Meet the Pathfinders


Pathfinders Project


We’re excited to announce Pathfinders Project, a humanist service and research trip. Pathfinders Project is our small-grant beneficiary for the second quarter of 2013. Click here to learn how you can help support the project and fund their international service trip.

Project: Pathfinders Project
Project Leader: Conor Robinson
Sponsor: Foundation Beyond Belief
Full project budget: $108,000

Pathfinders Project is a yearlong international service and research trip sponsored by Foundation Beyond Belief. From July 2013 to July 2014, four humanists will complete clean water, education, and human rights projects in collaboration with local nonprofits and NGOs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. As they complete these projects, the Pathfinders will collect data on each country and partner organization with the ultimate goal of evaluating sites for the forthcoming Humanist Action: Ghana.


Conor Robinson
is an elementary special education teacher in Los Angeles. He graduated from Yale University in 2010, after founding the Yale Humanist Society, majoring in English, and minoring in intramural sports. A lifelong vegetarian and six-year vegan, Conor is looking forward to the culinary exploration that will go hand in hand with his cultural exchange.


Ben Blanchard
is a biomedical major at St. Cloud State University, serving as president of SSA-SCSU as well as VNC for the UpperMidWest Network for the National SSA. Ben aspires to create plastic-eating bacteria, then become a pediatric oncologist. In his free time, he enjoys absorbing knowledge, friendly debates, doing science, and amassing nerd-cred.


Michelle Huey is a student at the University of California, Davis where she studies Design and Political Science – Public Service. She looks forward to using her skills to work on a cause that is right at the intersection of her three main passions: humanism, service, and social justice.


Wendy Webber
is a graduate student at Yale Divinity School, where she is a founding member of an atheist, agnostic, and multifaith community that fosters interbelief dialogues and initiatives. Wendy is a published author who plays tennis, takes photos, and enjoys offbeat museums like the chamber pot museum and surgical instruments museum.


Pathfinders Project Itinerary
July 2013   Trenton, New Jersey: Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), Poverty Beneficiary Q4 2010

August 2013


Bridge of Life School (photo credit: Eddie Roohan)EDUCATION PROJECT SPOTLIGHT
Siem Reap, Cambodia: Bridge of Life School

While in Cambodia, the Pathfinders will work as English teachers at the main school in Siem Reap. They will also help construct a floating latrine for the Bridge of Life School in the laketop village of Kampong Kleang.

September and October 2013   Kasese, Uganda: Kasese Humanist Primary School, Education Beneficiary Q3 2012
October and November 2013   Central Uganda: Uganda Humanist Schools Trust, Education Beneficiary Q3 2011 and 2010
November and December 2013   Northern Ghana: Leo Igwe Research Project, Small Grants Beneficiary Q3 2012
January 2014   Pedernales, Dominican Republic: Children of the Border

February 2014


Water Ecuador (photo credit: Allie Cuozzo)CLEAN WATER PROJECT SPOTLIGHT
Muisne, Ecuador: Water Ecuador

While in Ecuador, the Pathfinders will work to dig wells, install water purification systems, and educate about clean water, hygiene, and sanitation.

March 2014   La Guajira, Colombia: Aguayuda
April 2014   Guatemala City, Guatemala: Safe Passage
May-June 2014   Guatemala City, Guatemala: Avivara, Small Grant Beneficiary Q4 2012

Pathfinders Project and the Humanist Action: Ghana will enable humanists to put their values into action, thereby demonstrating those values to the world. Pathfinders Project has been described by Hemant Mehta as “the ultimate service project for Humanists” and by James Croft as “a life-changing opportunity.” Certainly, Pathfinders Project will have a meaningful impact on each of the communities visited and a profound effect on each of the Pathfinders. Furthermore, Pathfinders Project will shape the humanist movement for years to come. In taking the first step toward launching the Humanist Action: Ghana, the Pathfinders are building the structure of a flagship program not just for Foundation Beyond Belief, but for the entire humanist movement.