit school for young adults seeking personal and professional development. In Stephanie’s time working in Morocco, she developed a deep affection for the country and its people and is proud to be part of Project SOAR’s impact.
Warda Belkass is a Moroccan Master's student. She studies Linguistics in Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech. She started volunteering with Project Soar at the end of 2015 and later started working as a coordinator. She also works as an Intercultural dialogue facilitator in the Culture and LanguageCenter in Marrakech. She was an exchange student when she was in high school and has lived and studied in Hollywood, Florida for one year in 2009. Warda aspires to be a university teacher and researcher in her field and she also wishes to continue developing the society through NGO work.