Her ability to build rapport and move quickly beyond the surface is what helps to create opportunities for truly transformative self-discovery.
Lena is an amazing facilitator! I first met Lena when she was serving as the lead instructor for a course that prepared students, faculty, and staff for a cultural immersion in an international community. What I really appreciated was how intentional she was in creating an individual experience based on where each person was in their own self-journey and personal development. She was able to help the group build relationships and identify their commonalities while also helping them to acknowledge and appreciate their differences. Her ability to build rapport and move quickly beyond the surface is what helps to create opportunities for truly transformative self-discovery. If you are looking for someone who is authentic and loves working with groups to build community, look no further than Lena Papadopoulos!
Brandon Bowden; assistant vice president of student affairs in higher education
Lena’s retreats have lasting impacts; the shared experience and skills we learned helped the groups I was part of tremendously in the long-term.
I was a participant of several retreats facilitated by Lena during my time as a college student. These retreats were for student groups with varying purposes and makeups. Lena would initially meet with the leadership team of a group she was working with to understand specific needs of the students and desired goals for the retreat. She would then adapt, with great attention to detail, the retreat based on the input she received. The level of intention and planning Lena put in always made me feel confident in her process. Each time I was a participant, I experienced moments of personal growth and connection to my peers. At conclusion, I would leave knowing something new about myself and feeling more prepared to work through complex situations with my group. Lena’s retreats have lasting impacts; the shared experience and skills we learned helped the groups I was part of tremendously in the long-term. Lena is uniquely capable of creating space for understanding one another and challenging us to become the best versions of ourselves. By facilitating a comfortable environment to get uncomfortable, her retreats provide the perfect opportunity for vulnerability and deep reflection. In my own experience, Lena’s retreats opened the door to many positive changes within my student groups. I am grateful to have been a participant on more than one occasion in college. I would absolutely recommend working with Lena, as you cannot find someone more compassionate, thoughtful, and professional.
Monique Costner; former co-director of a non-profit; workshop and retreat participant
Her approach is innovative and incredibly intentional, creating a safe atmosphere of acceptance and genuine respect.
Lena’s beautiful character paired with her extensive experience working with diverse groups makes her uniquely qualified to design and deliver meaningful programming. Through masterful planning and creative delivery, Lena guides participants through a process of discovery and transformation that has long-lasting effects on individuals and their organizations. I have witnessed groups consistently refer to Lena’s programming as a gift to their organization because her facilitation left participants with a deep sense of community and more defined direction, something that is essential for an organization’s sustained success. Her approach is innovative and incredibly intentional, creating a safe atmosphere of acceptance and genuine respect. She is deeply committed to helping others build connection at a time when the world needs it most.
Jesse Smith-Appelson; assistant for intercultural programs
She is attuned to what connects us all; her deep sense of empathy transcends nationality, gender, and identity.
Lena is one of the most thoughtful, compassionate, and insightful people I know. She is attuned to what connects us all; her deep sense of empathy transcends nationality, gender, and identity. This gives her the ability to facilitate interpersonal dialogue and bring self-awareness to our own roadblocks that keep us from seeing, understanding, and connecting to our universal humanity. Developing these skills was the focus of my first solo trip. Lena helped me shape my experience into more than pretty pictures or stamps in my passport — we selected cities where I could intentionally connect with others and pursue experiences in line with the goals we’d identified. She supported me in addressing barriers that kept me from truthfully engaging with new people and places and empowered me to have the courage to continue my independent travel since.
Alegra Padrón; cultural exchange program participant
I continue to use many of Lena’s concepts and views in my personal life and to promote cultural awareness in my business.
Lena was the facilitator and instructor of a cultural exchange program to Germany I participated in. As an instructor, Lena emphasized that meaningful travel experiences extend beyond visiting picturesque places and crossing countries off a list—it’s about connecting with people and their cultures. She taught us the relationship between self-awareness and relationship development. Lena helped me understand myself, and consequently, helped me connect better with the other students in the cultural exchange program. I continue to use many of Lena’s concepts and views in my personal life and to promote cultural awareness in my business. Lena’s approach to growing in self-awareness and developing human connections is effective and produces personal growth that can improve everyday interactions and relationships. I highly recommend her services.
Geranise Dorce; cultural exchange program participant
I really opened up and transformed my global mindset...I would definitely choose to participate in anything she creates.
Lena is the entire reason my time in cultural exchange programs was so enlightening. She is extremely dedicated to developing and delivering thoughtfully constructed programs and events. Her experience in intercultural communication and exchange really allow her to bring different people together to gain powerful knowledge and understanding that is so important in an ever-expanding global society. I continued to be involved in my institution’s global engagement programs mainly because I knew Lena headed most of them. I really opened up and transformed my global mindset during the programs that Lena coordinated. Given the opportunity, I would definitely choose to participate in anything she creates.
Casey Johnson; cultural exchange program participant
The other students and I truly left with a better understanding of each other, ourselves, and what it means to be a responsible volunteer.
I was introduced to Lena my senior year of college. A group of students and I were preparing to go to Cambodia to work as volunteers and I was nervous. I wanted to prepare everyone to the best of my ability, and I couldn’t have done that without Lena. She hosted a surprisingly fun and engaging workshop for me and the other volunteers in which she addressed subjects such as the importance of working as a team, setting goals, and cultural sensitivity. The other students and I truly left with a better understanding of each other, ourselves, and what it means to be a responsible volunteer. I will always be thankful for Lena for inspiring and empowering me to become a more informed and sensible traveler and volunteer.
Miranda Harris; former co-director of a non-profit; workshop participant
Lena is the kind of person that you want to work with over and over.
Both flexible and highly organized I got the impression that Lena was experienced beyond her years and someone who I would trust implicitly to do a great job in all aspects of programming. She has an inviting approach that made me instantly comfortable, yet her questions and focus on outcomes in planning and execution revealed that she is a professional through and through. Lena is the kind of person that you want to work with over and over. Capable and purposeful she adds the intangibles that often go unreported but make such a difference!
Laurence Meyers; international school educator
Anyone who works with her will gain a life-changing experience.
While completing my undergraduate studies, I volunteered abroad in Kigali, Rwanda. It was my first experience going abroad with a team of four whom I had only just met. I barely knew them and didn't know what to expect. Fortunately, prior to departing, Lena designed and facilitated one of the best workshops I’ve ever participated in. As a leader on campus, I was accustomed to workshops, summits, and conferences. Lena's workshop was different, however. It accelerated the relationship I needed to foster with each of my team members. Her work allowed my team and I to very quickly open up about our deepest insecurities prior to traveling together. We gained invaluable friendship and understanding of one another's greatest challenges. I was stunned by how quickly her day-long workshop allowed us to open up, be vulnerable, and learn together. I still think about the amazing workshop she held for us, and I know anyone who works with her will gain a life-changing experience.
Kavanjote Birdi; workshop participant
She is caring, attentive, creative, and wants the best possible outcome for each of the programs she develops.
Lena is very quality conscious, making sure all facets of her programs are well thought-out while incorporating all the client's specific objectives. Lena is a pleasure to work with — she is caring, attentive, creative and wants the best possible outcome for each of the programs she develops.
Steffen Lohrmann; vice manager for experiential education programs
The information Lena taught me has molded me into the person I am today.
I had the pleasure of working with Lena for two consecutive years in a variety of settings, and I gained an abundance of knowledge from her. Due to Lena's extensive experience abroad and her areas of study, she has a surplus of knowledge to share and a huge toolbox to dive into and apply with others. The information Lena taught me is priceless and has molded me into the person I am today. I have been able to apply the experiences and knowledge she offered in my teaching career and in my relationship with others. I am forever thankful for Lena’s involvement in my life.
Marcella Cavallaro; intern, assistant, and cultural exchange program participant