Sponsorship can change a life.
Born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone, a Dutch family sponsored Fatu and enabled her and her sister to continue their education past the 3rd grade, the last grade of public education for females. With limited resources, most girls become teen mothers and child brides, destined to a life of abject poverty with their dreams ending at the tender age
How did this change Fatu’s life?
In every way possible.
Because of her sponsorship and determination to succeed, Fatu was able to finish high school, to earn a degree in Medical Secretarial Studies, to move to the US, and establish a career. She now works at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, NJ. Fatu’s education has enabled her to have a life she never dreamed was possible.
Fatu’s amazing story and her commitment to helping girls in her home country is inspirational. Her powerful story motivated others to make a difference in the lives of girls in Sierra Leone and so Angels to Angels Sierra Leone Inc. was born…
Stephanie Pangia currently lives in Manhattan after having raised her family of four children with her husband, Bob, in New Jersey. She has a teaching degree in Education, Special Education, Art Education and a degree in Fine Arts. She currently serves as Vice President on the board of United Family & Children’s Society of Plainfield, NJ, which is an organization devoted to helping those in need in Union County, N. J. She is also a past President of NAMI Somerset County, helping those families with loved ones with a mental illness through educational programs and support groups. For the past 30 years, she has been a volunteer in various organizations to assist those in need. She is the current CEO an President of Angels to Angels Sierra Leone and is dedicated to fundraising to ensure the program’s success.
Dr. Kathyrn Forlenza is a licensed psychologist practicing in New Jersey. For the past 16 years, she has worked in the Department of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry at Trinitas Regional Medical Center. Kathyrn holds a Doctorate from Seton Hall University. Prior to joining Trinitas, she spent several years working in a therapeutic school for adolescents. She met Fatu when she came to work at Trinitas and was immediately drawn to her story and how her life changed so dramatically because she was able to continue her education through sponsorship.
Sarah Johansson is currently living in Hoboken, NJ with her husband and two children. Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in Crime, Law, and Justice at The Pennsylvania State University and completed her graduate degree, a Masters of Science for Teachers (MST), at Pace University, in Manhattan, NY. Originally a Teach for America corps member, Sarah taught K – 12 students in Brooklyn, NY, Baltimore, MD, and Gothenburg, Sweden. She worked as a Senior Program Officer for the youth development based non-profit, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for the past several years. Having taught in a variety of urban and suburban environments, Sarah is very aware in the educational disadvantages facing those in need. As a teacher, she feels very passionately about assisting the Angels to Angels girls in reaching the highest level of academic achievement.
Stefanie Postlewait is an Sr. Account Director at AKQA, an advertising agency in New York City. She graduated from Lehigh University with a B.S. Degree in Psychology and a minor in Business and has been working in the marketing/advertising field since. Stefanie was drawn to Angels to Angels Sierra Leone after watching and experiencing firsthand the passion of other team members including her mother, Kathy. She is inspired everyday by the mission, the stories and the true potential of Angels to Angels. She hopes that someday her daughter, now 1 year old, will join this wonderful organization.
Kate Forlenza is a multi-media producer in New York City. She Graduated from Monmouth University with a degree in liberal arts with a concentration in Graphic Design. Over the course of her career, Kate has had the privilege of working on various pro-bono accounts that focus on the education of children in underprivileged countries. This work soon became a passion of hers. She was drawn to Angels to Angels, because she truly believes that education is the most important aspect of a young woman's life, and wants to help ensure that everyone who wants to learn is given the chance.
Michaela Turay was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She received a B.S. degree in Psychology from Bowie State University, Maryland, and Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University, New Jersey. Currently, Michaela works as a case manager with The Coordinating Center, a non-profit organization who partners with people with the most complex needs coordinating services and navigating systems so that they can live in the community of their choice. Michaela's passion for serving her community comes from her upbringing in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She was raised by her grandparents, who taught her the value of giving back and paying it forward. An important life lesson she has learned is that no matter how tough you think life is, there is always someone who has to face challenges that are even tougher than yours. Not only basic things such as making money, getting food or having a place to call home, but also the possibility of taking part in an organization that helps the less fortunate to get a proper education. Giving back is one of the most important and valuable things a person can do and she is proud to be part of an organization with an amazing group of board members and giving sponsors.
Sierra Leone Coordinator
Saido Sankoh was born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa. As one of 11 children, he was fortunate pursue education at University level. He pursued his education at the Fourah Bah College, University of Sierra Leone where Saidu earned a Diploma with Distinction in Peace and Development Studies. He pursued an undergraduate Degree Course in the same studies (PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES) and earned a First Class Degree. He is currently pursuing a post graduate Masters Degree in Public Administration at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), University of Sierra Leone, with four months left. Having so far worked for Angels to Angels Sierra Leone for about eight (8) years, it is his determination and passion to work for children’s rights, through reducing poverty and improving the lives of the poor through education.
All our hard work wouldn’t be possible without the support of our staff based in Sierra Leone:
Mariama G. Sengeh