Lyantonde, Uganda

Grant Buhr / grant(at)

Grant Buhr studied Visual Arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In Los Angeles, he worked as a sound engineer and free-lance producer. In Chicago, he taught a Vocalo radio documentary workshop with teens from the Southwest Youth Collaborative. In Uganda, he works as the country director of Project FOCUS. In addition to his work with PF, he has also recorded and produced two albums with Ugandan youth from the Bitone Children's Home.

U.S. / Midwest

Chicago, Illinois

Aura Brickler / aura(at)

Aura Brickler is a social worker with the Chicago Public Schools. She graduated with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In 2009, she worked with three students at Medill Elementary School to produce a radio documentary about the school's closing. In the organization, she has been particularly involved in the coordination and production of art exhibitions.

Rhea Vitalis / rhea(at)

Rhea Vitalis holds a BS in Marketing from UIC. She works in the for-profit world as a project manager in a shipping logistics company. As a member of Project FOCUS, she applies her professional skills in managing the business and marketing aspects of the organization. In the future, she would like to merge her vocation and avocation in the field of social entrepreneurship.

Daniel Yang / daniel(at)

Daniel Yang holds a BS in Biological Sciences from UIC where he is continuing his studies as a medical student. His interests include public health, radio documentary, and anything else that sparks the imagination. Since beginning medical school, his role in Project FOCUS has been limited to strategic planning and fundraising. Upon finishing his medical degree, he would like to pursue a career in international health, addressing both the physical and psychosocial health needs of vulnerable communities.

Harish I Patel / harishi(at)

Harish I Patel received a BA in Political Science with a Minor in Philosophy from the UIC. Upon graduating, he instructed a class on Youth Engagement in a Globalized World at UIC. Originally an immigrant from India, he has since traveled and lived in Argentina, New Zealand, Uganda and the US. By day, he works as a Project Coordinator for the Southwest Youth Collaborative, a direct-service, community-based organization that works with youth on the southwest side of Chicago.

Florencia Rojo / florencia(at)

Florencia Rojo is a student at DePaul University studying Sociology with a concentration in Health and Health Services. In 2008, she traveled to Nicaragua where she volunteered with a local youth and woman's advocacy center. Her experience abroad and her work with Planned Parenthood in Ann Arbor has sparked an interest in international development and woman's health issues. She was drawn to Project FOCUS because of its' strong community in the United States and its' commitment to community-driven development in Uganda.

Seva Gandhi / seva(at)

Seva Gandhi recently graduated with her Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan. Her focus was in management of human services and community organizing. She is currently working within the realm of international development with non-profit based in the US. Seva is interested in resource development within rural areas and is a big advocate of systems thinking.

U.S. / East Coast

Boston, Massachusets

Madelene Griffin / madelene(at)

Madelene Griffin graduated from Brown University with a BA in Visual Arts. She also attended Psychology and Recreational Therapy courses at Brigham Young University in 2004-05. She holds a Masters of Arts in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She describes art as a way to "visually piece together the fragments of my identity." As an art therapist, she helps create an open and safe space for others to weave their stories and express difficult emotions through metaphor and imagination. In Uganda she navigates the crossroads of art and culture and collaborates with local artists and community members to facilitate culturally sensitive art therapy for social and personal change.

New York City, New York

Gloria Bernard / gloria(at)

Gloria Bernard holds a BA in Cinical Psychology and Studio art from Trinity Christian College. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Art Therapy at NYU with a focus in Photography. Gloria has been involved in the arts since the age of 5, when her parents insisted that she enroll in art classes and begin to learn piano from a local jazz musician. She continues to pursue a life of creativity through music, drawing, painting, and photography.

U.S. / West Coast

Los Angeles, California

Mary Tims / mary(at)

Mary Tims holds a B Arch from the Woodbury University School of Architecture and currently resides in the Los Angeles region where she is pursuing her liscensure in the state of California. Future plans include: graduate school to study Art History and develop an interdisciplinary architectural practice. Mary's current interests include: feminist theory, minimalism, public art (serra, kapoor), french cuisine, your mom, reflective facades, carved apertures and theatrical cavities.

Grant Buhr
Aura Brickler
Florencia Rojo
Daniel Yang


Harish I Patel
Rhea Vitalis
Gloria Bernard
Mary Tims


Seva Gandhi
Madelene Griffin