I was working as PR director for humanitarian agency ADRA,
traveling the world on their behalf as spokeswoman, writer, producer and
stringer for local broadcast affiliates.
One of my most harrowing and best experiences was working with various
agencies of the US government during the Rwandan Civil War in 1994.
ADRA had one of the largest humanitarian operations in Rwanda and was
thrust into the spotlight when its country director helped evacuate
thousands of expatriates during all the bloodshed. Three months into
this nightmare, I was shipped off to live in the refugee camps of Zaire
with one million Rwandan refugees. I managed global TV crews, gathered
and wrote information and personal stories, produced documentary shorts
about the agency's relief efforts, supported volunteers from around the
world and comforted refugees.
It was a defining personal time that helped me develop immense resources
of personal and professional strength, not to mention hands-on crisis
management, media relations and diplomacy that I would never learn in
college. This experience solidified my love of PR and its
It was the turning point in taking my career and my life to the next