Letter from Jara Tekleab

"I was born and raised where so many children were being robbed of opportunity, peace of mind, and self-respect! Surprisingly, much too often the robber's name is POVERTY. The irony is that people suffer of poverty in the midst of plenty and children go to bed hungry and lack of education while there is so much waste and so many unused resources! Certainly, the cost of breaking the cycle of poverty amongst Ethiopian children would be high; however the cost of doing nothing is immensely higher.

I was one of the fortunate Ethiopians who got the chance to come to the United States and was able to pursue my degree at Eastern Michigan University, concentrating in Accounting. Currently, I am employed as a Mortgage Underwriter for CitiMortgage.

I joined my friends to start RDL (Redefining life) charitable organization to help the unfortunate and homeless children in my native country, Ethiopia. This was our way of reaching out and helping children that are not as fortunate as us. I have realized how lucky I was. I have become much more aware of those less fortunate. The happiness you get when helping poor children and the subsequent joy at the changes and new opportunities you see in their lives is priceless. I am really proud of "RDL". If we put a smile on one face, one kid, one poor, one homeless family at a time; we will have done our job."