Joelle grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and settled in Seattle, Washington three years ago to finish her BA in Costume Design and Production at Seattle Pacific University. After leaving Wisconsin, she spent a year in Berlin, Germany with the Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange program. While steeped in Berlin’s rich history and flourishing LGBTQ+ community, she recognized the importance of international experience for underrepresented groups.
Intrigued by the cultural impact of division in former East and West Germany, she began studying Russian in 2014. She has since studied abroad twice in Russia, most recently earning a Critical Language Scholarship to study in Nizhny Novgorod during the summer of 2019. This experience solidified her commitment to working in international education and expanding access and support for underrepresented students.
In recent years, Joelle has served on the selection committees for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange High School and Vocational programs and is an active member of her alumni associations.