GPSA

About Us

Our History

Founded in 2010, Global Public Service Academies (GPSA) was created with an understanding that young people can make a difference in the world. We are a socially-responsible organization with the mission to empower young people to become active global leaders. We do this by collaborating with local authorities to promote health equity in underserved communities. Currently we support community health initiatives in Guatemala; Belize; Thailand; and West Virginia, USA; while providing hands-on experiential learning programs and cross-cultural engagement to young people who have an interest in leadership and global health.

Our first travel program site was in Guatemala in 2010, with us expanding to Belize in 2014, followed by West Virginia in 2017. Our newest site opened in Thailand in 2019.

We have always been strongly involved in developing global health curricula, offering high-quality learning opportunities as part of our travel programs. This evolved in 2020, when global travel became a challenge, thus leading us to launch a virtual course focussed on Global Health and Leadership. While this is conducted solely online, the content has a strong emphasis on participants taking action, by developing and implementing their own global health project, while improving their leadership skills.

Our Mission

Empowering young people to become active global leaders by collaborating with local authorities to promote health equity in underserved communities.

Our Vision

Young people taking action to make a positive impact globally.

Our Goals

  • Building leadership capacity of participants on how they can play an active role in global health in becoming active global citizens.
  • Gaining a different perspective about health accessibility and equity through a unique hands-on-immersion experience in an underserved community.
  • Challenge participants to stretch beyond their comfort zone.
  • Strengthening collaborative relationships with local authorities to better support their communities and healthcare professionals in addressing health inequities.

Where We Work

Guatemala

We launched our first travel program within the surrounding communities of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala in 2010. In partnership with the Ministry of Health in Guatemala, the purpose of this program is to work alongside local health authorities in implementing community initiatives within remote areas with predominantly Maya Indigenous populations. This is due to underlying discrimination and a lack of accesibility to healthcare.

Belize

In 2014, we partnered with the Ministry of Health in Belize to begin working in villages around San Ignacio, a city part of the Cayo District. The area is highly diverse due to the country’s long history from colonization and its proximity to other countries. Our program works to support the country’s efforts to provide healthcare to the people living in more remote areas.

West Virginia

Our work in West Virginia began in 2017, in partnership with The Williamson Health & Wellness Center. One of the purposes of having this program is to offer participants an opportunity to learn about health disparities in the USA, and to see that poor access to healthcare is a serious issue in a country considered by many as developed.

Thailand

Thailand is our most recent site, opening in 2019, based in Mae Sot. Mae Sot is close to the border with Myanmar and has many immigrants fleeing oppression or poor economic conditions. In partnership with the Mae Tao Clinic, most of the people we support are stateless, unable to access the Thai healthcare system and, in many cases, unwilling or unable to return to Myanmar.

Our Team

Vanessa Lee Brombosz joined GPSA in 2016, starting as the Ministry of Health Liaison Officer. As Director, she oversees operations and programming for GPSA. While originally from Montreal, Canada, she is currently based in Guatemala. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys concerts, dancing, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She has over 10 years of experience working in healthcare and has a passion for working with health authorities to address health disparities and improve the quality of life of people living in low resource communities. Vanessa worked as an occupational therapist specializing in orthopedic rehabilitation and dementia care in Canada and South America. She holds a MSc in Public Health from McGill University where she completed an internship with the World Bank Peru in the National HIV Allocation Efficiency Analysis program.

Vanessa Brombosz
Director

Lennert started at GPSA in 2014 with the role of Recruiter, then in 2017 as the Recruiting Manager. He currently oversees marketing, communication, and admissions activities, including visiting schools and partners globally. Lennert graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2001 with a degree in Communications Management. After college, Lennert worked in the Netherlands for six years as a recruiter and consultant for an engineering staffing agency. While originally from the Netherlands, he has lived in Guatemala since 2007, where he started to work as a volunteer for an afterschool program. He later worked in education for high school and college students. In his free time you can often see him hiking through the beautiful mountainous areas that Guatemala has on offer, or swimming in his favorite swimming pool in Almolonga.

Lennert Rohde
Director

Marissa joined GPSA initially as Program Coordinator in March 2022 and was promoted in September. She is responsible for managing and coordinating all travel program and eCourse activities, developing new projects, supporting administrative tasks, and leading monitoring and evaluation efforts. While originally from Los Angeles, California, she is currently based in Guatemala. She holds a BA in International Affairs and Sociology from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs)! Upon completing her MA in International Development, she moved to Guatemala where she worked with various nonprofits and NGOs, focusing on human rights, gender, health, and education. Marissa is a major foodie and loves trying out different cuisines when she travels. She also enjoys painting, cooking, and spending time with her family, friends, and dogs.

Marissa Loterina
Program Manager