Cori Stern, Team Leader -
St. Augustine, himself an African, said "Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those, who by accidents of time, or place, or circumstance, are brought into closer connection with you." It is my joy and thrill to share this mission, not only with all of our Ten Days volunteers, but with all of the Liberian volunteers who live in the refugee camp that are coming together with us to create this school. I look forward to getting to know all of you - and having you get to know them.
Kristi Manning, Team Logistics Leader -
My favorite thing to do - travel. My least favorite thing to do - talk about myself. But because Cori asked... My background is event management (ESPN X Games, World Cup Soccer, Atlanta Olympic Games) and non-profit project management (Starbright Foundation, The Painted Turtle). I've been without steady employment for the last year and a half and it has been a great adventure. It helps to have traveled and have some realization of how little you need to get by. My first trip to Africa was in January of this year and I knew then it was just the beginning. I'm excited to be working with Cori to coordinate this trip and meet a whole new group of amazing people.
Rayann Aziz -
Ten Days Mission involves 2 of my passions: Africa & children. As a South African of Indian descent, I claim both Nelson Mandela & Gandhi as part of my heritage :). (Gandhi's Satyagraha non-violent resistance movement has its roots just outside of my hometown, Durban, where as a young lawyer, Gandhi began to fight apartheid. Gandhi spent almost 20 years in South Africa.) I found myself profoundly moved & inspired by Cori's work inAfrica. I believe I can make difference, albeit in a small way. I am the director of Passport Health Los Angeles, a travel immunization clinic in Los Angeles.
Jazmin Y. Eckenberg -
Why am I going? Not really sure if there is one sole reason I am going, but maybe I'll find out along the way. But I know that in my heart, it is what I'm supposed to be doing. I live in L.A. And was born in Mexico City. I work in production.
Anne Butler -
I'm going to Ghana because I've been interested in doing some kind of humanitarian aid work in Africa for a long time and this is a great opportunity to begin that dream! I am a photographer living in Austin, Texas- originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I will be documenting the work we do in Ghana with my camera, as well as photographing some of the work that Cori did last year in Jos, Nigeria. I will travel there before meeting up with the group in Ghana. I'm very excited to be a part of this group and I look forward to meeting and working with everyone involved!
Doug Stern -
I'm 38 and I live in Los Angeles, working as a screenwriter and music video producer. My wife, Cori, is one of the driving forces behind the Ten Days project and I have been inspired for years now, by her energy and love for the people of Africa. I look forward to taking my first steps on this journey!
I am been working as a producer and film executive for about four years in Los Angeles. For a long time I have felt a connection to Africa, and have wanted to lend assistance, and for a long time, --despite my traveling widely and having a wide range of experiences --- I did not feel I was "ready" or had the skills that I could be of great help. Now i realize that thinking was ---how shall we say? - not on course.
These are some musings I wrote in my own journal at 15, and just came upon it the other day. Somehow, large chunks of it
seemed apropos to our upcoming experience:
"Organic, cataclysmic, primitive, ethereal.
I feel like radar, catching catch-phrases, ideas, and a warm thought or two.
Could the world have begun in such a way?
Discordant motion becomes smooth, and the harmony of ways paves the path for powerful kingdoms.
The beginning of something great, the beginning of life in motion.
Cut off from each other --
our particles are encased in isolation tanks. One blooms, the other falters.
One is nowhere near as powerful as many;
Let us build a world of sand, sky, and earth." /sj
- i look forward to meeting you all.
Hannah Halliwell -
I grew up traveling, and ever since I was old enough to do it on my own, I haven't stopped. Well, not by choice anyway. Current home town: Los Angeles, CA. It is one of my many dreams to travel the whole world, and I've never been to Africa. Also, I am an actress: I love people, I love stories. But, I especially love children. At times as a child, I remember so distinctly feeling like I was on a ride I didn't agree to get on myself. And once I realized I was on it, I also realized that I was there all alone. I am unsure of a lot of things, but one thing I have always been sure of is that for a child to feel that way just isn't fair, and injustice toward a child is the greatest wrong I can imagine. So, I also have a personal mission to be open arms, a warm smile, a safe lap to sleep on, and altogether available to as many children in as many different places as I possibly can in my lifetime. This trip is a perfect opportunity to continue on with my dreams. Thank you, Cori.
Jennie Weiss -
I just did this thing, I quit my job, without having another one.....and it has left me with all this time, to think.
When Monika, my best friend (since tap class in third grade), told me that she was joining Cori's trip, I knew I was going with her.
I know who I am by the company I keep, the music that moves me and the parts of the world that make me feel at home. But, I've never done anything like THIS. This seems bigger than me, bigger than the breakups I've been through, the jobs that are gone, the apartments that will or won't be there when I get back.
This finally doesn't seem trivial, irrelevant or unnecessary. Africa seems important, wonderful and I can't wait to get there.
I am looking forward to meeting everyone, being with the children, and having another, in a VERY long list of stories to share with Monika.
I am looking forward to Africa in at least twice as many ways as I fear it, so I think that must be a good thing. I love doing things that take my attention off of myself. I love being "handy." I love working with kids. I love Cori, and am sick of only admiring her work from afar. I love Jennie, and am always up for another amazing adventure with her. Really, the only thing I'll be sad to leave are my sweet pets, and luckily they are suckers and can be appeased with hugs and treats.
I am a creative services buyer for Target.com (I plan photoshoots for images on the website)My husband and I have been married for 20 years, our son Tyler is 18 and daughter Tessa is 15. Now that my kids are older and I have paid my dues on the soccer mom circuit, it's on to the next thing for me. And that would have to be travel. I have always been a sucker for volunteering, love kids and especially love to travel. I have been inspired by my sister, Kristi (logistics leader for this trip) and
her non-profit causes for a long time, and finally the timing is right for me. I am so looking forward to this trip. I found a quote I like from Eleanor Roosevelt she said; "One thing life has taught me; if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else."