ABOUT US

Our Mission

To promote global understanding, inspire minds, and bridge gaps of inequality through cultural exchange and by fostering sustainable solutions for development goals.

Our Goals

To provide safe experiences that alter perspectives and lead to personal growth.

To influence and shift the conceptual foundation that guides our view of humanity.

What We're About

Cultural Passage is committed to sustainable development. Our volunteer and internship partner projects are selected based on their potential to further Sustainable Development Goals as outlined in the United Nations 2030 agenda. We employ best practices that ensure our volunteer contributions and interactions are conducted in such a way as to empower communities rather than creating dependence.

Our Team


MICHAEL HAYS

PRESIDENT

In 2003, Michael embarked on his first volunteer experience in India. Working in government primary schools in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, it became apparent to him that the school children struggled with creativity and originality. Realizing the potential implications for community problem solving, Michael returned to India in 2004 where he worked with students encouraging them to think freely and develop their own creative ideas through art. He continued his volunteer work bringing it to a small school in southern Rajasthan. “My experience in India was so powerful that it changed my worldview, and set the course for the rest of my life” recalls Michael.

Michael co-founded Cultural Passage in 2017 as a way to provide opportunities to individuals to connect with sustainable development projects in India, gain valuable cultural experience, and push the limits of their own comfort zones.

Michael is also the co-founder of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Wild Orca which seeks to conserve endangered killer whales in the pacific northwest of the United States.


JAGMOHAN NAGPAL

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – INDIA

Jagmohan Nagpal (aka Jaggi), was born, raised and educated in New Delhi. After receiving his diploma in Computer Software and Tourism from Delhi University, he began his career with the international volunteer company Cross-Cultural Solutions. Not only did he quickly become an asset to the program, but also he developed a passion for connecting international volunteers with local organizations in need. He ascended to the role of Program Director and began to dream of one day starting a volunteer organization of his own.

Jaggi’s ability to find unique placements and help volunteers adjust to their new surroundings is unparalleled. With clean air, fewer volunteer organizations and a strong need, Shimla is the perfect destination for those looking to connect with, give back to and discover a new part of the world!

Ask any of Jaggi’s previous volunteers about their experiences working with him, and you are sure to get a rave review. He is dedicated to helping every volunteer adjust to volunteer life in India safely and as comfortably as possible. He is supportive, approachable and a lot of fun.


JODY STEIN

GROUP PROGRAMS

After graduating from Boston University in 2008, Jody went on a volunteer trip to South Africa. It was life-changing. She fell in love with the experience, and immediately applied for a job working in international volunteer management.

Jody’s love affair with India began in 2010, when she took her first trip there as a two-week volunteer and staff traveler. India left quite the impression, and two weeks felt too short. She has since returned many times connecting with in-country support staff and making new friends in the surrounding communities.

With an entrepreneurial spirit, a variety of skills and interests, and a deep love for meaningful travel, Jody is thrilled to be part of the foundational Cultural Passage team. She is also a marketer for Stein Wood Products, a blogger at Passionate Path Blog, a marathon runner, dog-lover and proud Tennessean.


MEGAN ELLISON

NUTRITION PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Megan is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Specialist in Obesity & Weight Management and a Certified Diabetes Educator. Megan plays a key role in development and supervision of Cultural Passage’s Nutrition & Dietetics program. She is also the owner of Sound Dietitians. One of Megan’s passions is in mentoring the next generation of nutrition professionals which she fulfills though her work with Cultural Passage and by hosting dietetic interns at Sound Dietitians. Megan is also an adjunct instructor for Seattle Pacific University and the Coordinator for the SPU Dietetic Internship. For exercise, Megan prefers dance and yoga and for relaxation she plays piano.