Registered Since: 2008-10-06 19:58:54
Profile: Yanna dominated Chicago while running book drives so we sent her over to help out the new Better World UK operation. Think of her like a book drive mercenary with a heavy Chicago accent and a penchant for great times and speaking her mind. More info coming soon...
Posts by Yanna:
Posted by Yanna on 12.11.2008 at 12:45 pm
Many of us have heard the plight of the 27,000 “lost boys” of Sudan, their perilous 1,000 mile walk left more than half dead, and the rest came home to a country devastated by war, bare of essentials like clean water and schools. Matt Hoffman, an alumni Phi Theta Kappa member from Illinois Central College, was touched by these horrific stories and moved to immediate action. Matt reflects, “A good friend of mine, Sean Fahey from Endless Eye, informed me that his 501(c)3 had committed to raising funds to shoot a documentary film to raise awareness about the situation in Southern Sudan.” Sean’s organization has been working with Justin Machien Luoi, a Lost Boy, to build a library, a school, and provide clean water for Panyijiar County, Southern Sudan. Matt wanted to know how Upsilon Mu, Illinois Central College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, could get involved. They talked for a few hours that night and decided to design a “walk event” in Peoria, Illinois. That is how WalkSUDAN was born.
WalkSUDAN is a project intended to raise awareness and funds to Read more…
1 Comment » | Tagged Impact, Our Partners, africa, books for africa, endless eye, Illinois, pacodes, peoria, sudan, walk sudan
Posted by Yanna on 08.28.2008 at 12:17 pm
In the past few weeks there have been some new developments with the Walk Sudan initiative to send a sea container to Southern Sudan using the Better World Books Fund.
We had two major pickups in late July yielding over 15,000 books! Since that time and due to the positive media coverage Walk Sudan has been able to collect another 2000 books!
Pick up at Newberry Library, Chicago, with Better World Books and Endless Eye
In other news an official letter was sent out to Pacodes (Walk Sudan’s partner) with details of Better World Books participation in the project. The highlights include that Better World Books has committed to front the money for the shipment of all the books to Southern Sudan. This will allow us to begin coordinating the spring shipment with Books for Africa. We look forward to working with Walk Sudan, Endless Eye and PACODES to fill the library in Panyijiar, Southern Sudan.
Have your say » | Tagged Book Reviews, Impact, Impact, Our Partners, walk sudan
Posted by Yanna on 08.22.2008 at 10:26 am
[The following is one of the accounts from Better World Books' trip to Brazil to tour schools with our Latin American literacy partner: Worldfund. Stay tuned for more!]
Women are the teachers, women are the mothers, women share what they know and lead by example. Unfortunately many women in Brazil don’t have the education or skills to support themselves. They turn to prostitution or low paying, obtuse work to support themselves and their families. While Brazil’s economy is booming, the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. As I traveled Brazil visiting schools and community programs with our partner organization Worldfund, I noticed many injustices. What struck me most was the role of women in society.
Bebedour is a community outside the beach town of Maceio. Bebedour is like many Brazilian communities. Homes are run down, unemployment is high, waterways are polluted, streets are littered, and the public education system is deplorable. This particular town has an estimated 115,000 human beings living in it and of those 11,000 are school age children NOT attending school. Bebedour may be a typical Brazilian city, but it has one school that is not typical, it is a progressive school that nourishes not only the student’s minds and bodies, but their hearts.
Bebedour, Brazil – Greater Maceio Area
One of the volunteers at the starfish school said something that really impacted me; he said, “For many of the girls in this neighborhood their dream job is to become a maid in a hotel.” These girls have had few positive female role models in their lives to show them that there is more out there than marriage and bearing children. The starfish school is trying to change this by bringing in female professionals monthly. This is an important program because now these girls have dreams of being educators, doctors, and business professionals. Even at the ripe age of nine, these young girls are seeing a bright future and one of independence.
Starfish School – Greater Maceio Area
Entirely too many of the woman of Brazil depend on men to support them. Too often women are left alone because her husband abandons her or he dies. These women are often unprepared to feed their children and care for their home. Thankfully initiatives like the Mao Amiga Women’s Center are available. On the outskirts of the sprawling city of Sao Paulo, this particular program teaches women skills that can provide income for themselves and their family. Classes include computer skills, baking, cooking, hair styling, and many more. These classes last for one year and the women that complete the program leave with more than knowledge; they leave with a self confidence they didn’t have a year before. They can now go out into their communities and earn a living wage.
Mao Amiga Women’s Center – Greater Sao Paulo Area
Thankfully, educational initiatives are changing in Brazil. The government recently made some changes that will help the failing public school system. Within the last year they have increased teacher’s salaries, and standardized the public school curriculum. The change may be slow coming, but thanks to organizations like Worldfund, there are already exceptional programs in place like the Starfish School and the Mao Amiga Women’s Center. These programs not only educate people’s minds, but provide them with a respect for their bodies and self. Self respect and confidence are the fundamental tools to success. Success breeds success and with more positive women role models, the future of Brazilian women and education is hopeful.
Mao Amiga School – Greater Sao Paulo Area
Posted by Yanna on 04.26.2007 at 12:53 pm
We were honored to attend the International Phi Theta Kappa conference in Nashville . Everyone was so excited to learn more about Better World Books and we were excited to attend the general sessions with key note speakers Kevin Sharp, Jehen Sadat, and Al Gore! Please enjoy these pictures from our time in Nashville.
2006 PTK International President and Vice Presidents
Al Gore and the panel
BWB Crew: left to right – Aaron King, Xavier Helgesen, Laurie Lawson, Damara Catlett, Roselle Agner
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, Al Gore, Phi Theta Kappa
Posted by Yanna on 03.26.2007 at 2:40 pm
This past weekend Chicago was host to the Idealist Campus Conference. This conference is a gathering of students and practical dreamers that want to make the world a better place. Better World Books just had to be there to meet all these motivated and compassionate people. It was a good thing we had so many Better World Books employees on hand for the Opportunity Fair because everyone wanted to learn more about us. On the final evening of the conference BWB co-founder, Xavier, held an intriguing workshop on Green Entrepreneurship for the young green dreamers of the conference. We had a great time meeting interesting people and bonding with each other. Thank you, DePaul and Idealist.org for hosting such an inspiring, well organized and fun conference!
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, chicago, DePaul, Idealist, Illinois, Xavier Helgesen
Posted by Yanna on 02.20.2007 at 9:55 am
Illinois ’ Waubonsee Community College Phi Theta Kappa lead an amazing book drive this fall collecting over 120 cartons of books to support Room to Read! Although their name may be difficult to say, it wasn’t difficult for them to achieve such a positive response from the student body. With exceptional leadership and hard work they have had another successful year leading a book drive at Waubonsee. Thanks to all the members of the Waubonsee Phi Theta Kappa and to all the people that made this book drive a success. Keep up the great work!
Here are some photos of this awesome group working hard for literacy…
From left to right is Bailey Standish, Tammy Caltagirone, Michelle Beltran and Mario Llamas.
From left to right is Jennifer Wesson and Bailey Standish.
Posted by Yanna on 01.16.2007 at 12:33 pm
In January of 2006 a passionate young woman named Sonia Sosa approached me with the desire to have a book drive at the National convention of the American Medical Student Association to benefit Books for
Thankfully that was not the last I heard from AMSA members. Soon inquiries started to come in from other AMSA members that were inspired by Sonia’s efforts. Book drives were lead by three other AMSA groups at schools in the Chicago-land area. In total they collected 2200 more books! This is enough to fund the shipment of over 9,000 books to
Our efforts did not stop there. Now AMSA and
We hope that each and every AMSA group decides to participate in this rewarding service project to help save precious books from landfills and help spread global literacy.
Posted by Yanna on 10.17.2006 at 2:30 pm
This weekend I attended a Phi Theta Kappa leadership conference in Newton, Iowa. It was an unseasonably cold day with a biting 20 degree wind blowing fiercely outside. Despite the chill, it was very sunny, not only outside but inside as well.
The welcoming smiles and sincere embraces that Phi Theta Kappa greeted me with warmed me through and through. Members from 27 chapters drove hundreds of miles to learn how to make themselves stronger leaders for a tomorrow that I hope to be part of. When they had a free moment to chat we shared stories of our families, our pasts, our hopes and our dreams. We got to know each other not only as the person on the other end of the phone or email line, but also as friends.
Everyone kept thanking me for coming to speak to them about Better World Books, but I’m the grateful one. So to everyone of the Iowa Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Conference: Thank You. Thank you for your embraces, smiles, applause, hospitality, and for sharing your lives and time with me. Thank you for wanting to be better people and stronger leaders. Thank you for all the good things you do for your community and our world when so many people today look out only for themselves. Thank you for all of your hard work, for running successful book drives, and for supporting BWB and our literacy partners. And thank you to everyone else who supports BWB; thank you for saving books from landfills, for helping to break the cycle of poverty through education and literacy, and most of all thank you for making this world a better place!
Have your say » | Tagged Show Us Some Love, Uncategorized, Iowa, Phi Theta Kappa
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