2018 BFTF Fellows

Meet the 2018 Fellows

European Fellows

Etleva-AlbaniaAlbania                                  Etleva

Etleva knows that technology could be used to solve the world’s problems. We hope she has many supercomputers warmed up, because it’s going to take a lot of computing power. Sir Karl Popper would be proud!


Lusine-ArmeniaArmenia                                Lusine

This education advocate definitely has time to plant a tree, literally and figuratively. Lusine’s work with the Armenia Tree Project leaves us rooting for her as she branches out into fruitful new endeavors.


IMG-20180413-WA0073-01Austria                                  Zarije

There is no stopping this START scholarship recipient. A pianist who wishes to study quantum mechanics!? You never know what talents Zarije will later display. She’s a walking example of the Heisenberg Principle.


Sevda-AzerbaijanAzerbaijan                            Sevda

This fabulous feminist is an amazing advocate for promoting human rights. Thought the profile picture has Sevda covering her mouth, we know this future engineer will not be silent in the face of injustice!


Marta-BelarusBelarus                                 Marta

Marta is ready to travel the world, and she’s been studying up by reviewing the map. Our guess is that this social advocate will become good friends with the Swedish fellow.


Kimia-BelgiumBelgium                                 Kimia

Kimia’s knowledge of WWI and the rhythms of history helped her get a ticket to the United States. This Belgian does not waffle in her commitment to combating poverty and promoting education.


Adel-BosniaBosnia & Herzegovina        Adel

If one is supposed to dress for success, then the sky is the limit for Adel. His video editing skills will make Adel the perfect candidate for the BFTF 2018 retrospective film.


Mitko-BulgariaBulgaria                                Mitko

This future founder of an NGO will not rest in the effort to promote human rights and combat discrimination. Mitko will surely have his eyes across the pond, building bridges between the US and Bulgaria.


Ivan-CroatiaCroatia                                   Ivan

If it gets unruly at the BFTF, we’ll call on Ivan. This future military officer will know how to radio for help and find order in any natural disaster.


Melin-CyprusCyprus                                  Melin

Sports can be an excellent way to bridge political divides. This tennis talent plays for the Cyprus National Tennis Team, acing the role of diplomat for her culture. There are no faults in Melin’s skills.


Aisha-DenmarkDenmark                              Aisha

When she is not raising money for hospitals, Aisha is busy studying physics and politics. As the laws of inertia suggest, an object in motion stays in motion, and there is no stopping Aisha.


Maksim-EstoniaEstonia                                  Maksim

Interested in starting a TEDx event or an Opinion Festival? Then Maksim is your guy. In his free time, Maksim is helping people vote, addressing the refugee crisis, and delivering powerful speeches.


Benjamin-FinlandFinland                                  Benjamin

He may present a stoic front, but this dynamic Finn can teach you about Human Ecology in five different languages. Benjamin has certainly taken advantage of the much celebrated Finnish education system.


Yvan-FranceFrance                                  Yvan

Is there anything more iconically French than gazing upon the Eiffel Tower? Yvan’s interest in science, literature, and history speaks to a rich intellectual history that will surely benefit him at the BFTF. Bienvenue to the US.


Nini-GeorgiaGeorgia                                Nini

This avid reader and writer knows how to tell a good story. And as a skilled drawer, Nini can illustrate her own published stories. We believe she will be an ideal candidate to be the official BFTF storyteller.


Dominik-GermanyGermany                              Dominik

Dominik is sure to make many International Contracts during the BFTF. He does have quite a bit of experience in those matters. While we appreciate his commitment to environmental sustainability, he might need more than a sail plane to get to the United States.


Alexandra-GreeceGreece                                  Alexandra

In the Greek tradition of contemplation, this picture captures Alexandra as she must be thinking about killer arguments for her next debate, or ruminating on how she can advance her pursuits of becoming a doctor.


Lili-HungaryHungary                               Lili

As she sips a life of Bliss, Lili is preparing her campaign to be a future Prime Minister or member of the European Parliament. Be careful not to challenge her too much on her knowledge of political theory.


Jokull-IcelandIceland                                Jokull

We can only assume that this Viking Warrior is relishing this summer’s World Cup. Or perhaps Jokull is too busy leading Iceland’s UNICEF chapter or promoting educational opportunities. This hot spring of knowledge will be no island at the BFTF.


Ethan-IrelandIreland                               Ethan

Look out, James Joyce. This Write Club regular is sure to lead the next wave of Irish writers. Ethan will not be “Off Grid” during his time at the Ben. He is also Venture Scout with the 7th Port Howth Sea Scouts…and we are so excited to find out what that means.


Caterina-ItalyItaly                                    Caterina

Allora, this future criminologist from Calabria will surely use her experience at the BFTF to become an even more influential leader. Caterina can join the Americans and the Dutch Fellow in ignoring the World Cup.


Erza-KosovoKosovo                               Erza

Erza’s interests cover a wide Swarth, more than most. This will help Ezra on her journey to becoming the first female Prime Minister of Kosovo.


Markuss-LatviaLatvia                                  Markuss

Markuss boasts an incredible level of media literacy. That should come in handy as a future filmmaker. We’re sure those debating skills will help trumpet his successes.


Austeja-LithuaniaLithuania                             Austeja

Bullies beware. This student council president knows how to fight for those who are too often pushed around. Austeja is sure to be an emerging leader. Perhaps even an ambassador to Japan.


Gaby-LuxembourgLuxembourg                       Gaby

This big personality is sure to make waves in her landlocked home country. Gaby is an avid reader, an aspiring leader, and an engaged community member. Sounds like the perfect mix for a BFTF Fellow.


Linda-MacedoniaMacedonia                           Linda

There is a certain GLOW to this animal rights activist who leads efforts in democratic reform and international stability. We anticipate Linda will be earning many more awards in the future.


Kyra-MaltaMalta                                     Kyra

A quick audit of Kyra’s skills suggests that she is a math whiz and a technological innovator. Kyra will be the first to cheer, “Let’s Do It, Malta!”


Cristian-MoldovaMoldova                               Cristian

We recommend against arm-wrestling this activist. We are confident that Cristian will use his physical and intellectual strengths to promote economic and environmental well-being in Moldova.


Kristina-MontenegroMontenegro                        Kristina

Kristina is an active member in promoting youth community involvement. And if anyone messes with kids, Kristina will be able to use her boxing skills.


Koen-NetherlandsNetherlands                       Koen

This Fellow from the land of Orange possesses a wide range of skills. When Koen is not using music to help address the refugee crisis, he is programming algorithms or winning some speech competition.


Peder-NorwayNorway                               Peder

As a future civil engineer, Peder will be well equipped to build bridges. But he will be busy on Service Saturdays. He may also need to find time between cross-country skiing, playing violin, and participating in Model UN.


Witold-PolandPoland                                 Witold

Think you know America? Witold does. He bested over a thousand other competitors to win a ticket to the US with the BFTF. His triumphant pose suggests he knows about a lot of other countries, as well.


Caroline-PortugalPortugal                              Caroline

When Caroline speaks, people listen. When she is not organizing trips to Paris, Caroline is promoting well-being in her community. Caroline is proof that no one is an island.


Andreea-RomaniaRomania                             Andreea

As she gazes over the Black Sea, Andreea wonders about the journey that lays before her. We’re pretty confident her experience at the BFTF will help her contemplate the challenges of international development.


Yana-RussiaRussia                                   Yana

Even though Russia is not hosting the United States in this summer’s World Cup, we are happy to host two Russians in this cup of world cultures. This future teacher will surely take advantage of the opportunity to learn about American history and Geography. Yana will definitely be well prepared to teach international relations.

Anna-RussiaRussia                                   Anna

When she is not hosting students from France or learning about Korea, Anna is contemplating international relations. She will have no reservations in sharing her thoughts on how to produce more cooperative international arrangements.


Miljan-SerbiaSerbia                                   Miljan

We know the Serbian diet includes a lot of fish, but this is a bit much, Miljan. Nothing is going to stop him from applying to the BFTF, not even a J Cole concert. He’s also most likely to run CERN in the next few years.


Karin-SlovakiaSlovak Republic                   Karin

Do not let the innocent picture fool you. Karin is a budding social entrepreneur who will fight tirelessly for disenfranchised communities in her home country.


Lori-SloveniaSlovenia                                 Lori

Giddy up. This equestrian will certainly gallop to success at the BFTF. Lori saddles up to make a difference in her community by reigning in problems that stir up social tranquility. She is not horsing around.


David-SpainSpain                                     David

David must know what it takes to be a BFTF Fellow. He thoroughly impressed BFTF alumni on his way to becoming this year’s Fellow. Given his experience, David is likely to join the video team that will chronicle this year’s Ben.


Johanna-SwedenSweden                                 Johanna

When Johanna is not making her friends laugh, she is practicing for her future career as a diplomat. International relations requires a great sense of humor, so Johanna should do just fine.


Dominik-SwitzerlandSwitzerland                         Dominik

Dominik has an idea. In fact, lots of them. This creative member of the European Youth Parliament enjoys a good political discussion and a hardy laugh. You can bank on it.


Merve-TurkeyTurkey                                   Merve

Some fellows have very little social media presence, hence finding a workable profile picture becomes quite a challenge. We believe this reflects Merve’s interests in using visuals to help those in need. Or this future computer engineer designed this picture to throw us off.


Valeria-UkraineUkraine                                 Valeria

When she is not taking a furtive selfie with a celebrity, Valeria is learning about other cultures or reducing waste at her school. We are sure she will not waste her time at the BFTF.


Isla-UKUnited Kingdom                   Isla

Look out Fellows, this champion debater knows how to run circles around her opponent. Isla’s British wit will surely impress the Fellows as it did the Benjamin Franklin House judges.


U.S. Fellows

Adriana-ArizonaArizona                               Adriana

When Adriana is not tending to her garden, she is leading student government and advocating for her fellow classmates. On the side, she is picking up a bit of Arabic, too.


Janalle-ArizonaArizona                               Janelle

This talented musician from the Grand Canyon state is not only politically active and civically engaged, it also seems like Janelle excels at winning stuffed animals. Now, that is a triple threat. MVT!


Kayleigh-ArizonaArizona                              Kayleigh

Is there something in the water in Arizona? Kayleigh will certainly lead us in the cheer for combating discrimination. Kayleigh does not dance around the fact that there are many social injustices requiring our attention.


Cleo-CaliforniaCalifornia                           Cleo

There is no stopping this environmentalist and social advocate. Cleo will surely use her diplomatic and performance skills to advance causes close to her heart. Plus, she is great at building sandcastles.


Ethan-IowaIowa                                   Ethan

Talk about dedication to the BFTF. Ethan completed his interview while weathering a tornado warning. Impressive. We have to ask, did this championship debater carry his partner?


Connor-New YorkNew York                           Connor

To be or not to be. That is the question. Connor chooses to be. This jack of all trades can code, study Latin, prepare for a play, and participate in the Science Bowl. And no one will pan his Flute performance.


Profile PictureNorth Carolina                     Carina

There are no challenges too large or too small for Carina. Her clever acts of social engagement focus on making life better for those around her. When she is not racking up awards, Carina is learning about the intimate connections between language and culture. She’ll be able to test the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis this summer.

Jordan-North CarolinaNorth Carolina                     Jordan

Jordan never suffers from a lack of words. This writer and performer authors her own action. Though her dramatic talents will likely leave us speechless.


Ronnie-OhioOhio                                    Ronnie

Senate delegate? Model UN? Eagle Scout? Sounds like the makings of a BFTF Fellow. Ronnie is well versed in the ways of international politics and trade. And if you want to get a reaction out of him, just say O-H!


Justin-OregonOregon                                 Justin

Oregon gets a lot of rain, but Justin seems to have the right spirit. Ethan may weather tornadoes, but Justin knows how to mine them as metaphors. Which makes sense, as it requires him to become a whirlwind to participate in all those extracurricular activities.


Victor-PennsylvaniaPennsylvania                         Victor

Hailing from the Steel City, land of french fries in sandwiches, comes Victor.  As evident from the photo, Victor definitely is one to lift his peers. It’s as if he is a peerlift. Perhaps his training in robotics will help in shouldering that burden.