top of page

Meet the Team

James Adiok Mayik

James Adiok Mayik was born in the current South Sudan a few years before the Sudan's longest civil war began. During the civil war, James moved to a refugee camp in western Ethiopia in 1989 where he started primary education. When the Ethiopian government collapsed in 1990, James, along with several colleagues, were forced back to Sudan and eventually crossed into Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya in 1992 where he continued attending primary and secondary schools through a scholarship funded by Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS). After approximately eight years living in Kakuma Refugee Camp, James was offered a resettlement opportunity to come to the United States through a special refugee program called the Lost Boys of the Sudan resettlement scheme.

In the U.S., James attended classes at Portland Community College (PCC) receiving an Associate of Applied Scince (AAS) in 2006. Then he transferred to Portland State University (PSU), graduating in 2008 with a bachelor's degree of science. James attended PSU's Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) through a scholarship funded by the Portland Teachers Program (PTP). He subsequently pursued and obtained a master's degree in Education and was recommended for a teaching licensure with the State of Oregon through Teacher Standard and Practicing Commission (TSPC). He has taught and served in a variety of educational leadership capacities since his graduation.

James is currently a Secondary School science teacher with Portland Public Schools, pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at Portland State University. James is married to Everlyne Kwiya, They are the parents of two beautiful daughters and a handsome son. Inspired by a long historical struggle, hard work to become a successful school teacher in America, compassionate philanthropy, inherent altruism, and a passion to serve humanity, James Mayik founded South Sudan Youth Education Program (SSYEP) with the intent to give back to his community in South Sudan. Along with great and compassionate American friends, some of whom support as members of the board of directors, SSYEP is built on the foundation of love for others.

SSYEP is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, religious, and educational purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), including, without limitation, the grant of scholarships to South Sudanese refugees to permit them to access secondary and/or college education in Kenya and other neighboring countries where they are encamped. SSYEP's purposes include the making of distributions to such organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Meet the Team: Who We Are

Richard Eyberg

Richard Eyberg lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Kate, and their two sons, Daniel and Matthew. Over the years, he has been involved in various community projects ranging from international relief in Sudan to teaching Sunday school for grades 3-5. Between those bookends, he found time to serve on his church Mission and Leadership committees, board memberships on a local non-profit theater company, church affiliated preschool and serving on the Markham elementary school parent advisory board. Richard enjoys travel, spending time outdoors, book clubs, talking with other dog walkers and watching hummingbirds in his backyard. One of the highlights of his recent past years was accompanying his church youth group on their annual mission trip to Skagway, Alaska.

Meet the Team: Who We Are

Rick Short

Rick was born in Dallas, Texas attending public schools through graduating from the University of Texas-Austin. After college, he spent a year teaching math and science at a small, rural school in the Western Province of Kenya. When Rick returned home to Texas, he worked as an environmental inspector for the Travis County Health Dept.

He relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 1992 where his wife attended law school and have remained here since. Rick is currently a middle school science teacher with Portland Public Schools for the past sixteen years. Rick also spent a semester teaching at the boys boarding school in Dehradun, India, through the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program during the Fall of 2013.

Rick's wife is an attorney working for the Oregon Health Sciences University. They have two children, currently going to college.

Meet the Team: Who We Are
bottom of page