Jane Green Wants to Know the Back Story
Like most people, Catapult contracts manager Jane Green loves her vacations. But after years of taking cruises, lying on beaches, and enjoying tropical drinks, Jane wanted more from her time off.
So now she’s just as likely to spend her time in a developing country working in an orphanage, renovating a Ronald McDonald House-type facility for sick kids, or teaching business skills to local residents in a women’s empowerment office.
Jane volunteers with Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS), an international volunteer organization whose premise is simple: volunteers spend time in a developing country, helping out on specific projects but also learning the local culture. CCS’ objective is to foster cultural understanding by bringing people together.
Jane’s been to Morocco, Guatemala, and Costa Rica with CCS, and each was a unique experience.
“It’s a great way to open your eyes and heart to another culture,” she says. Seeing and learning these other cultures “takes you out of your bubble.”
Jane went to Morocco because she had never been to Africa, and because she wanted to see firsthand a Muslim country; she worked for a week and then stayed a few days on her own to travel the country.
Guatemala and Costa Rica showed her the challenges those impoverished countries face, each with large amounts of wealth in only a few hands and the rest of the populace struggling to survive.
The CCS program is set up so that volunteers work in the community for a third of their time, enjoy cultural and learning activities a third of their time, and spend the balance as free time.
“I love to travel—the sounds, smells, and way of life. I love to learn,” she says.
Back at home, Jane works at Catapult’s Headquarters managing a portfolio of federal contracts and supporting business development activities. She’s been in this line of work for about 20 years, and came to Catapult from Porter Novelli, an international public relations firm.
A native Californian, Jane moved to DC in 1996 after also living for a time in Texas and South Carolina. Her brother also lives and works in DC. Jane’s parents moved to Charlottesville, VA after they retired, so now her whole family is nearby.
When she’s not working or traveling, Jane is an active movie buff, spending time at the American Film Institute (AFI) and attending film screenings and interacting with the filmmakers. She loves the intimate discussions with the filmmakers who explain the background of their films and the stories they’re telling.
It’s that push to learn the back story—about a film, or an entire country—that keeps Jane going.