I was adopted when I was 6 days old and raised in the suburbs of New York City by two teachers. As a child, my Father was the smartest man I knew. We would watch Jeopardy every night and he always knew the Final Jeopardy answer. I was in awe. My Mother was the epitome of beauty and her classroom was a reflection of her soul. Meticulous, vibrant, and filled with love.

When I was 28, I married my husband who was also raised in a household dominated by education. His Father is a brilliant businessman who graduated from the prestigious Columbia Business School. His Mother is a fervent reader and advocate of the cultural arts.

As a result, we now raise our three daughters to value the power of education and the opportunities it provides. We play Jeopardy, talk about college and appreciate cultural experiences thanks to our parents. To us, it is everything.

Our youngest daughter was adopted from Ethiopia in 2008. This past June, we traveled to Ethiopia to further connect us to her culture. We spent three days in Jajura, which is four hours south of the capital city of Addis Ababa. This is the region where our daughter was born and ranks as one of the poorest areas in the world.

We quickly discovered that our family shares an educational hunger with this great community. However, the portion we are fed as Americans is dis-proportionally and shockingly larger. In every home we visited we saw something remarkable that was feeding this hunger. A haphazard poster of bird species’ or an outdated world map nailed to the wall. A hand drawn map proudly used as a table cover. Worn paintings on exterior school walls with English words seeming to date back 30 years. The portions of intellectual “food” were small, yet cherished by the families and communities. They deserve more. They want more.

Upon returning we quickly partnered with Roots Ethiopia to identify a school in the region that was in great need and had the community support to create a school of excellence and sustainability. I had volunteered for the charity prior to our visit, but my role was about to get much bigger. A few weeks later, with the help of local community leaders in the region, The Jajura Primary School Project was born. I am now leading the effort to supply the school with an immense amount of critical learning resources such as books, blackboards, adequate desks and enrichment materials. The community awaits our donations with great excitement and passion for educating their precious young learners. $15,000 cannot solve the lack of educational opportunities that exist in Ethiopia, but it can give an amazing group of children the foundation to lead a sustainable and enriching life like we all deserve.

Learn. Connect. Act.
Learn more about Roots Ethiopia
Visit Ethiopia Calls to read more about our recent and upcoming visits to Ethiopia
Connect via FacebookTwitter
Act by donating to The Jajura Primary School Project or email to get involved

From the Editor
At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers in the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you Sign-up for the Weekly and Subscribe to Conscious Magazine.