Team

Vanessa Bertelli

Vanessa Bertelli

Executive Director and co-founder

Under Vanessa’s leadership, DC Immersion built a network of local and national influencers and experts, and shifted the paradigm around bilingual education in DC through targeted research, advocacy and leveraging existing best practices from other states. Prior to that, Vanessa advised private sector companies, not-for-profits and inter-governmental organizations on strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and business development. She holds a law degree from Université de Lausanne, a masters of laws from University College London and a master in business administration from INSEAD. She is quoted regularly in publications such as The Washington Post and The Atlantic. vanessa@dcimmersion.org

Linsey Silver

Linsey Silver

Director of Teaching and Learning

Linsey has over 15 years of experience working on collaborative problem solving using quantitative and qualitative research and making it accessible through visual communication tools. She worked on major product launches for many national and local non-profits in the areas of health, early childhood development, education and global affairs, including the InterAmerican Development Bank and the U.S. National Park Service. Linsey has designed and led the implementation of DC Immersion’s communications strategy and education and outreach campaigns. She holds a degree in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government from American University and a Master of Fine Arts from the California College of the Arts. She has been a faculty member at American University and is an award winning graphic designer and multilingual publications expert. linsey@dcimmersion.org

Johanna Barrantes

Johanna Barrantes

Director of Operations

Johanna is an educator with ten years of experience inside and outside the classroom. She has extensive experience working with large teams and has a track record for developing leaders, both with education professionals and youth in the community. Johanna has participated as a founding team member of several startups including, enrichment programs and media companies. She is Native from Lima, Perú and grew up bilingually (English and Spanish). She understands the importance of embracing your identity and linguistic connections, both socially and in the workforce and carries that in her work. Johanna also speaks intermediate French and beginner Italian.  johanna@dcimmersion.org
Thi Nguyen

Thi Nguyen

Research & Development Specialist Intern

Thi is a Master’s candidate in International Education Management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She holds 2 Bachelor’s degrees, International Relations and Communication, from the University of California – San Diego. Thi was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, but calls San Jose, California her home. She is bilingual in English and Vietnamese, and currently learning Spanish at the advanced level. During her undergraduate study, she served as a research fellow in a biliteracy program for school-age youth in northern Baja California, Mexico, where she developed an interest in the intersection between language education and migration. Thi’s background also includes tutoring college students in first-year writing courses and designing social and cultural support programs for international students on US college campuses. thi@dcimmersion.org.

 

Jacob VanderZwaag

Jacob VanderZwaag

Intern

Jacob is a junior at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he is majoring in Global Business with minors in Spanish and Journalism. Since starting to learn Spanish in middle school, he has fallen in love with the language-learning process. Jacob spent six weeks studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador during the summer of 2018. He recently completed a virtual internship with an Atlanta-based nonprofit focused on community engagement and social entrepreneurship. Jacob is excited to combine his interests in languages and the nonprofit sector while helping to further DC Immersion’s mission. jacob@dcimmersion.org

 

Katie Strine

Katie Strine

Intern

Katie is a recent graduate of American University with a passion for international education and language immersion. She was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in 2013 in Auvergne, France. Since then, she has been motivated to increase accessibility for immersion education. She recently returned from her last year of undergrad in São Paulo, Brazil. In the future, she hopes to learn Spanish and teach English in France! katie@dcimmersion.org

 

Lucia Diaz Bartolome

Lucia Diaz Bartolome

Intern

Lucia is a recently graduated high school student using her time before majoring in International affairs to explore her different areas of interest. Born in Argentina, but has spent half of her life in the United States, Lucia lives through two separate languages: English and Spanish. She is currently in her fifth year of French studies. She has first-handedly witnessed diplomacy through her father’s career and has come to understand the importance of communicating with people from different places. Bilingualism has become an important part of her life and she understands, from her own experience, the impact of multilingualism. She hopes to contribute to DC Immersion by drawing from her personal perspective with language.  lucia@dcimmersion.org

 

Multilingual Ambassadors Program

Ali Ami

Ali Ami

Intern

Hi my name is Ali Adem I’m 17 years old I’ve been in United State for about two years. I’m a student at Roosevelt high school, I’m now in 12th grade but I will be graduating this up coming June 2020. I want to be an electrical engineer in the future because this will make me feel accomplished and proud myself.
Diego Bolaños

Diego Bolaños

Intern

Hola soy Diego Bolaños, soy del El Salvador, estudio en la escuela Roosevelt high school estoy en el grado 12th, mi meta es ser un electricistas ingeniero.En los deportes no soy muy bueno pero me interesa mucho el boxeo y artes Marciales , también estoy interesado en aprender muy bien el inglés y japonés.

Hello my name is Diego Bolaños, I’m from El Salvador. I’m studying at Roosevelt High School, I’m on the 12th grade. One of my goals is to become an electric engineer. I m not good at sports but I’m interested in boxing, and also I’m interested to learn English and Japanese.

Raul Edenilson Rosales Rivas

Raul Edenilson Rosales Rivas

Intern

Hello my name is Raul Edenilson Rosales Rivas tengo 18 años soy originario de El Salvador pero vivo en los Estados Unidos distrito de Columbia tengo casi 4 años viviendo en la usa. Soy un estudiante de la escuela Roosevelt es mi último año por lo cual quiero prepararme para alguna carrera ya sea como médico forense o ya sea como un ingeniero electricista  me gusta mucho el baseball hablo dos idiomas y me gustaría aprender francés estoy muy emocionado por mi futuro y quiero hacer lo mejor para ello.

Hello my name is Raul Edenilson Rosales Rivas. I am 18 years old. I am originally from El Salvador but I live in the District of Columbia, United States. I have lived for almost 4 years in the USA. I am a student at Roosevelt school, it is my last year, so I want to prepare for a career either as a forensic scientist or as an electrical engineer. I really like baseball. I speak two languages and I would like to learn French. I am very excited for my future and I want to do my best for it.

Rony Chavarria-Rodriguez

Rony Chavarria-Rodriguez

Intern

Hi my name is Rony. I’m from El Salvador. I am a senior of Roosevelt High School. I’ve been in the US for 4 years and I’m still learning English. I enjoy wrestling and would like to practice more. I like to help other students that do not know much English. I am still trying to figure out what job I want to have in the future and look forward to learning more about career where multilingualism is key.

Julio E. Argueta

Julio E. Argueta

Intern

Hello! My name is Julio E. Argueta, I am 18 years old, I am from El salvador and I have been studying for the last three years in Roosevelt Senior High School where I have an incredible community of classmates and adorable teachers. My interests are in science, and that is what I am going to study in the future. Although I still don’t know what field I will be majoring in, my strong options are Physics and/or Biology. I speak Spanish and English and I am interested in French too.
Heriberto Silvano Delgado

Heriberto Silvano Delgado

Intern

My name is Heriberto, I’m 16 years old, I’m from El Salvador from a city called Chalatenango.I’m currently studying at Theodore Roosevelt High School.I really like watching football games and TV series.Some of my favorite subjects in school are History and AP Spanish because I like to learn about other countrie’s history and learning in my native language,in my spanish class,is very important to me and it makes me feel very comfortable.
Erick Arguello

Erick Arguello

Intern

 Hello my name is Erick Arguello I’m a senior from Roosevelt high school. My goal is finish high school and go to college and study business and management. I am from Nicaragua a country rich of flora y fauna. I would like to learn new languages like French and someday travel to Paris. I’ve been at Roosevelt for three years and all these three years I played in the soccer teams. We won the Petworth cup twice and now as a senior I have with me all those beautiful memories. Thanks to the school I have the opportunity to participate as a member of the organization, DC inmersión and to be a multilingual ambassador.

Steven Rodríguez

Steven Rodríguez

Intern

Hello, my name is Steven Rodríguez . I’m from El Salvador. I’m 19 years old. My objective is to finish my senior year with excellent grades and go to collage. I want to become a profesional electrical engineer. I would love to achieve a scholarship to make my dream a reality. Also I like to help people especially to those don’t understand English. That’s why I’m really exited about being part of this intership, because we are going to help English learners.

Dear Families, educators, and partners,

In 2020 we announced that the DC Language Immersion Project would close its doors due to lack of resources. However, before completely dissolving the organization, we recently asked a group of local and national educators if they - individually or collectively - would be interested in continuing the work of advocating for multilingual education in the District of Columbia. We are pleased to announce that a few individuals responded yes and volunteered to forge a plan to continue this vital work.

So, we are not closing our doors but we are entering a six-to-twelve-month period of dormancy as we determine the best path forward for the DC Immersion Project.  Thank you for your continued support and please stay tuned for updates.

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