Meet and Greet- AIA's Operations Assistant

As of August 1st, we have a new staff member in the DC office! I am so excited to introduce you to Action in Africa's Operations Assistant, Mikayla Pellerin. I had the opportunity to chat with Mikayla today about why she decided to join the team, what she is working on with us, what she loves about our work and so much more. Read the full interview below!

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S: Hi Mikayla! Let's jump right in! When and how did you first hear about Action in Africa?

M: Hi! Well, I suppose it was through my best friend Natalie who worked next to you at WeWork. One day we were talking about how much I missed Kenya and how I wish I could be more involved in development work and she sorta had this moment and was like, “oh my gosh you have to meet Sarah.” She started to tell me about Action in Africa and I knew right away it was an organization I wanted to get involved with.

S: One of the more exciting things you got to do as an intern was go to the Global Good Fund Gala with me as my guest back in April. I know for me, it was a really pivotal moment in realizing that I wanted to hire you after your internship. What was that experience like for you, attending your first big event on behalf of Action in Africa?

M: I loved attending the gala, we had so much fun and met so many innovative Global Good Fund Fellows. I felt so lucky and proud to tell everyone about what makes Action in Africa different, from our scholarship not sponsorship model and our community generated offerings. Especially getting to bounce off ideas with you and the fellows being showcased there. You could feel the positive energy in the room the whole night, just so many people pursuing their passions, making the world a better place one project at a time. It was incredible to get to represent Action in Africa and I hope soon you will get the opportunity to be a fellow and get to tell everyone else about Action in Africa.

S: You started out with Action in Africa as an intern this past spring and then officially joined the Washington DC staff on August 1st. What has that transition been like for you these last few weeks?

M: You have made the transition a breeze, to say the least. It’s been amazing to have the time to take on so many new exciting projects. Every day I can feel the organization growing and developing one completed task at a time. It also helps that I’ve got a great office mate! :)

S: Now that you are a staff member, what are some of the things you are working on? What are you most excited about with your new role at Action in Africa?

M: I have been doing a lot of physical and online office organizing like tracking and updating inventory, developing upcoming newsletter spotlights, researching donor management systems, creating infographics, and of course the continuous brainstorming of, “ok what’s next, how can we make this better, how can we positively impact more people.” I love being able to work on such a variety of projects in just one day, I’m really excited about some of the projects we have developed to include our donors more. I think the center is so important and I want our supporters to understand how much their contributions help Action in Africa.

S: There’s a group of Action in Africa contributors going to Uganda in October, including you! What are you most excited about with that trip? Anything specific you are looking forward to?

M: Excited is an understatement! I truly can’t wait to meet everyone there. I feel like I already know everyone from all the stories I’ve heard and pictures I’ve seen but it will be even better to really get to know everyone in person. I look forward to working with the staff and visitors to hear and learn how we can improve the center and move forward together. I am also just really excited to see Uganda, after spending four months last year traveling all over Kenya, the country became a second home to me, so I think visiting Uganda will feel a bit like coming home again.

S: Amazing! Anything else you would like to add?

M: I just want to thank you, Sarah, for believing in me and welcoming me on to the Action in Africa team! I feel so lucky to get to work for such an incredible organization that I truly believe in.

S: Lastly, describe Action in Africa in three words. 

M: Innovative, Supportive, and Transparent

S: Thanks, Mikayla!

Special thanks to Mikayla for her unwavering commitment to Action in Africa. This post is a part of Action in Africa's "Meet and Greet" series, which intends to introduce you to the the people who make Action in Africa the fabulous organization that it is!