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Hauwa Dapchi, Programs Manager
Hauwa comes from Borno State in the North East of Nigeria. She is a graduate from the University of Birmingham with a Masters in International Development. During her
National Youth Service year, she served at The Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, as a Program Assistant for the Malaria Project, tasked with ensuring
the distribution of malaria test kits and medication to 14 states in Northern Nigeria.
Hauwa’s main passions are the promotion of education, women’s empowerment and social inclusion within Nigeria. She’s a firm believer that Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world!
Jai Kisson, volunteer
Jai grew up in Georgetown and was sheltered for the most part and was not directly exposed to the poverty stricken communities that bordered the outskirts of the city he was so fond of. He excelled in the local Caribbean examinations and was ranked in the top 20 in his country. With his accomplishments he was given the opportunity to further his studies at the Guyana Aviation School where he learned aircraft maintenance. After excelling from Guyana Aviation School, he received a scholarship to attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University where he pursued a BSc Degree in Aerospace Engineering. He has a dual Masters from the City College of New York. Always having an inner calling to help the people of his country, he contacted a few individuals and was able to secure a Research Assistant position in the Ministry of Legal Affairs. In this position I advised upon various projects as it pertained to the sustainable viability of project in question. I am thankful for the opportunity to work volunteer with organizations that values education as a means of eradicating poverty.
Alejandra Ruiz, volunteer
Alejandra is an artist and a writer but primarily a reader. She believes that literacy is a human right as well as being passionate about feminism, racial equality, and a host of other issues. She hopes to make a career out of her beliefs and is currently getting a taste for it through her volunteer work.
While currently an undergraduate student working on her Associates at Miami Dade College, she hopes to transfer out of her home town and, with any luck, travel the world helping others.
Laura Hargreaves, volunteer
Laura is originally from Lancashire, England and currently lives in Northern France. She provides literary and commercial translation, writing, editing and other language services, as well as maintaining a blog at LanguagebyLaura.com. You can also catch her on Twitter @LanguagebyLaura
She joined Reading Hamlets because our aims of promoting reading and improving literacy in schools are very important to her and shes a great advocate of the importance of reading and writing.
Catherine Kinney, volunteer
Catherine is a student at Manhattan College studying Public Relations. She is currently studying her last semester there and hopes to do PR for a non profit or charity. Catherine has always been passionate about helping others who are less fortunate than herself and hopes to pursue a career where she can do just that. She loves writing and is always looking for ways to improve herself and grow as an individual.
Catherine has interned at the Red Cross in Greater New York and continues to volunteer there. She also runs a food publication at her school called Spoon University. In her spare time, she loves to work out and explore new and exotic foods.
Shazia Mansuri, Volunteer
Shazia is a rising sophomore at Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick, NJ double majoring in Business Analytics and Information Technology (BAIT) and Marketing. She is an active member of Douglass Women's College and currently serves on the Executive board of Women in Information Technology & Informatics (WITI), a student organization committed to educating, encouraging and supporting women interested in pursuing a career in technology. For the past year, Shazia has been a writer for The Daily Targum. Her interest in storytelling is what brought her to Reading Hamlets, as she is excited to empower others by educating about the importance of literacy and knowledge. With her activities on and off campus, she hopes to narrow the gender gap in technology by providing young women with the tools necessary to rise up in leadership positions. Through her blogging for Reading Hamlets, she aspires to increase dialogue about the state of literacy in third world countries such as Nigeria and highlight the tremendous work the organization has done thus far.
Monica Burnett, Blogger
Monica was a philosophy major at Cornell University who is passionate about ethics and human rights. She has always been an avid reader. As a shy and bookish middle-schooler, she happily set to her goal of reading one book a day for three years. Reading provided a beautiful escape, and access to incredible fantasy worlds she couldn’t have dreamed of. She is grateful for the many ways in which her education has shaped her into the person she is today, and believes that every child deserves access to books and a great education. In her free time, you’ll likely find her bopping along to her favorite songs, or cozily reading a new book with a hot cup of earl grey tea.
Ella Gonzalez, Volunteer
Ella is a college student from Los Angeles, California. She is studying journalism and is interested in philosophy, gender studies, literature, and psychology. She hopes to pursue a career as a writer or journalist promoting causes she is passionate about, as well as writing humorous and satiric essays that will make people laugh. Above all, she loves learning and is open to new ideas and points of view. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading novels and essays, watching films, and exploring the culture and vibrancy that Los Angeles has to offer.
Marie Cyprien, Volunteer
Marie is an aspiring novelist and daughter of Christ who desires to see more literacy in the world. She's a nerdy Brooklynite with a passion for educational change through art. Her love for education drew her to join Reading Hamlets as a volunteer. She spends her free time cooking and being a book worm.
She's a graduate from Pace University and in the process of getting her master's degree in creative writing.
Onyedikachi Achilike, Board Member
Inherently being Nigerian-American has predetermined Onyedikachi's identity in numerous realms. First and foremost, she is an African ambassador-a story-teller of all things Africa. She’s a food lover, willing to travel for her plantain and Egusi soup. Her Iphone stores anything from Iyanya to Azealia Banks to Blondie and she loves a good Nigerian wedding.
Onyedikachi is fashionably entangled, walking a thin line that is constantly threatening to push her too far in one direction. This entanglement has led her into a life of exploration. Similar to that of a child, she is inquisitive and exploitative. She wants to know why, how, what, and how much. How can I make the world better, when will too much be enough, and “why do doves cry?” She often ask herself.
In true Nigerian fashion, she holds advanced degrees, which of course makes her Nne very proud. Her immediate passion is focused around exploring Arts, Education in Nigeria and beyond, and Technology in emerging economies.
Omotoboye Samuel Adeyemi, Communications Officer
Omotoboye is a graduate from the University of Abuja, Abuja Nigeria. He has a degree, Bsc (ed) in Accounting. His hobbies include singing, cooking, caring for animals and playing basketball.
Prior to joining Reading Hamlets, he has volunteered in the education sector. He has always been of service especially in the teaching field, dating back from his days as a Teaching Practice (TP) till the end of his national youth service (NYSC) year. He admires individuals who care for other people, especially the needy. He strongly believes that EDUCATION, IS A MAJOR KEY TO SUCCESS.
Rin Gomura-Elkan, Board Member
Rin is a business and marketing professional, with a decade of experience working in both large corporations and startups.
She brings to Reading Hamlets her diverse experience in marketing strategy and
social media. Rin has a Bachelor of Marketing and a Bachelor of Science from the
University of New South Wales, Australia and is a Techstars 2015 alum.
She is also a blogger, author and tech enthusiast and loves to see more women making their mark in the startup community.
Rin is passionate about equality in education, and believes that by empowering young women to read and learn, we can have more women leaders in not just technology, but in all sectors.
Linda N. Eligwe, Assistant Director
Linda, works as a research scientist at the Pharmaceutical Research Institute at Albany, NY. She began her career in drug development research at one of the world’s largest comprehensive drug development companies (Covance, Inc). Prior to that, she attended the University of Maryland College Park, and obtained a B.Sc in Microbiology and attended Hood College in Frederick Maryland where she obtained M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science. Linda’s ultimate career goal is to help develop a 21st century affordable healthcare system in Nigeria where the common person has access to affordable generic drugs. In addition, establish a non-profit organization that will serve as a liaison between pharmaceutical companies in the US and local healthcare facilities in Nigeria to provide subsidized medication to the less privileged.Linda has spent a good amount of her time in school and is very passionate about education and literacy in third world countries. She believes that we must all be proactive about educating our children and education should be at the fore front of national and global issue.... For leisure, she enjoys the outdoors, travel, cooking, music and promoting childhood literacy in Nigeria.
Ann Izi, Board Member
Ann’s passion and energy for life is a perfect fit for Reading Hamlets. She graduated from the University of Benin with a degree in Accounting.She brings more than 10 years of accounting experience across multiple industries, including nonprofit, education, arts and government. She is passionate about delivering communications, results that drive a response and make a measurable impact on Reading Hamlets.
She is also passionate about Reading Hamlets because it provides a way to have a direct impact on children who are in dire need of books. Ann brings all her skills to the table in order to make the biggest difference she can for children in need.
Meet Our Team
Christina Ude, Advocacy Director
After meeting an orphan at an orphanage in Lagos, Nigeria who couldn't read, Christina was never the same. She has a passion to serve the less privileged and knew she would spend her life providing books and promoting reading. She attended the graduate school of business at Middlesex University in London, UK and received her B.Sc. from University of Maryland University College in Maryland, USA. Mrs. Ude, a former high school teacher and accounting marketing executive, grew up in Europe, Nigeria and around the USA with parents who enjoyed travelling. Prior to starting Reading Hamlets, she held staff positions at Electronic Data Systems in Rockville, Maryland and was a high school teacher with the Prince Georges County Public Schools in Maryland, USA.
Throughout her life, Christina has been a devoted advocate for children, youth and families as a professional and as a volunteer. She loves reading and gets a lot of inspiration from nature, people and places.She is married and is the mother of two children. When she’s not spending time with her children or working, she likes to read and go dancing with her husband.