Let's explore his background together. Judge Willie lives in Liberia and has worked extremely hard to achieve opportunities that led him to where he is now. He has a passion for helping other people, rebuilding the justice system in his country, and fighting corruption.
In 2010 Judge Willie was admitted into the University of San Diego's International Peace and Justice masters program, and lived with my family while he studied. He received his masters and graduated with honors. In fact, this year (2017) he is returning to San Diego to receive a special award for the work he has done in Liberia. He is a key part of GLC and helps maintain relations, work out problems, and oversee St. Paul's Elementary School--the school GLC has been supporting in Liberia since 2008.
Moving to present day, this is a photo of us, screen-shotted from a video you will all be able to view soon. We were in his chambers chatting, and later moved on to explore downtown Monrovia.
Judge Willie now works in the Temple of Justice, located in Monrovia, Liberia. He remains committed to rebuilding the judicial system in Liberia, and aiding the process of educating the youth, spurring progress, and helping his country.
Judge Willie is an incredible man, facing adversity head on and tearing down any obstacles in his path; I'd call him the definition of "determined." He has come a long way from humble beginnings, and has no plans to stop anytime soon.
The day that this specific blog post was due, I was not in Liberia yet. Basing my information off of that, I was not surprised by anything.
Although that was the case, it is Monday, January 9th now and I am in Liberia. Surprised would be an understatement - but then again I really did not know what to expect at all. I was kind of headed into this situation blind and that is totally okay.
Today was our first real day here, yesterday and the day before were all travel. The way of life, the everyday tasks, the way people interact and carry themselves - everything is different from America and I knew that going in.
It's hard for me to say what surprised me most, considering I am one day into this adventure and came in with no expectations. As this experience evolves I will keep everyone updated!
As far as pictures go - there will be some. Once I am done with the blog prompts I will do my own post explaining the aspects I feel necessary, and there will be photos!
"Our mission is to share the word and love of the Lord through initiatives to support and enhance the education of children in post-conflict Liberia." // GLC Mission Statement
Their work reflects exactly this. In every action, mission, initiative, decision, and meeting I see this embedded in their behavior and principles. This non-profit organization has done and is doing incredible work to mend post-war Liberia. I love what they're all about and I am excited to be helping within my core set of skills.
Site Link: http://growingliberiaschildren.org/donate.php
My mentor.... man, where do I even start!
She is an incredible woman. Working behind the scenes and getting the task done every time with efficiency and accuracy. When you're on site with her, stay out of her way but listen closely to what she says. (She knows what she's doing!)
My mentor's name is Sherri Hobson. She works with the US Department of Justice as an attorney and prosecutor. Instrumental in bringing down drug cartels, you may even find Sherri and her work in recent news. She is a dedicated, hard working, and intelligent professional, while still being caring and supportive as a mother and every day person.
A pleasure to work with, and one who pushes me to chase my dreams!
I'm headed to Liberia this Saturday, the 7th.
Overall, I am extremely excited as well as apprehensive about the whole thing. The need for change in Liberia is obvious, and I am happy to be getting involved, but the area and situation is not the safest. Walking around with expensive camera gear in order to complete my documentary won't help the situation either, but I'm sure it will be okay.
My goal is to create three videos: a documentary and two short films (which will be a surprise).
Im hoping to shed light on the extreme situations in Liberia and what the people have endured over the years. From the corruption in the government, to rural conditions, disease outbreak, and more, the people are some of the most resiliant I have ever heard of. I am very excited to meet and understand them more, but my fear lies in the physical aspect of the trip, not the goal.