Meet James: A Musically Talented Kerala Volunteer!

We said the same thing about Kate, but could we be any luckier to have James volunteering with us?!  We have no doubt that he’ll use his passion for music, fun, and adventure to connect with the kids and are thrilled for his arrival THIS MONTH! Learn more about James here…


“Greetings! I’m James Calleo, and I am 24 years old. I was born in New Jersey, yet hardly raised, as my family moved to Tokyo, Japan for 6 years of my childhood. Growing up between New Jersey, Japan, recently having lived in Texas, California and Washington state, and never in my life having lived in one house for more than 2 years, has allowed me to find a home wherever community and happiness can be found. I love the outdoors, whether its hiking, climbing, kayaking, swimming, or jumping out of a plane, I will try it. My main passion is playing music, and since moving back to NJ a year ago I have started a band called the Shadyside. (Why not pull a George Harrison and study the sitar for a few months in India?) When this opportunity to go to India arose I said yes without hesitation, and have not thought twice about the decision since. 

I have been to Juarez, Mexico twice as a volunteer. We started building a school one year, and came back the next to see it near completion. It was awesome to see a half built school was enough to have teachers and students taking classes. These kids were eager to learn, the community was quick to support, and I expect nothing less in Kerala.

 My teaching experience comes from attempting to major in English at College, but my learning has come from our everyday trot through life. I do, however, have plenty of experience in having boatloads of fun with kids, (too many cousins to count on 3 sets of hands, and I am now an uncle to a niece and nephew!) I have no doubt I will learn more from them than they will from me. I cannot wait to share my love of music with them, and teach English through song (and dance.) My emphasis will be on creating a positive, and fun-filled environment for which they will be excited to be a part of everyday.

 Did I forget to mention I will be living in, and exploring India for 3 months? See you in a week. I guess it’s time to start packing.”

-James Calleo

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