CAREERS: My Big Break

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


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