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Elaina Karayannis, Fellow

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Elaina received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Temple University in 2015 and graduated from Eastern University in 2017, with a master degree in International Development, concentrating on refugees and forcibly displaced persons. 

Prior to her masters degree, Elaina taught English in Thailand, addressed human rights issues with Burmese refugees, worked with malnourished children who had a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities in a Guatemalan hospital, and implemented social work and art therapy programs for middle eastern refugees in Athens Greece. Her most recent experience was working in Moria Refugee camp and detention center, on Lesvos Greece. There she acted as one of the Shelter Coordinators, providing shelter, among other entities, to the 4,000+ refugees residing within the camp.

Though her experiences abroad, Elaina has recognized that despite all people being created in the image of God, there is a great injustice that prevents people from fully achieving this. Therefore, Elaina’s primary focus during her fellowship is on refugees and those forcibly displaced. She seeks to advocate for human rights-based policies related to these areas. She believes combining her International Development degree with the Church is a perfect way to achieve this goal, and she is looking forward to serving the Church as an advocate for positive change.