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5th Anniversary Alumni Exhibition

In honor of the 5th Anniversary of BAFF, 22 alumni share their inspiring stories.

5th Anniversary Alumni Exhibition

The 5th Anniversary Alumni Exhibition celebrates the stories of 22 BAFF alumni who had the opportunity to travel to the United States to intern, study, learn, and grow. See how their lives were changed by participating in a BAFF program.

For more information about our fifth anniversary, please click here.

PDF Booklet of BAFF Participant Experiences

Download PDF to read more about BAFF Participant ExperiencesClick this image to download the booklet.

Arita Dubṇika

Arita was part of the Research Scholar program and worked in Palo Alto, California. Her host organization was the Biomaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery Laboratory at Stanford University.

“Some people said I was very brave to pack up my family, leave everything behind and head halfway round the world for a research project. But doing just that is oneof the best things I have ever done so far.

I had a chance to experience a research environment and to access technologies at Stanford University, which is one of the best universities in the world. Throughout the year, I worked at an international laboratory with researchers who have knowledge in fields from materials science and cell biology to mathematical modelling, infectious diseases and in vivo animal models.

I am planning to use my knowledge to become a leading researcher, to combine different research fields and to take ideas from bench to bedside.”

Artjoms Konohovs

Artjoms was part of the Professional Internship Program and worked in San Francisco, California. His host organization was KALW Public Radio Station.

“I really got what I was looking for, and even more! My professional internship took place at KALW Public Radio station in San Francisco, California. This experience allowed me to learn in practice what public radio renaissance really means. Now I'm helping to make it happen in Latvia.

My internship with BAFF allowed me to see that public radio is not dead, contrary to what many Europeans often think. Quite the opposite: it has huge potential because people will always want to hear stories. In San Francisco I developed the professional tools I needed to improve my own journalistic work and make it more appealing to the audience, all while making valuable professional contacts.

Currently I'm working for the public broadcasting company ‘Latvijas Radio’ as a senior foreign correspondent in Brussels, covering important news events in Brussels, Paris and elsewhere in Europe for the Latvian- and Russian-speaking audiences of my home country.”

Julija Frodina

Julija was part of the Professional Internship Program and worked in New York, New York. His host organization was Rag & Bone.

“I was awarded a Baltic-American Freedom Foundation scholarship and spent a year in New York City interning with ‘Rag & Bone’ and ‘Vida Shoes’ companies, where I worked in the footwear and accessories departments.

Besides work, I collaborated with other artists representing different fields, and took part in various art projects. Together with a NYC-based jewellery artist, we produced an outfit for a contemporary dance programme during a dance festival; later I designed costumes for five plays performed during the Manhattan Theatre Festival. I also took part in the “Bushwick Open Studios” project, where I presented my collection of clothes and footwear.

I am happy I had the opportunity to become a part of BAFF. It wasn't just a professional, but also a personal experience, that helped me to understand my possibilities in the design field on a worldwide scale. It was a great cultural experience and a chance to meet congenial spirits.

After a year in New York, I started my Master's degree in Product Design and opened my fashion studio together with a friend. The object of my MA degree work at the Vilnius Academy of Art was conceptual footwear. The main goal of my project was to analyse the combination of old crafts and techniques, and the innovation in footwear design. The collection of shoes I designed for my Master's degree project includes two pairs of 3d-printed shoes and three pairs of handmade shoes.”

Baiba Orbidāne

Baiba was part of the Professional Internship Program and worked in New York, New York. Her host organization was the Manhattan Mediation Center at the New York Peace Institute.

“As part of the BAFF Professional Internship Program in 2014, I spent eight months at the Manhattan Mediation Center at the New York Peace Institute. During my internship, I was given an outstanding introduction to mediation by taking part in mediation sessions at civil courts in Manhattan and the EEOC together with highly experienced mediators.

The BAFF program provided me with a much deeper understanding of mediation as an alternative method of dispute resolution that is suitable for commercial disputes in order to protect the interests of businesses as much as possible.

It also gave me an outstanding opportunity to call New York City my second home and provided me with a great pool of professional contacts for future cooperation, both here in the Baltics and back in the States.

BAFF provides young interns with opportunities not just to learn but also to become familiar with the best American know-how in their professional field and inspires them to implement U.S. knowledge back to Latvia.

Having returned home, I can see that the knowledge I gained can be of benefit for Latvia, where commercial mediation is just starting to develop. After recently passing the Certified Mediator Exam, I began pursuing Ph.D studies in the field of mediation and developing a mediation practice at the law firm where I work.”

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