We are excited to introduce you to one of the members of our board: Laura Lewis Eyi!
Laura grew up in Eugene, Oregon as the 9th child of 14! When asked about people and events from her childhood that propelled her into her current nonprofit involvement, she said, “My parents instilled in us a love of service and other people and cultures. During my mission to Peru I saw how many bright, hardworking and capable people were kept from achieving their dreams simply due to a lack of resources and education. I realized that I had opportunities simply because I was born in a different place and I wanted to extend those same opportunities to others.”
When Laura’s older sister completed her Master of Public Administration at BYU and was able to make a difference working in the nonprofit space, Laura decided to pursue the same degree. She graduated with a BA in American Studies and Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration, both from BYU.
Laura has worked in various areas, including a stint at an impact investing consultancy firm, a public policy think tank advising U.S. presidential candidates, and strategy research for Harvard Business School professors. Along with raising a family and working with Coafrica, Laura currently volunteers in public policy and political advocacy for a nonprofit organization called MWEG.
Laura serves on the Coafrica board with her husband, Wil. Wil is from Gabon Central Africa and they “are excited to be helping the children throughout Africa to receive an education and open the doors to their future.” Laura and Wil have five fun and active sons ages 9 to 1.
Laura was introduced to Coafrica through the founders’ daughter, who was a dear friend from BYU. She says, “It has been a privilege to watch Coafrica develop and grow in its impact. When we were getting things going in the beginning I got to wear many hats and help and give feedback on everything from the mission statement, strategy, and hiring, to the website, fundraising, and marketing. It has truly been a privilege to rub shoulders with the Wilsons, Marci, and the rest of the Coafrica team. I love getting a front-row seat to the good they are doing through Coafrica.”
When asked what her favorite thing about Coafrica was, she said, “Having learned a great deal about successful and not-so-successful nonprofits in my MPA program, I love how Coafrica truly partners with local communities to bring education to their children–it is a true partnership and we couldn’t do it without our on the ground local coordinators and the help from the communities. We are a coalition/team. I love that every dollar goes toward the children too. Our volunteers work very hard to keep overhead low so that the money goes right where it will have the most impact–building classrooms for the kids.”
WE LOVE YOU LAURA! Thank you for everything you are doing to forward the mission of Coafrica!