My name is Tom Landers, and I have been a member of the A2Empowerment Board of Directors since the organization’s inception. I came to A2E by way of the organizations’ President, Anne Cheung. My family has known Anne’s family for years. In my professional background, I am a principal and CPA at Bonadio & Company. Several years ago, Anne was describing to me the organization she was starting to assist girls and women with access to education in Cameroon. At the time A2E needed a treasurer and Anne asked if I was interested in filling the role. Having two young daughters and seeing the opportunities available to them, I could not pass up the chance to assist in providing similar opportunities to those in need of them.
In my role I have maintained the organizations financial reports, filed tax returns, researched international tax laws and served as a sounding board on various financial matters.
It has been very rewarding to see the growth and success A2E has achieved over the years – please check out the rest of the website for great information on the organization and the girls/women it has helped. I continue to be inspired by our very dedicated board and the whole A2E team and the drive they all have to improve and expand program. If you are interested in contributing to a girl’s education then visit http://a2empowerment.org/ to donate!
For more information, feel free to visit the organization on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Reflecting on her experiences as a science teacher with the Peace Corps in the North West region of Cameroon the things that made the strongest impression on Anne were: the disparity between boys and girls in the last few years of secondary school; the attitude of many girls believing themselves to be inferior to the boys. She also noticed the struggles girls in particular faced in staying in school: their brothers were prioritized when paying school fees, they had extra responsibilities at home such as cooking, working in the market and cleaning prevented girls doing homework or attending school, some even were married and started families before they were able to finish secondary school. Being the type who likes to leave situations better than she first finds them Anne felt compelled to continue supporting the youth of Cameroon even after she returned to the United States. A2Empowerment started as a small side project that slowly grew into a larger more fulfilling piece of her life.
Shortly after starting A2Empowerment Anne began working on a Masters of Public Health and International Development at Tulane University. Her studies eventually took her overseas again. Currently she resides in Jordan supporting the response to the Syrian Crisis.