The answer to the question, “Where are you from?” has always been one of the most difficult questions for me to answer. I am 27 years old, and to date I have never lived more than 3 consecutive years in any given place. I grew up moving with my family and spent years living and working in multiple US cities, along with Moscow, Russia, London, UK, The Netherlands, Arusha, Tanzania and Hong Kong. Growing up as a “Third Culture Kid” has had a great influence on the way I view the world, how I solve problems. It taught me how to be adaptable and sensitive to people from all paths of life. I attended Boston College and graduated with a degree in Finance, Operations Management, and Russian. Upon graduation, I had an offer to join General Electric’s Financial Management Program, an intensive two-year rotational program that trains the future finance leaders of GE.
I knew that I couldn’t start working right after college; I felt very passionately that I needed to take some time to give back. I deferred my job offer with GE for 6 months and decided that I would travel to Tanzania as a volunteer. I volunteered at a Tanzanian NGO started by a local couple, Alice and Julius. I was the second volunteer at their NGO, and since the day we first met, my life has never been the same. Alice had studied to be a teacher and later volunteered for CARE where she served families suffering with HIV/AIDS. She became acutely aware of the impact this disease was having on the livelihood of the families she worked with. Their children were not going to school and they could not afford to feed their families. Alice began bringing their children to her house, and established an NGO in effort to get foreign assistance for their project. When I first arrived there were 30 children arriving at her house each day in need of food, water, care, and an education. During my time in Tanzania, I raised the funds to feed the children each day, build them a classroom, put in plumbing for water, built a water tower, and bathrooms.
When I returned to the US, I started my job with GE, which for two years moved me to a new city in a new position every 6 months. During that time, I also started a non-profit organization to support Alice and Julius in their incredible effort to transform their community. We now have 175 children, 20 full-time staff, a micro-loan network empowering 15 women to start small businesses, a community well project providing clean water for 150 families per day, and a widows craft project that supports a group of 5 women. I left my job with GE in April of 2014 to pursue running Glorious full time, and my goal is to turn Glorious into a self-sustainable project within the next 5 years. We have recently partnered with another organization that will help us to do so by implementing a number of sustainable agriculture projects that will both feed and ultimately fund the school. Glorious is changing the lives and well being of an entire community within Tanzania, and we have just scratched the surface of possibility.