Meet the Fellows
From Left to Right. Back: Doug, Peter, Pankaj, Josh, Oshie Front: Amy, Shosh, Vickie, Lauren, Anna, Emma, Steve
Born in Nairobi and raised in Cheltenham (UK) since she was four, Amy recently graduated from Oxford University where she studied Geography. For her dissertation Amy focused on Islamic micro-finance which eventually led her to join the Balloon Kenya programme where she could apply her knowledge practically and learn more about social entrepreneurship.
Amy will start work researching emerging markets for asset management firms when she returns to the UK. She loves horse riding, sports and travelling around the world and has already extensively covered four continents – Asia, America, Europe and Africa.
As a graduate of Classics with a passion for learning languages Anna is currently applying herself to learning the local Swahili language.
Anna’s passion for languages goes past her Oxford career and stems deeper into her family, with both of her grandparents also studying Classics at Oxford. Her love of the Latin language is defined by a tattoo on her forearm ‘your nightingales sing on’ from a poem by Callimachus.
At home Anna is mother to Turnip the cat. In the future she wants to become a novelist, so expect lots of exciting blogs. Anna chose Balloon Kenya because she wants to travel and see the world whilst participating in something meaningful and challenging.
Emma is a recent Politics and International Relations graduate from Lancaster University. When she’s not stalking her favourite politician, Boris Johnson (Bo-Jo), Emma likes reading romance novels. Her other favourite pass-time is walking along rivers listening to her Ipod.
Despite having an endless collection of Peppa Pig memorabilia Emma has a more serious side too. She is passionate about Corporate Social Responsibility and her life’s dream is to find a job in this sector. A good way to end this brief introduction is with her life motto: “the only difference between ‘try’ and ‘triumph’ is a bit of ‘umph’’.
The only northerner in the house, with an accent that our Kenyan friends are learning to love, Lauren enrolled on the program after wishing to visit Kenya since the age of 7. From Brighouse, West Yorkshire, Lauren tasted avocado for the first time here in Kenya and guess what? No one knows if she really liked it!
She graduated with a 1st in Health with Social Care and completed her dissertation on the plausible link between depression and Alzheimers. While here in Nakuru, Lauren wishes to learn more about one of her passions, community development, while making new friends and reading science-fiction.
Though Oshie was born in England he moved to Israel in 1991 and spent most of his childhood in the city of Tiberias. In his early 20s Oshie could not resist moving back to sunny England where he has since gained a 1st in Economics and International Development at the University of Northampton.
As part of his degree, Oshie studied aspects of development in Africa and he wrote his dissertation on the implications of Chinese investments in the continent.
Oshie is a laid back member of the group with a quick sense of humour who gets up first every morning for a jog, though witnesses have described it as more of a “brisk walk”.
Pankaj is originally from India but came to England to study Business Administration at the University of Northampton. After Balloon Kenya he plans to return to India and expand on his current family businesses which include manufacturing accessories for laptops, selling computers and dairy-farming.
Pankaj is the entertainer of the group, he is always cracking jokes and making people laugh and he has an impressive array of magic tricks that always keep the group fixated. Pankaj also loves getting out his speakers and leading dance routines to RnB classics.
Pankaj has also been known to do a touch of modelling back in India and has appeared on Fashion TV and taken part in fashion weeks in Hyderabad and Pune.
Peter is 22 and has recently finished at the University of Michigan where he studied Brain Behaviour and Cognitive Science. But this is only but one manifestation of the genius that well all know as Pete! He is fast getting a reputation for being the guy who knows everything about anything and no doubt will be given an alter ego as “Encyclopedia Man!” When Peter is not with Balloon Kenya he has been spotted swimming in the same pool as the greatest Olympian Michal Phelps, going on bike rides in close proximity to Sir Paul McCartney and even mixing with the likes of Prince.
Peter also has some more mild-mannered ambitions such as working for an ethical company with the aim of improving the “Human Condition” and eventually having a family!
Shosh is a lightning bolt of a woman, composed of equal parts spunk and compassion. She recently graduated from the University of Northampton, where she majored in Social and Community Development.
As Shosh faces the next stage of her professional career, she hopes to gain a new perspective from her experiences in Kenya. In her free time, Shosh enjoys listening to music and watching Moto GP.
She has 9 brothers and sisters and was awarded Student of the Year in her last year at Northampton. After the programme she has aspirations to set up a social enterprise of her own focusing on youth employment.
As a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hull, it came as quite a shock when Steve was defeated by the simple task of building a spaghetti tower on the first day. To put it simply, it didn’t go so well. However, I’m sure that this task wasn’t a true test of his engineering capability.
Whilst here, Steve is ambitious to discover his inner creative flow, in order to channel this into his later-life ambition of setting up his own business. When asked, Steve describes himself in three words; relaxed, extroverted and humorous. Steve’s life motto is ‘anything is possible,’ an outlook on life that will surely help in Kenya!
My name is Vickie “Birdie” Clay. Birdie is my summer camp nickname, as I am prone to suffer from excessive hiccups, which sound like a bird clucking. I studied events management with social care and community development at Northampton University. I love to have fun and simple things make me happy, like looking at my wiggling toes.
My dream in life is to own my own outdoor education centre, so I never have to grow up or stop having fun! I want to establish a ‘learn by doing’ to support secondary school kids struggling with the core subjects. I hope that this program will give me valuable knowledge and experience to help me achieve this goal.