Wednesday, May 20, 2009



Our April LTAS Supporter Spotlight falls on Yvonne Orji!

1: Who is Yvonne Orji? Please tell us a bit about your educational and professional backgrounds.

Yvonne Orji was the PSI/Liberia SmartChoice Outreach Coordinator from October 2008-April 2009. While at PSI she worked with the LTAS hosts on various outreach events and created educational materials to help youth learn the facts about HIV transmission and teenage pregnancy so they can make informed and healthy lifestyle choices. Yvonne also helped create marketing materials for the youth forum during the Colloquium. Her main focus during her stay in Liberia was developing the iLEAD Girls Mentoring Program, which will focus on providing positive adult mentors and role models for young Liberian women to encouraging their academic, personal and professional achievement. Ms. Orji holds a BA in Sociology and an MPH in Global Health Promotion from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is passionate about working with youth in development because she firmly believes that young people are excellent catalysts for change.

A native of Nigeria (from the Igbo tribe), Yvonne enjoys traveling the globe and meeting people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Her travels, mostly for humanitarian purposes, have taken her to Belize, the Dominican Republic and now to Liberia. She speaks her native tongue of Igbo, Spanish, English, and is diligently trying to master Liberian English.

Why do you support LTAS?
I support LTAS because it is youth centered, youth driven, and youth focused! Let's face it, youth listen to youth and the LTAS hosts know how to cater their messages on prevention and adopting healthy behaviors to their peers in a way that some adults would not do successfully.

What is your message to young people in Liberia?

Young people, you are the future of this great country. "Mama Liberia" needs you to be the best and brightest YOU that you can be! She needs you well educated, determined, focused and healthy. By making smart choices in your education, profession and relationships, you protect your future, your country and yourself!

Yvonne Fun Facts:

Yvonne is a stand up comedienne and has performed for audiences large and small from Liberia to L.A.
Yvonne is also a model and an actress and was a runner up in the Miss Nigeria in America Pageant in the US.

Favorite Color: Purple (the color of royalty)

Favorite Liberian Sayings: "For true?" "Ehhh Maaaaan!" "Oh!" "No Shaking!"

Favorite Quote: "If you're gonna dream, DREAM BIG!"

Favorite Liberian Memory: The night I arrived in Liberia. It happened to be President Johnson-Sirleaf's birthday and I was fortunate enough to meet her and take a picture with her. She is an amazing woman.

What will Yvonne miss most about Liberia? The wonderful people and friends I've made along this awesome journey and the soothing sound of the ocean at the beach!!

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