I joined the AMD3 Foundation in April 2018. Previously, I worked as an administrator at the University of Pittsburgh’s Initiative for Effective Governance for USAID contracts in West Africa. I’ve also lived and worked in Rwanda as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2010-2012, Japan as an English Teacher in the JET Programme from 2012-2015, and Uganda as a business development consultant in 2016. In my free time, I enjoy the outdoors, traveling for leisure, and studying history.
Last year, I was very nervous during my first Operation Walk trip as Program Director. It’s a monumental undertaking behind the scenes. Making sure everything is in place and ready to go can mean the difference between a patient getting the help they need or being turned away. Much of this happens months before we even arrive, and I came to the organization well into the trip planning phase. There was a lot I needed to figure out in a short amount of time. The only thing that saved me was a great group of experienced team members to lean on for advice.
I didn’t sleep much during the week of my first trip, and I was exhausted when I finally returned home. It was a massive learning experience. I had stacks of notes about how I could improve one step or another throughout the week. This year, I’ve had time to put those improvements into practice during the planning phase and felt comfortable heading into the trip knowing that I was prepared for anything and everything.
These missions change people’s lives. Our patients, although they are the true beneficiaries during the trip, are not the only ones who come away from the experience changed. We come home humbled, hopeful, and energized to do more. I can’t describe how excited I was to return to Guatemala, Las Obras hospital and our friends and colleagues there.
I encourage everyone to visit www.operationwalkpgh.org to read more about our recent trip and the truly outstanding would of this team. I am proud and humbled to be a part of this organization and can’t wait to plan for the years ahead.