Thomas Peden

Founder and Executive Director

His first taste of travel came through a trip to Venezuela during his sophomore year in college. Before graduating from Trinity International University, Thomas took a second trip abroad, this time backpacking through Europe, further fueling his love of travel. In the winter of 2002, he took a leap of faith and founded World Endeavors as a way for to kindle an excitement for meaningful travel in others. He enjoys seeing people travel abroad for the first time and hearing about their experiences. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, woodworking, and learning flamenco.

Mallory Lauerhunt

Outreach Manager

Mallory was raised in Minnesota. When she was a child, her family took numerous trips around the country, which sparked her interest in travel. Mallory attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, where she graduated with a BA in International Affairs. During university, Mallory studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. She was able to explore the country and gained a greater interest in other countries and their cultures. She has also visited Ireland, England, and Thailand. Other than traveling, Mallory likes to camp, be outside, bike, check out local art and music, and spend time with family and friends.



Elaina Kropf

Regional Outreach Coordinator

Elaina’s love of travel began on a high school group trip to Northern France, which inspired her to study abroad in Cannes, France. After receiving her BA in International Relations and French at the College of St. Benedict, she returned to Cannes to continue her studies of the French language, and had an internship during the Cannes Film Festival. During her stints in France, she traveled extensively through Europe. This summer, Elaina had the opportunity to visit New Zealand, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and China, meeting amazing friends along the way.  When she’s not wandering around the world, Elaina loves riding her bike, running around the lakes in Uptown of Minneapolis, and trying in vain to recreate the exquisite cuisine of Thailand.

Kip Dooley

Regional Outreach Coordinator

As a youngster, Kip developed connections with French language and cultures through his elementary school and through hosting exchange students in his family’s home. After studying abroad in France the summer after high school, Kip studied History and Literature and played lacrosse in college, traveling again his Junior year, this time to South Africa, for an experiential education program. After four years of teaching English and History to high schoolers, Kip joined World Endeavors, where he hopes to use his experience in education to facilitate transformative abroad experiences for others. Kip is a writer and actor, and when he’s not watching, writing, and rehearsing plays, he’s probably on his bike or reading in the park.




Andy MacGregor

Participant Services Manager

Andy was born and raised in Portsmouth, in the United Kingdom, and went on to study International Business at Swansea University. It was during his study abroad year in Sweden that Andy fell in love with traveling. He has since been to forty countries across five continents. In 2011, he became qualified as an English language teacher and has taught in the Republic of Georgia, South Korea and Colombia. He is now experiencing life in Minnesota and successfully made it through his first winter! Aside from traveling, Andy enjoys reading, eating spicy food, watching soccer, and drinking good coffee.

Natalie Dmytrenko

Participant Services Coordinator

Natalie was born and raised in Minnesota. As her father is English, she spent most of her childhood flying to England and Europe for family trips. In high school, Natalie began to learn Japanese and started to develop a love for the language and culture. While studying Political Science and Asian Studies at St. Olaf College, she had the opportunity to visit Japan multiple times. She spent a semester at Waseda University while staying with a host family, and also had a summer internship for a study abroad company in Tokyo. Most recently, she was in Japan for two years on the JET Programme—teaching English at a public high school.  Natalie has a love for Korean pop music and dramas, and enjoys learning new languages, travel, and stopping to say ‘hi’ to any dog she happens to walk past on the street.



Jennifer Coffey

Participant Services Coordinator

Mai Cha Vang

Accounting and Finance Coordinator

Mai Cha spent her childhood in a Hmong Refugee Camp in Thailand before immigrating to the US with her family when she was 8. She has always been fascinated by cultures and languages, and she studied Mandarin for two years in college. Eventually, she studied abroad in Korea to pursue Women’s Studies at Ehwa Woman’s University. While abroad, she learned to read and write in Korean and taught herself basic Japanese. Aside from languages, Mai Cha loves to learn and challenge herself. Her future goals include more volunteering and traveling abroad..



Justin Thao

Accounting and Finance Assistant

Born to refugee parents, who fled Southeast Asia after the spillover of the Vietnam War, Justin was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and was raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Being a child of two worlds, and as a first generation Hmong-American, he is fluent in both English and Hmong. His curiosity to travel and see the world was sparked as a child, through his love for Hong Kong Action films, as well as Japanese Godzilla films. In the summer of 2015, he was finally able to travel abroad, as he took a trip to Japan to visit family members, in the U.S. Military bases in Okinawa. It was an eye-opening and life-changing experience. He plans to travel abroad again in the near future, and continues to travel around the United States to experience new cultures and meet people from different walks of life.


Mary Krebs

Strategy and Operations Assistant

Originally from Michigan, Mary began her international calling at age eighteen by participating in a gap-year exchange program to Brazil.  From there it was all things international. With a degree in International Business and a Masters in International Relations, Mary has been able to use her background in a variety of positions and industries; teaching International Relations to students in China and Switzerland, leading groups of students through South America, Southeast Asia and Europe on study abroad programs, managing operations for Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex international youth soccer camps, to name a few. Her professional and personal travels have taken her to 42 countries and allowed her to enhance Spanish and Portuguese language skills.  Outside of work Mary enjoys camping, being active, soccer, MMA, reading historical fiction and spending time with friends and family. 


Join Our Team

Interested in joining our team? World Endeavors has several internship positions available year-round, and we occasionally have permanent staff positions available.

Please contact for more information about career and internship opportunities!