RiseUp Malawi Board 

RiseUp Malawi is supported by a board of passionate individuals dedicated to a life of service to others and helping those in need.  Our board members represent a diverse intersection of career sectors, skills sets and personal experiences that color our organization with insightful input, accountability, dedicated outcomes, and measurable impact.  

 
 
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Jacob Mathis

Jake was born in Duluth, MN and went to Boston University where he received a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance.  He completed his Masters in Project Management at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and currently serves as an Acquisitions Officer in US Air Force Space Command.

Why Jake chose to sit on the Board of RiseUp:  "We can't choose where we're born, who our parents are, or what social status we're born into, but we can use our time, talents and resources to help others less fortunate that ourselves. God blesses us so that we can bless others and I feel privileged to sit on this board and use my skillset for the betterment of others."

 
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Nataliya Rogachkina

Nataliya was born and raised in Russia before moving to California to start her college career at the University of Southern California. She holds a B.A. in Economics, B.S. in Business Administration and M.A. in Economics from USC. Nataliya has been a supply chain & operations management consultant since her graduation from college.

Why Nataliya chose to sit on the Board of RiseUp: "I believe that everyone has a responsibility to give back, especially when you have an accomplished career and personal success. I realize I am very fortunate to have been born into a family where we had access to enough food, water and medical care to keep me heathy, and beyond that a family which provided me with opportunities through education, opportunities alot of the world population does not have access to. I want to use my knowledge of microfinance and supply chain to help people in Malawi discover ways to be entrepreneurs. I am passionate about education, and I hope more children in the program will have access to it as a result of our efforts."

 
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Nikki Van Koevering

Born and raised in a small insulated town in western Michigan, Nikki knew from a young age she wanted to explore and see more of the world. At 13 she was accepted to an exchange program in Japan which ignited her global interest and encouraged her to study abroad in her college years and develop an understanding of other cultures. Nikki graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s in Photography.

Since a mission trip to Rwanda eight years ago, Nikki has felt a desire to be a part of something bigger that can help underprivileged communities throughout Africa. 

Why Nikki chose to sit on the Board of RiseUp:  “I feel that God has placed within all of us a deep longing and dissatisfaction that can only be fulfilled by helping those in need. We all have it within ourselves to find whatever it is that inspires us to get moving and take action.  For me, it was the beautifully complicated land of East Africa and its amazing people.  As a board member, I will do what I can to bring Malawi the attention and resources that it so desperately needs."

 
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Lindsay BUNker

Lindsay was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Loyola Marymount University, where she received her B.A in History with a focus on African History. Following her degree, she lived in Senegal with a family, worked in an orphanage, and finalized her undergraduate thesis on Cultural Expression as a means of Solidarity and Resistance Against the State. Lindsay currently works at SmartyPants Vitamins located in Venice, CA, which not only focuses on providing nutrition to those in the US, but for every bottle sold gives a 1-for-1 matching nutrient grant to children and mother's around the world who can't afford proper nutrition via Vitamin Angels. 

Why Lindsay chose to sit on the Board of RiseUp: "It is easy to take for granted the educational opportunities we are so lucky to have within the US. So many children including the children in Mangochi, Malawi, do not have the privilege to attend school past a certain level due to a number of reasons including family obligations, lack of state funds, financial difficulties, or health issues. Not only will education better their lives but ideally bring more ideas and resources to their village and surrounding areas. I feel honored to be a part of this mission."