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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

A force for good.

What We Stand For

Gratitude

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

Community

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.

Service

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.

Impact

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 & Global Impact Coach and Community Development Specialist

Jill is a Certified Recreation Therapist, Disability Sport Specialist, former Gap Year Coach and is now a passionate Impact coach using her powerful skills to help her clients change themselves while changing the world.

Jill worked for a decade in fundraising and community development at national, provincial and local non-profits and charities in Canada including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and ParaSport Ontario but has been volunteering all of her life. She has spent thousands of hours locally and internationally giving back in varied roles from humanitarian aid worker to disability sport consultant to volunteer coordinator to Chair of the Board.

olunteering and engaging in local and global community work has defined and shaped Jill’s life and the transformative leader she has become. She created ‘The UGO Method for Change model’ to inspire individuals to clarify their life purpose and step into their full power to live it. Jill serves to awaken, support and educate because she personally understands the challenges and obstacles that aspiring changemakers face.

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 volunteering 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 in at home with various charities, and abroad as a Habitat for Humanity Global Village Team Leader.

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

Nicole spent the first ten years of her career in advertising and the second ten in the not for 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.

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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