Today, we are interviewing Christine Reidhead, Educator and Humanitarian. She is an Assistant Professor and the Founder and CEO of the Nonprofit Organization, AfrikRising. She also hosts her own podcasts focusing on nonprofits, advocacy, the Tribal College Movement and sports talk.
1. Where are you from?
I’m from Benson, Arizona, which is a small town in southern Arizona. I grew up in an amazing community, where there are such good people. I feel very blessed to have grown up there.
2. What is the mission of AfrikRising?
AfrikRising’s mission is to provide assistance of basic necessities, services, and education to the underserved in Africa. There are so many children struggling in immense poverty. It’s really sad. They go without the basic necessities of clean water, food, and a place to sleep. I feel that we are so blessed here in the U.S. and that the children could easily have been any one of us in that situation. If that was me, I would wish someone would come and help me. It’s all about humanity and helping those in need.
3. How do you like running an international business?
We have such a great team. Henry and Emmanuel have been there since day one and certainly have excellent hearts. Their role in AfrikRising is huge, and we are very grateful to have them. I can’t say enough good things about them. Solid guys. And, hopefully, soon we can get our trade school up and running for them. We also expanded to Ghana with Albert. We’ve just started there, and he is already making a mark within the community by spreading awareness and finding projects we could do. I love the difference in culture as it helps us to understand people from different countries and cultures. I feel when we have open minds toward things that are foreign to us, we definitely grow as individuals.
4. What are some of your challenges?
With a nonprofit, money is always a challenge, but I feel as we establish ourselves more, we’ll get where we want to be. These things take time to build and entails a lot of hard work. Continuing the course we’ve started does take time and patience. However, I’m not too concerned, considering we have a great team of people.
5. Where do you see AfrikRising in five years?
I see us having our trades school up and running under the direction of both Henry and Emmanuel, providing education at an affordable cost. I also see us developing partnerships in Ghana with Albert’s network of connections. He’ll head the way there, establishing AfrikRising in Ghana.
6. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Who doesn’t like serving? It’s one of my favorite things to do. Aside from my other responsibilities, our time and effort at developing our plans and projects to serve have only expanded our reach, connecting us with grateful people.
7. How did you get into nonprofits?
Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to be on the board of Habitat for Humanity and Family Promise of Albuquerque, where I’ve seen the ins and outs of how they operate. They both intrigue me still today.
8. Have you read any books that inspired or motivated you?
Two of my all-time favorite books are the Alchemist and Who Moved My Cheese? There are some great life lessons in both of these books.
Here is the book I authored:
9. What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started a nonprofit organization?
Just how much work goes into a new organization. It’s tough. I’ve spent a lot of long nights and early mornings working on trying to get it up off the ground. Unless you’ve experienced it first-hand, it’s difficult to understand. It takes a lot of time and money, but worth it in the end, for sure.
10. What are some tips you could give others who want to start their own business?
Know what you’re getting yourself into. Make sure you do your homework, do an analysis of the market, and make sure there is a target market for your product or service. Surround yourself with a good team who will help and support you through the good times and the bad.
11. How can people connect with you?
They can check out my websites: www.afrikrising.org, www.christinereidhead.com, or www.tipstostartingcollege.com.
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