"My leaders created a safe, friendly, happy environment that I felt very glad to be a part of." - Ella, Riverside, Conn.

  Our Leaders  

Woza leaders remain exceptional role models for our past participants. Passionate about soccer, travel, and adventure, our leaders are enthusiastic about helping teenagers discover the unique connection and impact the game we love has on people around the world. Experienced, energetic, and nurturing, Woza leaders were handpicked to ensure the highest quality of leadership. Woza leaders motivated, inspired, and demonstrated exceptional character that resonated with students beyond the summer. 

Average Age of a

Woza Leader:

24 years 

4 years

Average years of experience working

with teens

80 Hours

The number of hours of training prior to trip departure:

We hired mature and experienced leaders.

Our average leader was 24 years old and had a wealth of experience working with teenagers and traveling. All of our leaders love soccer, and many of them played in college. Above all, we hired people who are smart decision makers, impeccable problem solvers, and constant thinkers about the well-being of each student. Experience and leadership were cornerstones to our hiring process. 


All Woza Leaders attended a rigorous leader training.

Before departure, we required all leaders to become certified in Wilderness First Aid, a two-day intensive course complete with hands-on learning and practice. Rarely were these first aid skills used for any more than treating scrapes and bruises, rather the extra training motivated our leaders to take a proactive approach to risk management and safety. In addition, all leaders attended a 10-day intensive training before every summer. Led by Woza’s Directors, leaders participated in seminars ranging from group dynamics to risk management and trip logistics. Our proactive approach to training allowed us to share Woza’s core values with our leaders and ensure that their leadership approach resulted in the highest quality programs possible.  


Our leaders are accomplished. They have:

  • Lived in Swaziland, Brazil, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Colombia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Portugal, Peru, Ecuador, Canada, and Uganda

  • Graduated from top colleges such as Yale University, Amherst College, Carleton College, Northwestern University, Kenyon College, Colby College, Middlebury College, Haverford College, Wesleyan University, Hobart & William Smith College, University of Washington, and Connecticut College

  • Won NCAA National Championships

  • Served as the Captains of their high school and college varsity, and club soccer teams 

  • Led trips of teenagers abroad for multiple summers and gap year programs

  • Currently, coach youth club and high school teams


Meet Our Former Leaders:

Esteban Dardani. Woza Soccer Leader.

Esteban Dardani

Colgate University 2019

Hometown: Stratham, NH

Peru '19

Hannah Mickles. Woza Soccer Leader

Hannah Mikles

San Francisco State 2017

Hometown: Chico, CA

Costa Rica '18

Peru '19

Hailey Mair. Woza Soccer Leader.

Hailey Mair

Carleton College 2019

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Costa Rica '19

Kevin Dlugos. Woza Soccer Leader.

Kevin Dlugos

Evergreen State College 2015

Hometown: Manitou Springs, CO

Costa Rica '18, '19

Nelson Reed. Woza Soccer Leader.

Nelson Reed

Yale University 2017

Hometown: Washington D.C.


Rylie Hirst. Woza Soccer Leader.

Rylie Hirst

University of Northern Florida 2017

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

Malawi'18, '19

South Africa Leadership'19

Brendan Barth. Woza Soccer Leader
Hannah Newman. Woza Soccer Leader.

Brendan Barth

Dartmouth College 2017H

Hometown: Hanover, NH

South Africa Leadership'19

Hannah Newman

Middlebury College 2013

Hometown: Wynnewood, PA

Peru '18

Liam White. Woza Soccer Leader

Liam White

Northwestern University 2018

Hometown: Wellesley, MA

South Africa-Zululand '16


Dylan Abbott. Woza Soccer Leader.

Dylan Abbott

University of British Colombia Okanagan 2015

Hometown: Salmon Arm, BC, Canada

Peru '18

Sergio Fernandez. Woza Soccer Leader.

Sergio Fernandez

Haverford College 2016

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Videographer '18

Abbie Richert. Woza Soccer Leader

Abbie Richert

University of Washington 2012

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Malawi '17, Peru'17

Costa Rica '18

Arielle Koshkin. Woza Soccer Leader.

Arielle Koshkin

Carleton College 2014

Hometown: Oakland, CA

South Africa-Zululand '16

South Africa Leadership Course '17

Eric Barthold

Colby College 2012

Hometown: Lyme, NH

South Africa Leadership Course '17

Edgar Arceo

Kenyon College 2015

Hometown: Bishop, CA

Peru '16, '17

Malawi '17

Zoe Jackson-Gibson. Woza Soccer Leader.

Zoe Jackson-Gibson

Hobart William Smith College 2016

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Costa Rica '17

Brandon Sousa. Woza Soccer Leader

Brandon Sousa

Wesleyan 2016

Hometown: Waterbury, CT

Costa Rica '17

MaryClaire Pelletier. Woza Soccer Leader
Colin Patch. Woza Soccer Leader

MaryClaire Pelletier

Hobart William Smith College 2015

Hometown: Sutton, MA

Costa Rica '16

Colin Patch

Connecticut College 2016

Hometown: Providence, RI

Costa Rica '16

"My trip leaders set a balance of when to take things seriously and when to have fun. They also are great people, to look up to. " --Axel, Washington, D.C. Peru '19

"They were great. Funny and down to earth " -- Jackson, Seattle, Wash., Costa Rica '19

"My leaders did were able to integrate themselves with our group so that they felt more like older siblings you looked up to. At same time that you can play and have fun with them. " -- Ardan, Monterey, Calif., Peru '19

"They were absolutely amazing. Both of them added to the group vibe, and I truly felt as if they treated us as equals rather than younger kids. They were both funny, interesting, and great at soccer. This is a major reason why I had so much fun on this trip."

 --Ian, Seattle, Wash., Peru '17

"Edgar and Abbie were amazing trip leaders who made a strong effort to spread positivity throughout our group and to the people in Malawi. They took the time to establish a connection with each student all while creating a united group. I really enjoyed getting to know them, and I definitely think of both of them as role models!" --Caroline, Short Hills, N.J., Malawi '17

"Hailey and Kevin were very understanding, funny, laid-back and overall fun people to be around. They really made this experience worthwhile. ." -- Caroline, Jacksonville, Fla., Costa Rica '19

Testimonals from Players

If you are interested in leading for us, please visit the Lead for Woza page to learn more.