Cultivating Thriving Families Abroad

The mission of TCK Training is to cultivate thriving
Third Culture Kids worldwide by
equipping, encouraging, and empowering

TCKs, adult TCKs, & those who support them, 
through research-based awareness.

We believe...

We believe that children shouldn’t take the backseat to their parents’ work or ministry.
From pre-departure to debriefing, we come alongside families with excellent care throughout their globally-mobile journey.

We believe...

We believe that healthy families and life abroad aren’t in contradiction.
If you’re working in a TCK care role, we can equip you to do so with high quality resources and education.

We believe...

We believe that family health is the best investment your sending organization or company can make.
If you send families to live abroad, it is critical that you understand and implement best practices in TCK care. We can help you do that.

We believe...

We believe that the challenges of your childhood as a TCK can be honored, addressed, healed and utilized to move toward thriving as an Adult TCK.
If you were raised cross-culturally, we want to help you thrive in adulthood. We understand the unique nature of that upbringing and can help you understand how it’s impacting your life now.

We believe...

We believe that we can change the future through investing in the health of TCKs. 
We understand the unique nuances of international schools and prepare staff and students to thrive. We meet this need through our flagship company: Unstacking Co. 
Our team

Leadership Team

Lauren Wells
Founder and CEO
With a history as an adult TCK and a background in Child Development, Lauren studied preventive care science to create a company dedicated to helping TCKs thrive. 
Elizabeth Vahey Smith
Chief Operating Officer
As a TCK mom with a background in counseling, Elizabeth sought preventive care TCK resources for her children and found none. Now she works to fill that need.
Tanya Crossman
Director of Research & Educational Services
An Adult TCK herself, Tanya has a great mind for the intricacies of excellent research and uses her experience to create excellent research-based services.

Jessi Bullis
Director of Adult TCK Services and Marketing
Jessi is an Adult TCK with a passion for helping Adult TCKs navigate the ways their globally mobile childhood impacted them and finding healing and strength.

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The Debriefers

Providing our excellent Family Care Services, the debriefers have rich experience in TCK Care and thorough training in the TCK Training Debrief and research-based TCK care to provide excellent direction to parents in debriefs and family care packages. 
Christine Van Tiem
Christine grew up as a TCK in France and the US. She has previously worked as a school social worker for young children with additional needs. The gift of raising her beautiful children as TCKs has deepened her desire to see global families thrive. She has lived in the UK for over a decade and currently resides in Scotland.
Evan & Jewel Evans
Evan was born and raised as a TCK in Vietnam. Together the Evans spent 39 years working with TCKs at two different international schools in the Ivory Coast and Senegal, West Africa. They have worked extensively in training personnel to work among TCKs and are international speakers on TCK issues. The Evans have 4 adult TCKS who are now married and are all raising TCKs of their own.
Katy Eisfeld
Pathways Alumni and former TCK Training Intern, Katy is one of our Debrief Certification Training Instructors and provides excellent debriefs and also pre-departure services for families. 

The Unstackers

Adult TCKs themselves and experts in coaching and/or counseling, our Unstackers lead adult and teenage TCKs through our Unstacking Sessions to help them  understand how their TCK childhood impacts them and how they can maximize that experience into a thriving future.
Grace Joo Benedict
 Grace is an adult TCK who has lived in S. Korea and the US as a child and in China as an adult. Working with TCKs at an international school in China deepened her understanding of and passion for TCKs and their unique experiences in life. An ICF-certified coaching training program equipped Grace to walk alongside those who desire to process their experiences and grow from (and beyond) them, living out the richness of their story.
Cristina Blackman
Cristina is an adult TCK who was raised between Ecuador and the United States. She continues to live a highly mobile life-style with her husband and two daughters. Together they have served the scientist expatriate sector and the Foreign Services community. Her unique life experience inspired her to work on a graduate counseling program and completed a MA in Family and Marriage Counseling in New Orleans, LA with the purpose to inject encouragement and hope to the Expatriate and TCK community as well with those that have experienced trauma in a monocultural context. It is my hope to help TCKs processing their rich diverse life experience and celebrate their strengths derived from their time living among worlds.

Cristina también ofrece servicios de coaching y consejería en español.
Aquí esta su perfil español.
Maria Tricarico
Maria is an adult TCK, raised between the US and Uganda. While living between these two worlds, she developed a deep passion for preventative mental health care that is both trauma-informed and culturally humble, a passion that she actively brings into her current career as an art therapist. Maria has a MS in Counseling and a post-graduate certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy. She is passionate about helping people of all cultural backgrounds access and embody their innate strength, resilience, and capacity for growth.
Lauren McCall
Lauren is an adult TCK who grew up in East Africa and has spent her adult life in the U.S, working with TCKs for nearly 10 years in various capacities. Throughout her work and relationships with other TCKs, she has become passionate about the unique and invaluable experiences that each TCK has, and desires to be a part of providing preventative care to TCKs in multiple contexts, resulting in thriving and healthy ATCKs. Lauren has a Masters in Public Health.

The Interns

Our robust internship program  provides  interns with small business experience and plentiful coaching and training opportunities .
Kate Rambolamanana
Project Management (Jan - Dec 2024)
Kate is an adult TCK who has lived in Madagascar, South Africa, Gabon and Mauritius. She made the third culture her home during secondary school, where she stumbled across the term for her IB Extended Essay. As she carried this interest into her Social Sciences dissertation, hearing other TCKs’ experiences with love cemented her resolve to care for these individuals. She now works to provide space for their hybrid identities, wielding her love for learning and genuine connection to help young migrants write fulfilling stories.
Sahana Kanabar
Research (Jan  - Dec 2024)
Sahana grew up in Singapore, Qatar, and China before pursuing post-secondary education in their passport country of Canada. Currently pursuing an MA in Social Dimensions of Health, Sahana's research is focused on enhancing the well-being of racialized international graduate students at the institutional-level. Presently based in China, Sahana is excited to work with TCK Training to help future and current TCKs embody resiliency.
Annie Pan
Asian Project Development (July - Dec 2024)
Annie is an Adult TCK with a background in Intercultural Studies and Christian Ministry and Leadership. She's passionate to explore creative ways to care for the TCK populations in higher education field and beyond. Annie has 5+ years of working experiences in multicultural organizations as well as universities and start-up businesses. She is now pursuing a Master's degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling and is committed to support and empower TCKs in their journey.

Aiko Ishii Casas
Curricula Development (July - Dec 2024)
Aiko is a Japanese Filipina and an adult TCK who grew up in Japan, the U.S., and China. She returned to Japan to pursue her extended studies, majoring in psychology and minoring in European Studies. She believes that our identities are not static; they evolve through our experiences and the stories we tell about those experiences. Therefore, her current research examining the identity formation of TCKs involves narrative analysis. In the future, she plans to become a psychologist who can help TCKs with their challenges.
Paige Drake
Operations (July - Dec 2024)
Paige has worked with TCKs at international schools in Germany and Senegal for five years. She is a credentialed K-12 teacher and has experience working with TCKs in the boarding context as well. She is passionate to support TCKs process their global transitions, celebrating the beauty of each experience while navigating the challenges that lie therein, in a way that helps TCKs tell their stories and best engage with both TCKs and non-TCKs as they enter adulthood.
Marie Suazo
Course Coordinator (July - Dec 2024)
Marie Suazo is an adult TCK, originally from the Philippines, but grew up South Korea and Egypt. She graduated from Yonsei University (UIC) with a comparative literature and culture degree with a focus in creative writing. She also pursued her graduate studies in Christian Counseling. Marie is the author of “Tales of a Diplomat’s Daughter”. And is also host to “Talks with a TCK Friend” podcast, the only TCK podcast based in the Philippines, where she currently resides. She hopes that by creating this space for TCKs they will know they are not alone. Her passions include creating a safe place for TCKs to share their stories and know that they are heard. She hopes to finish her Christian counseling degree in the future and help others walk through understanding their up-bringing as a TCK.
Shelly Aranight
Reserach (July - Dec 2024)
Shelly Aranight is a passionate and dedicated individual with a background in social work and a Master's candidate in Conflict Management. As a Third Culture Kid (TCK) herself, having grown up in West Africa and Southeast Asia, Shelly possesses a unique understanding of the complexities of cultural identity and the importance of community. Her diverse upbringing and experiences have fueled her passion for working with TCKs and fostering inclusive environments.
Currently residing in Georgia, USA, with her husband and husky, Noel, Shelly is excited to bring her skills and experience to her internship role. With a strong foundation in social work and a deep understanding of conflict management, Shelly is well-equipped to navigate complex situations and facilitate positive outcomes. When she's not working, Shelly loves to travel and explore new places, continuing to broaden her perspective and deepen her connection to the global community.

Global Vendors

Our Global Vendors provide TCK Training services in other languages!
Melanie Reuter
Director of TCK Training - Germany
Melanie is an adult TCK, raised between Perú and Germany. As an Art-Therapist her heart beats for preventive-care, especially for TCKs and their families. Besides her experience in clinical mental health, she has worked over 10 years with MK-Care Germany. She believes in the potential of supporting TCKs during their transitions in order to build a strong identity and resilience. But has also observed the need to equip Parents and Member Care staff to help TCKs thrive. That’s why she wants to provide TCK-Training material in Germany and is currently preparing to accomplish that goal by being trained through the TCK-Vendor-Program. She lives in Germany, is 33 years old, loves to paint during travel.  
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Valeska Petrelli
Director of TCK Training - Portuguese
Valeska is from Brazil and works at RVA in Kenya. She has served missionary families for many years, creating invaluable resources in Brazilian Portuguese to support thriving in global families. Now Valeska is joining TCK Training in order to translate and contextualize our content for Portuguese speaking families across the world. 

The Dream Team

Our Dream Team Members have niche roles that they fill so well! 
Christy Carmean
Training Liaison
 Christy has a background in education and has served as the Director of an elementary school for TCKs in West Africa since 2018. She previously attended the Pathways class as a student, and is now working as the Pathways Liaison.
Christy is the mom of three TCKs and has 10 years of cross-cultural experience in Cameroon.
Anna Danforth
Anna Danforth grew up in Cameroon as a third culture kid where she developed a passion to help global families thrive overseas. She holds a degree in secondary French education and an MAED in Instruction and Curriculum. She married her high school sweetheart from DR Congo and they raised their two kids in Lesotho and South Africa. Anna and her husband work in education, job skills training, job creation, and agriculture. Drawing on her experiences as a TCK, missionary, and teacher at the Africa Orientation Course, Anna wrote “Raising a Family Overseas” as a resource for global families. The place she calls home is a fruit tree and macadamia farm in KwaZulu Natal where she lives with her husband, dogs, cats, horse, and best friends.
Shelby Peters
Website Manager
A former TCK Training intern, Shelby is passionate about TCK care and ensuring that our resources are easily accessible through our website. Although not a TCK herself, Shelby has seen firsthand the strengths and challenges of growing up overseas. Shelby has two nieces who are TCKs, and she taught English in the Dominican Republic for seven months where several of her students were TCKs. These caregiver roles ignited a passion for preventative, holistic, and trauma-informed care for TCKs.
Ana Júlia Borges
Curricula Development 
Ana Júlia is an adult TCK, who was raised between Brazil and Uruguay. As an adult, she briefly lived in Japan and Singapore, working in TCK care, and studied Political Science in Ukraine as a free mover student. These experiences have influenced her academic path, leading her to pursue a Master's degree in Sociology. Her focus is to understand the intricate relationships between language, identity, and migration. Ana is passionate about TCK care and works with our team to design and develop more quality resources for TCKs and families, resources that she would have loved to have while growing up as a TCK.

Frequently asked questions

What is a TCK?

There is rich discussion on the precise definition of a TCK. When we're developing our materials, we focus on children who have lived outside their passport country for a significant portion of time with intent to repatriate. We intend this definition when we say TCK. However, we realize that there are a lot of circumstances that blur the lines. Regardless of how you fit into this definition, we've found that what's good for TCKs is good for everyone. 

Who is TCK Training for?

TCKs and those who care about TCKs. 
Whether you care for TCKs because you have a couple in particular that you love, or you work for an organization and found yourself an honorary auntie or uncle; whether you're in a TCK care position or Member Care and wondering how to support the TCKs within your org; whether you're leadership in an organization, company, military, or government services that send families abroad, or you're an international school or worldschool hub receiving globally mobile children; whether you're a church who sends missionaries or other financial contributor to relocating families internationally, we're here to help you intentionally and thoughtfully care for your TCKs with excellence.

Do you offer missionary discounts?

Our pricing indicates what services receive a non-profit discount. Many of our services keep prices low across sectors because we want to be accessible to all families. Some services are provided at a subsidized rate. This is with great thanks to our support partners whose generous donations enable us to provide excellent rates for non-profit sectors. If you'd like to support TCK Training, you can do so here.