Board Of Directors
Claudia White is an educator, sociologist, community leader, and an up and coming philanthropist, who is passionate about supporting under-resourced youth and traveling. Claudia’s journey begins in South Bend, Indiana, where she was born and raised. After graduating from Washington High School, she went on to earn her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish while minoring in Criminal Justice and concentrating in Pre-Law at the University of Indianapolis. She then went on to obtain her M.A in Applied Sociology- Community Leadership, also at the University of Indianapolis. It was there where she found her love for traveling.
In 2012, Claudia took advantage of her first opportunity to study abroad as a part of her Spanish program. She spent 3 months immersed in the culture of Seville, Spain at the International College of Seville. Between 2012 and 2014, Claudia has traveled to or lived in 7 countries. She credits her overseas experiences to helping her expand her mind, and experiences beyond the confines of her local community. She became more culturally aware and motivated to expose younger students to experiences that broaden their view of success.
Claudia has always desired to give back to the community. First in her hometown where she tutored elementary school students and developed activities for a local daycare center. Upon moving to Indianapolis her community involvement continued as she regularly volunteered at Dayspring Center Homeless Center. She was also the Service Learning Coordinator for 21st Century Scholars, where she organized community service activities for middle school students to reflect on their community service experiences.
Claudia credits her success to her parents, especially her mother for always pushing her to exceed in life and speaking nothing but positive words in her future. She also credits her Pastors and Aunt and Uncle, Dr. Dennis and Debra Givens, of South Bend, Indiana New Horizons Outreach Ministry for constantly keeping her in their prayers and molding her into a virtuous woman of character.
South Bend, Washington High School
Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and Spanish, Minor-Criminal Justice, Concentration-Pre-Law)
Master of Arts (Applied Sociology, Concentration-Community Leadership)
Renee Shaw has a BS in Human Resources and a Masters in Business Administration. She is a Training and Systems Coordinator for Community Health Network. Renee developed a love for traveling while serving in the US Army. She is the PTA president at an inner city school where students don’t often get opportunities to travel outside their neighborhoods. She joined the YGP board because she is passionate about making travel opportunities available to all students despite their socioeconomic status.
Sara Fichtner has a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Public Affairs and Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University. She is the Director of Grants and Special Projects at The Oaks Academy, and serves as President of the Indiana Grant Professionals Association. As a daughter and wife to immigrants from the Philippines and Argentina, she has always been immersed in different cultures. Her love of travel also led her to study abroad in Spain for a year, and on many trips around the U.S. and the world with her husband and two boys. She is passionate about YGP because she understands the richness of experience and understanding that travel can bring, and wants to make sure that all youth have that opportunity.
Orleta Holmes has a BS in Education and a Masters in Education: Curriculum and Instruction. She is the sole-proprietor of Nia Education Consultancy. She is also a middle school teacher for Indianapolis Public Schools. Orleta gained a love for traveling when she was a child. Moving from city to city during her youth she found a way to channel the multiple new surroundings as a great adventure to learn about each city. Her love deepened upon her first international trip on her 18th birthday. She has a strong passion for YGP because she knows how travel can broaden the understanding, interpretation, and love within a person due to the immersion of diverse cultures. She also believes the youth of urban cities deserve to experience that growth within first hand.
Ryan holds a Bachelor Degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Aeronautical Science with a minor in Aviation Weather. He is currently a 13 year commercial airline pilot Captain for Republic Airways, Flight Training Instructor, Manager Pilot Mentor Program, Sr. Pilot Recruiter for his company, and is also pursuing his currently pursuing his Master of Science in Leadership from Trine University. After successfully completing this degree, his next goal will be to achieve a PHD.
Ryan also has the passion serving in the community. His experience includes serving on Board of Director(s) positions, committees, directing community programs as well as mentoring students in education and development programs. It has been his passion to mentor future leaders and students, (Lawrence North High School mentorship program, Pilot For Kids Organization, (OBAP) Organization Of Black Aerospace Professionals – Pilot for Schools program, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Peer Mentoring Program, weekly attendance at local school panels/discussions), direct programs (CCASTT Foundation ACE Camps, Indianapolis ACE (aviation, career education), Embry Riddle Aeronautical University – First Year Programs), serve in leadership positions (President of Board of Directors for Voice of Victim, Women Aviation International – Indy Chapter President, board member – Teen Works Organization, and Director of Indianapolis ACE Academy), served Board Chairman (The Mind Program Corporation and charter school in Indianapolis) and provide education (coaching sports, youth athletic programs). Also, Ryan serves as an educator/professor for Purdue University Polytechnic Indianapolis. He is currently also the Founder/Board Chairmen of The NAYR (National Aviation Youth Resources) Foundation Inc, an aviation youth organization in Indiana. Throughout his career he has purchased businesses and invests in young entrepreneurs.
With a stellar track record of senior leadership in non-profit organizations and corporations, my education, career and accomplishments have provided me the work ethic, keen business insight, vision and in-depth knowledge position to serve as a board member.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Agustine of Hippo
The mission of YGP is to provide underprivileged youth with immersive cultural experiences that encourage them to understand other cultures and share their perspectives.