Meet Tricia DeBoo

“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.”

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 TDS in 2009 when I heard Dr. Thurmaier give a presentation about the organization. I realized then that the need in the Nyegina community was great, that a few dollars goes a long way there and that my donated dollars would go directly to the needs of the people in Nyegina. I also liked the fact that it’s a grassroots organization that responds to the needs expressed by the local community leaders.

TDS was in its infancy at that time. I did some publicity and press releases and I attended board meetings for about two years and then joined 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, Fr. Kazeri, Jason Michnick and I met with representatives from Mwangaza, an organization that teaches teachers how to teach. We discussed improving the teaching process in the Mara region of Tanzania. I learned that teachers and students have very few textbooks. What a tremendous disadvantage! How much can anyone learn when the only source of information is what a teacher writes on the chalk board and erases a few moments later? 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.

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 returned to school at Carnegie Mellon University and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Management. 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.

My hobbies include renovating old homes, gardening, traveling and volunteering.

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.

“Always do the right thing.” This is the mindset that has worked for me since I was a child.

Goals for 2017

I hope that by the end of 2017 we have a strong and successful working relationship with the new UMABU board of directors, one of our partners in the Mara region. I also hope for an increased visibility and awareness of TDS in our local community here at home.

Goals for 2018

My vision for 2018 includes additional fundraising programs, use of textbooks in the school classrooms in Nyegina and abundant availability of computers in the Library and Computer Resource Center.