At UGO we combine life changing volunteer experiences with life coaching for people who want to find clarity, more meaning, or a sense of purpose. This is anything but a traditional volunteer abroad trip. With pre trip, on trip and post trip programming, we zero in on what makes you tick or what is getting in your way, so you can get more from your life, all while connecting with and helping others.
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About UGO

What We Stand For


A thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible, resulting in a sense of peace and connection to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power


An inclusive close-knit group of people that care about each other, united in purpose and drive, leading to a sense of deep belonging for those within.

Meaningful Relationships

A shared kinship between two or more people in a state of being defined by mutual respect, selflessness, and appreciation that creates a deep sense of connection.


The act of engaging in supporting or collaborating with a person, a group, a community, a cause or a belief, contributing to a greater good without expectation of personal reciprocation.


To have a strong effect on someone or something. Marshalling resources, time, money, people and passion in a way that improves the state of being for anyone or all: individuals, communities, families, and or the planet and its animals.

Who We Are

Jill Valentine & Nicole Hrinco

Jill Valentine

Co-Founder & Transformative Travel and Social Impact Coach

Jill is a leading Transformative Travel Coach pioneering the transformational travel arena. She had the brilliant idea to harness the innate power of coaching, travel and volunteerism after becoming a Certified Professional Coach and then spending a month in the Philippines helping to rebuild after Typhoon Yolanda.

Combining these powerful tools together she now provides her coaching clients with the clarity, confidence and community to create personal and social change, while at the same time impacting communities in need around the world. 

Leveraging her coaching skills and thousands of hours of volunteering locally and internationally, she’s the creator of ‘The UGO Triple Change Effect Model’ to inspire individuals to clarify their life purpose, step into their full power, and change their world. 

Jill serves to inspire and encourage, because she understands the struggle to find more meaning in life. Although always feeling a call to service, she didn’t feel a deep and fulfilling sense of purpose until she was 32 despite years in the charity sector. She now meshes her passions of serving others, travel and community building to transform her clients lives and the communities they visit. 

Jill has led programs in Belize, Nepal, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Tanzania and has a talent for creating safe, intimate spaces for clients to comfortably volunteer abroad, journey within, and create deep bonds with one another. 

A passionate humanitarian, author of “Dare to be a Dandelion”, volunteerism specialist, disability sport consultant, and community developer, she lives by the words “Make it happen!”

She married her husband after a transformative year of volunteering in Uganda together and now they are raising their spirited daughter who loves giving back and travelling when she can.

Nicole Hrinco

Co-Founder and Global Partnerships & Impact Consultant

Nicole leads UGO’s global partnerships as she is passionate about connecting aspiring or experienced changemakers to worthy charitable partners doing incredible work in the world. She has extensive experience leading volunteers  at home with various charities, and abroad as a Habitat for Humanity Global Village Team Leader.

Nicole vets all of UGO’s partners by first asking; “What do you need?” to ensure our projects and collaborations create a positive and lasting impact for not only our community partners, but all of our participants.

Nicole spent the first ten years of her career in advertising and the second ten in the non-profit sector. While fulfilling at first, she always ended up with that nagging feeling that there had to be more to life and as a result is highly empathetic to anyone who feels stuck and is looking for more meaning or a sense of purpose but doesn’t know where to start.

While leading a team of 60 plus Canadians as part of the Jimmy Carter Work Project in Haiti, she was completely surprised when Jimmy and Rosalyn came to work on the same home she was assigned to.  It was a life-changing experience that colours much of the work she does now.

Nicole is an adventurer,  world traveler, expert manual cement mixer, and a passionate force for good.  She loves turning people on to doing good and helping them make it happen by connecting them to the right organizations and resources.

UGO Leadership Team

Beena Tharakan
Processes and Operations Consultant

Genevieve Zimanyi
Business Development Consultant

Jess Kissane-Johnson
Transformative Travel Coach

Nizam Ahmed
Strategic Consultant and Photographer

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