“Tanzanian teachers and students have very few textbooks; what a tremendous disadvantage! With TDS, I believe I can and should help the local community not only acquire books but also develop a love of reading and learning as I have.”
Board Member since 2011
Raised in a suburb of Chicago
Trips taken with TDS to Tanzania: 3
Career: Real estate management
Hobbies: Renovating old homes, gardening, traveling and volunteering
I became interested in Tanzania Development Support in its infancy when I heard Dr. Kurt Thurmaier give a presentation about the organization in 2009. I realized the need in the Nyegina community was great. A few dollars go a long way there and my donated dollars would go directly to the needs of the people in Nyegina. I also liked that it’s a grassroots organization that responds to the needs expressed by the local community leaders. So, I began doing some publicity work, writing press releases, and attending board meetings for about two years, eventually joining the Board in 2011.
I traveled to Nyegina with the volunteer groups in 2011 and 2013. In January 2016, I traveled to Tanzania with the group of volunteers that participated in the Mount Kilimanjaro fundraising climb. While the climbers were on the mountain, Father Leo Kazeri, Board Member Jason Michnick, and I met with representatives from Mwangaza, an organization that trains teachers. We discussed improving the teaching process in the Mara region of Tanzania as resources were low and the only source of information was often what a teacher wrote on the chalkboard only to erase a few moments later.
My first career was as a registered nurse in staff and administration positions at hospitals in Chicago, Ill., and Pittsburgh, Pa. In the mid-1980s, I earned a Master of Public Management at Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating, I worked as administrator of the liver transplant program at the University of Pittsburgh Hospital and later as a research coordinator at a Pittsburgh Veterans Hospital. I left the nursing profession after 30 years and began my second career in real estate management which I continue to do today. I also serve as a TDS Board Member.
TDS raises awareness of hardships experienced by people in other parts of the world, such as limited education, lack of clean running water, and life in extreme poverty. We reach out to people in our local community through events like water walks and yard sales. These events provide opportunities to talk about our first-hand experiences in Tanzania and to describe what life is like in Nyegina.
Goals for 2017
1. Develop a strong and successful working relationship with the new UMABU Board of Directors, one of our partners in the Mara region.
2. Increase the visibility and awareness of TDS in DeKalb and nearby communities.
Goals for 2018
1. Establish additional fundraising programs.
2. Enhance the use of textbook in the Nyegina classrooms.
3. Ensure an abundant availability of computers in the Nyegina Library and Computer Resource Center.
“Since I was a child, I’ve always tried to do the right thing. This has fueled my volunteerism with TDS where I can do the right thing.”