Giving Back

I’m proud to support the John Dau Foundation, a non-profit providing health care in South Sudan. You can learn more at

There are so many reasons I support John and his work.

Personal connection

After 5 years traveling across Sudan on foot to escape war and 9 years in a refugee camp in Kenya, John Dau immigrated to Central NY with the help of a church in my little town.

Three years later, John established the Foundation, headquartered here, to bring basic health services to the South Sudanese people.  He is an active and inspiring member of the Central NY community and has forever changed how generations of Central New Yorkers understand and engage with the global community.

Read more about John Dau here:!john-dau/c14lw

Peace-building Mission

Above and beyond providing health care to a region in need, John’s broader mission is to bring peace and understanding to a war-weary people. The desire for health is universal and illness and disease does not discriminate based on tribe, religion, wealth, race or creed.

From an early age, my vision has been of a world at peace in which everyone is equal and valued. I even have a canvas bag I decorated in puffy paint to express my concern for Somali civilians caught in the 1991 civil war.

My passion for global peace continued into my adult years – my Master’s degree and government career focused on international peace-building and I have a graduate certificate in refugee and humanitarian crises.


They say you never get over your first true love, and mine was Africa. From the Ghanaian exchange student who lived with us when I was 4 to every college and graduate level course, I’ve been hooked.

I was lucky enough to study abroad in Tanzania and live and research with the Maasai during college. While in Tanzania, I also volunteered at The Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, a player in the Burundi Peace Negotiations. During graduate school, I was granted a Macarthur Foundation scholarship to pursue research with Somali refugees in Uganda. Although I visit less frequently than I’d like, my experiences and memories stay with me.

Service for Sight

Eye diseases are one of the main mission areas of the John Dau Foundation’s Duk Lost Boys Clinic in Duk, South Sudan. The latest film documenting the Clinic’s work highlights the importance of cataract surgery in helping people remain viable members of their families and communities.

Check out the amazing video here:!videos-/c1bpk

As a founding member of the University of Chicago Eta Zeta chapter of Delta Gamma Fraternity, eye health is dear to my heart. Service for Sight has been at the heart of Delta Gamma’s philanthropic mission since 1936. In college and graduate school, I was proud to do my small part to help – screen kids for vision problems, collect and donate eyeglasses, and raise money for local schools for the blind and vision impaired. I’m thrilled to be able to continue to give back and help the people of South Sudan see this beautiful world.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting the John Dau Foundation.

Learn more and donate at