TGUP: Team
Robert FRobert Freeman ( is Founder and Executive Director. He spent 19 years in the computer industry, concluding as Vice President, International Marketing for one of the largest software companies in the world. In 2000, he became a teacher at Los Altos High School in Los Altos, CA. There, he coached the Speech and Debate team, including producing a national champion in 2006. He has traveled extensively in both the developed and developing worlds. He holds a B.S. in economics from Santa Clara University and an MBA from Stanford University. He is the author of the The Best One Hour History book series. He is an avid swimmer, gardener, and canner. Last year he swam 152 miles, canned 181 jars of tomato sauce, and made 113 jars of different kinds of jam.

Cathy DCathy Dwulet ( is Director of Global Operations. Cathy worked in Silicon Valley for various consulting, computer, and research firms for over 15 years. Part of her work included living in France and managing multi-country and multi-language market research projects. This work experience translated directly into helping create the operating infrastructure that powers TGUP’s activities around the world. In 2023, Cathy oversaw the completion of 93 projects in 10 countries, or one every four days. In 2024, TGUP is expected to complete 120 projects, or one every three days. Cathy has a B.A. in Economics from UCSB and an MBA from the University of Washington. Her favorite thing in the world is to spend time with her two grown children but she also loves to ski, hike, travel, cook, and garden.

Brenda BBrenda Birrell ( is Program Director. Brenda is a graduate of Homerton College at Cambridge University, England, where she majored in Physics and Education. She taught Physics at Littleport Village College in Littleport, Cambridgeshire before moving to the U.S. in 1978. After working for 15 years in the counseling department at Los Altos High School in Los Altos, CA, she joined TGUP so she could help thousands more children each year. She is the inventor of TGUP’s Save a Girl™ kit which, to date, has been distributed to more than 74,000 girls in 11 countries. She loves spending time with our partners and students in both the developing world, and locally. In addition to traveling she enjoys hiking, singing, baking and listening to classical music. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Leo FLeo Florendo ( is TGUP's Webmaster. Leo has been the TGUP Webmaster since 2007, redesigning the TGUP website several times to better fit the needs of people who believe in TGUP. In 2006, he co-founded Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts and Technology in Mountain View, CA. He currently teaches Digital Media at Freestyle. Prior to TGUP and Freestyle, Leo taught Physics, Mathematics, and Pre-Engineering at Los Altos High School for 9 years where he also coached the nationally ranked Robotics team. He spent 4 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga. He is a Banana Slug alumnus of UC Santa Cruz, with BA degrees in Physics and Mathematics. He holds a Masters in Instructional Technology from San Jose State University. He has three "children" - The Global Uplift Project, Freestyle Academy, and a daughter.

Shandell RShandell Randall ( is Project Manager. Shandell graduated from Cabrillo College with an AA in Liberal Arts. She currently works as an Instructional Aide with Mountain View High School’s Life Skills program, in Mountain View, CA. Shandell chaperoned TGUP summer service trips to South Africa in 2015 and 2016 where students renovated dozens of preschools in inner-city slums. She also led an all-girl trip to Nepal in 2019 where she and her team introduced TGUP’s Save a Girl™ program to Nepalese students and schools. She is involved in the day-to-day operations of TGUP, organizes the TGUP trips and provides administrative support. She has three children and in her spare time likes to see friends, cook, and travel.

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