Joan Hanawi is originally from Huntington Beach, California. After completing high school, she chose to take a bridge year with Global Citizen Year in Ecuador. Currently, Joan is in the process of completing a joint Bachelor of Arts in both International Development Studies and Geography/Environmental Studies at UCLA. From her experiences at UCLA, she was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies grant in order to conduct intensive language study in Surabaya, Indonesia during Summer 2013. While there, she worked with Yayasan Pengembangan Pendidikan Indonesia (YPPI) in order to design, develop, and implement an environmental education program for youth.
She currently works in the Virtual Student Foreign Service with USAID Jakarta for the advancement of the South-South & Technical Cooperation (SSTC) project. Most recently, Joan was selected as a 2014 UCLA Global Citizens Fellow where she will launch an information services program in order to connect rural indigenous communities with the modern networks of the globalized world. Joan is passionate about education and environmental issues, and in her free time, she loves to travel, write, adventure, learn new languages, explore, and eat. In addition to blogging for Huffington Post, she also maintains a personal blog at http://joanhanawi.wordpress.com/.