IFYE Board Member - Alicia Aken
Alicia grew up in Northeastern Ohio, was active in 4-H, and attended Miami University with a music scholarship. After graduating from Miami’s Western Program with a focus in Botany, Alicia was the 1993 IFYE to Taiwan. This was the first time she’d left North America and spending six months with tea and tropical fruit farmers in Taiwan changed the way she saw the world. She returned to the states and acquired a Masters in Geography at the University of Akron and worked seven years with the National Park Service (NPS). Alicia continues to work in community development through nonprofits and Extension in Northwest Wisconsin near St Paul, Minnesota
Alicia continues to travel, adding Russia, Italy, Costa Rica, and Mexico (she spent 6 months on the Mexico/US border) to her country list. She now travels with her son’s adaptive hockey team, most recently to Toronto.
IFYE continues to impact Alicia in many ways and she has leaned on her IFYE skills in sometimes unexpected times and places. From working with tribal leaders in Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, to leading new-immigrant immersion programs with NPS, her IFYE experience created a foundation for a more fulfilling and compassionate life and career. As a board member and state contact, Alicia hopes to extend this opportunity to more youth, and connect with the amazing IFYE alumni group.