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Emily Caldwell, MA

Emily was raised in a suburb of Chicago, Oak Park, Illinois. Her eclectic  job history has ranged from starting a nonprofit in the Galapagos Islands Ecuador,  implementing International Programs at Illinois Central College, teaching Spanish at Illinois State University and Illinois Central College, working for BCA, an international education non-profit organization in Pennsylvania, as Coordinator for College and University Relations, and working for an online Medical Science Doctoral degree.


When working at BCA, she had an opportunity to take a group to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Emily was dazzled by its beauty and magnificence, but was also disturbed by the troubling conditions for the residents of the island. After speaking with local residents, she became more aware of the acute economic challenges they faced and the inadequate access to healthcare and education. After moving to the islands,  Emily began organizing programs to address these problems in 2005, and founded Galapagos ICE (Immerse Connect Evolve) in 2006. She brought more than 500 volunteers, doctors, dentists, teachers, from 22 countries to the islands to help serve the people.  She organized the donation of 100 wheelchairs, built eco-playgrounds, worked with domestic violence and hypertension and diabetes programs and so much more, this is just a small glimpse of what she accomplished in the islands.


Her hard work was recognized and was interviewed by Dan Rather for his program 'Dan Rather Reports' concerning the conditions of islanders in 2008. In 2009, Emily was featured in Christian Science Monitor's piece: 'People Making a Difference'. That same year, she received the Outstanding Alumni Award, the 'Spirit of St. Francis' by Viterbo University. The Santa Cruz Island Municipal Government awarded her non-profit the 'Collaboration Merit'.


In 2014, Emily had to close the nonprofit due to a family tragedy and in 2015 moved back to the States. In South Carolina, she began working as the first Executive Director of  'Education Equals Hope', an international non-profit that supports education in countries around the world. While working there, she also worked on a Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at Winthrop University. Wanting to delve into learning more about nonprofits, she moved to Lynchburg, VA, to begin her Masters in Nonprofit Leadership which was accomplished in 2020. She also earned a certification as a Google Trainer she is a Hootsuite Certified Social Media Professional and became a Global Gallup Strengths Coach and received her certificate in Nonprofit Board Consulting through BoardSource.​ Today she is working at the University of Lynchburg teaching "Leading Boards and Staff" and “Principles of Leadership” online for the Masters of Nonprofit Leadership program. She works fulltime at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC as the Assistant Director of StrongPoints


Since she closed Galapagos ICE in 2014 she knew she still had so much left to give and decided to talk with colleagues and previous volunteers and decided to go through the process of starting Stepping Stones for Global Development. She’s up for the challenge and is ready to see what the future holds.

On a personal note, Emily is married to her Ecuadorian husband. She is an avid walker and has walked El Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. In her free time her hobby and mental escape is making handmade cards.  Go back

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