Asia Summer 2011 Impact Team Background Bio
The individuals below make up a group of courageous difference makers traveling with Hope For the Silent Voices to Asia. They are a collection of everyday people wanting to make lives better. Maybe one day we will see your photo and profile below!
Name: David Mykel
Profession: Human Behavior & Communications Consultant
Current City: Whistler, British Columbia
David A. Mykel is returning from a year-long journey to Whistler, British Columbia and currently taking a sabbatical from his 10 year career in jury consulting. He was born in Utica, NY and has lived in New York, Washington DC as well as Dallas, TX before embarking on this trip (his first to Asia and for a charity). His interests include snowboarding, rock climbing, Muay Thai, wakeboarding, surfing and traveling.
David’s main motivation for taking this trip is to continue his journey in self exploration and perspective as well as positively impacting the lives of others –“ something I have learned from good friend and founder of Hope For the Silent Voices, Eric Lyons.”
Name: Nancy De Wees
Current City: Chicago, IL
I am working on my masters in mental health counseling at Trinity in IL. Some of my work experience lies in team development, marketing, construction, therapeutic play activities and staff training.
My interests and experiences have been working with children who “fall between the cracks.” My education and experiences as well as passions have led me to work as director for group homes, camps for special needs children/adults, inner-city camps, Christian camps, and residential treatment centers for children. My goal is to combine these experiences with my mental health license and open a camp/residential program for children/youth and their families.
I enjoy hiking, kayaking, travel, reading, movies, camping, snowshoeing and most other outdoor adventure and leisure, and of course eating. My friends and family give me great enjoyment also. I hope to one day sleep on the vertical face of a mountain, try some ice climbing, kayak among the whales and sale a catamaran in the Greek Islands. But a nap in my hammock is a fine pause.
Last summer I heard of children being sold into slavery. I can’t sit by. Several months ago while praying, I felt I was to pray for the children in Cambodia, I have been waiting and watching. I received an email about serving kids in Cambodia and chose to be involved. I believe this is what I am to do, so I am. I want to get more involved. This is a step! I hope to make connections with others and join in to help these children and women; as well as getting others involved upon my return.
Name: John Hennessey
Profession: Truck Driver
Current City: Clinton, TN
I am from Chicago now living in Knoxville. I was given the opportunity to participate in last January’s trip to Cambodia and Sri Lanka. I was told by Sherry and Eric to “be prepared for a life changing experience.” I was told I would meet people whom I will never forget. My intentions were to go to Asia; do what I could in the way of service and then come home and resume my day to day life. Being from a family that had trouble showing emotions I built a wall that was fortified by bad memories and locks that kept anyone from coming inside. I trusted one person – my wife Tami! I was learning to trust God and that he would never put me any place I didn’t belong.
Hope for the Silent Voices has given me the opportunity to take my gifts and use them in ways I never imagined. The children in Cambodia have touched a place in my heart that I didn’t know I was capable of feeling. The people at Sambodhi in Sri Lanka have shown me that Love is evident in the places one would think there is only room for despair. I smile inside. And maybe even a tear comes when I think of the life that has been changed.
It is amazing to me that traveling half way around the world is where I find peace and comfort as well as humor and love from people who don’t want pity. They just want to spend few hours with us.
Name: Andrea Martinez
Current City: Dallas, TX
My name is Andrea Valentina Martinez. I was born in South Padre Island, TX. My father is from Guadalajara, Mexico and my mother is from Caracas, Venezuela. I am a mutt of cultures as I was raised in the United States. I just graduated this May from the University of Texas at Dallas as a pre-med student and history major. The primary purpose of participating in this trip is for discovery – discovery of myself, others (alongside new cultures and perceptions), and the world around us. Through this trip I hope to find the inspiration and clarification that will help guide my future, particularly in deciding what career I would like to fulfill (medical physician vs scientist). Basically, I’m up for the adventure and eager to absorb its impact. I want to help other people and recalibrate my position and interpretation on the purpose of life and how to best experience it.
Some of my interests include physical exercise of any of sort (boxing, muay thai, soccer, tennis, spinning, etc.) and learning (although I abhor school).
Name: Mattie Neuman
Current City: Dallas, TX
Mattie is the youngest member of Hope For the Silent Voices and will be joining us this summer for her first impact trip. Having been exposed to HFSV for the past 5 years as the daughter of Sherry, Mattie embarked on an aggressive fundraising tour to make this trip possible.
The primary reason she chose to go is that she wants to experience things she can’t experience in America. Mattie wants to see a different view of how life is and to find herself and God. Upon returning home, she is planning on finding a job and is crossing her fingers to get a car.
Upon graduation from high school, Mattie plans on studying architecture and engineering due to her curiosity for how things work and her fascination for the arts. She reads, writes, draws and watches anime in her spare time. She loves the Japanese culture, animals and the color purple. Her favorite classes in school are art, English and history. She also welcomes and enjoys all things athletically challenging.
Name: Justin Shearin
Profession: Restaurant Manager/ Wine Sommelier
Current City: Dallas, TX
Born in Dallas Texas in 1980, Justin is a wine sommelier and restaurant manager. Justin notes his reason for trip as “taking this trip to further my perspective in this world. To make me realize how fortunate we are to have the things we have and try to spread the joy of life to those who can’t relate to that joy.” His hobbies include: Sports, wine, traveling, and charity work.
Name: Brandi Shearin
Profession: Dental Hygienist
Current City: Dallas, TX
Brandi Moulder-Shearin- is a 30 year-old Dallas native where she currently resides with her husband Justin. Brandi is a graduate from Texas Tech University where she received her degree in business and is currently a practicing dental hygienist in the Dallas area. She has two loving parents, a wonderful brother, and a very cute niece and nephew. Family and friends are a very important part of Brandi’s life and makes it a priority to build strong relationships with those around her.
Last year was her first impact trip with Hope For The Silent Voices and was the beginning of a long journey of personal discovery. Brandi and Justin quickly decided after last year’s impact trip that they needed to return. The wonderful people and experiences from the journey still affect their lives everyday.
Name: Sherry Conner-Neuman
Profession: Co-Founder, Hope For the Silent Voices
Current City: Dallas, TX
Sherry has a passion for the vulnerable, abused, and handicapped of this world. Hope For the Silent Voices allows her to show others the pain in this world through “Impact Trips”-organized trips abroad to various destinations in desperate need of help. She feels blessed to now have hope and a voice to speak out and believes others deserve the same.
Hope For the Silent Voices also allows her the freedom to be who God created her to be without shame; to use her journey through life to bring a voice to those who have been silent for too long and from whom hope has been taken. She has had the privilege of seeing other parts of the world and people who have shown her what joy, peace and living is really all about. She continues to search the world for those in pain and to provide hope for those who suffer at the hands of evil.
Name: Eric Lyons
Profession: Global Wanderer & Founder of Hope For the Silent Voices
Current City: New York, NY
Eric is the founder of Hope For the Silent Voices and currently globetrotting in search of dire needs in desperate places. Living by the credo that “we are responsible for what we know to be true,” he is always on the lookout for great people to collaborate with in impacting the world around us. I feel it a privilege and responsibility to help people expand the lenses they view the world through. This leads to a more realistic understanding of life for most while impacting lives. An avid fan of Muay Thai and all things travel-related. Follow him on his blog: Eazy Wanderer and learn more about the lenses he views the world through across continents and life-altering experiences.
Follow us on Facebook at our Hope For the Silent Voices cause page and connect with this group.
As is the case with effective Nonprofit and NGO (Nongovernmental Organization) work, true difference and impact often is the result of authentic collaboration. We are privileged, honored and committed to offering of ourselves in engaging effective collaborative assistance. Hope For the Silent Voices achieves this with persons and organizations representative of positive life change without motive. Thank you to our partner organization, Child Education International.