Stan Taylor blazing a trail
Thank you so much WBEZ Worldview for the tremendous opportunity to share the story of these incredible children!  Also thank you Jerome McDonnell for your great questions and relaxed approach.  It was a great honor and truly humbling to be a part of one of your shows.  I was very nervous for my first ever interview… of any kind… so thank you!  Also not enough can be said about Stan Taylor’s personal contribution to me even on his birthday!  He was there with me every step of the way to make sure I didn’t get too nervous (which I was) and be a great support and friend.  It was such a cool experience for the both of us.  I know that I speak for everyone at the Mailisita Foundation when I say that a huge thank you is also owed to Lisa Trafficanta and Adam Mesirow.  Their excitement and leadership from Res Publica Group made every step of this experience so easy.  Adam and Lisa have both worked so hard to share our story and give us these opportunities to raise awareness.  Their excitement about our work inspires me to work harder and do my best to express the message of the Mailisita Foundation and inspire more people to get involved through visiting our school and donating.

Matt Partain (right)
The entire interview remains somewhat of a nervous/excited energy filled blur but I wanted to include a few pictures from the stories in the interview.  I also want to share some exciting news from this interview which is that we have been invited to the Global Activism Expo at the UIC Forum on April 22nd!  This is a great honor to be a part of the Global Activism Expo which had more than 3,000 people in attendance last spring!

The incredible group of College of Holy Cross volunteers
If there is one thing I would add to this tremendous day, it is that our story is about children.  It is through the love that these children inspire that we are able to accomplish these great things.  We have all learned so much from them, and gain strength from them daily.  This strength is shown in the things we have accomplished and still hope to accomplish.  Thank you for visiting my blog and please continue to show your support in any way you can.  Whether it is through making a donation, sharing our story, liking my page, commenting on our stories, visiting our school or sending your prayers we appreciate everything!  Please help in whatever way you can and be sure to check back in with my blog after June 13th after I return to my other home in Tanzania. 

Listen again to the WBEZ Worldview interview with Jerome McDonnell here:

On behalf of the children asante sana na nakupenda sana (thank you and I love you all)!


Karibu and Welcome!

Thank you for visiting my blog!  The purpose of this blog will be to update all of you about upcoming fund raisers before my trip to Tanzania and then share stories once I have moved back to Tanzania on June 13th!  The tentative date for our official fund raiser is May, site to be determined later…Sorry I can’t be more specific, but we will know more soon!

The children of Mailisita have inspired incredible generosity and work for over seven years.  When Stella Maris opened January 2010 I was blessed enough to be there and be part of the first teaching staff at Stella Maris.  I lived there for seven months and was able to teach them in every subject, except Kiswahili where I was also a student!  I am returning to continue to teach, inspire and provide love for these special students. Our students at Stella Maris come from incredibly difficult backgrounds.  Many of them have been orphaned from AIDS, malaria or other illnesses.  Without an English education there is no possibility to enter High School or college, and without a private education they cannot learn English.  We are working to change that for the community of Mailisita and some of its most marginalized children.  With an English education and love they so desperately need these children are accomplishing incredible things daily!

In case you don’t know me personally, I am a 25 year old teacher who spent 9 months teaching in Tanzania after graduating from the University of Missouri.  I have also taught first grade in America for two school years at St. Joseph Elementary School in Libertyville.  I am returning to Tanzania to teach and live in Mailisita for the next two years.  I will be teaching at Stella Maris, as well as acting as the assistant manager of the Stella Maris Executive Lodge in order to help with these first couple years of operation. 

Thank you for your support and sharing in this incredible journey!