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Getting to Know: Kerri McAfoos

By Laura DesGranges

Kerri McAfoos has been a committed member of the Governor community for several years. We are lucky to have Kerri join as Governor Co-Chair alongside Cassie Burns. Let’s get to know Kerri!  


Coming to Opportunity

My family had been donors to Opportunity for many years before I learned about Insight Trips. I accepted an invitation to travel to Rwanda with Opportunity, and my mind was opened to the important work of microfinance; I was impressed by the quality of this organization. I had such a deep learning experience that I returned home to Denver wanting to help the organization on a more significant level. 

Kerri on her first Insight Trip in Rwanda in 2013
Kerri on her first Insight Trip in Rwanda in 2013

The pivotal moment 

I was walking in the busy streets of Kigali, Rwanda, as our Insight Trip was coming to an end. I had seen the victorious entrepreneurs who are our clients, I had heard their personal struggles and I had witnessed what could become of people when given access to education and funds. I said to one of our trip leaders, “I am going to help Opportunity when I get back home to Denver." She kindly responded, “That is what everyone says.” And that was it. I had seen all that I needed to see, and I was given an indirect challenge to help make a change in my own community. 

Deepening the journey

Like many Governors, my efforts to help Opportunity started out fairly small in scale. My husband and I have hosted large Halloween parties every year, so I began by asking our guests to purchase tickets to our party one year with all of the ticket proceeds given directly to Opportunity. I then followed by hosting more formal, educational luncheons in the Denver area. Now that the Denver community is more familiar with Opportunity, I plan to host an evening gala in the future. 

A trip to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda
A trip to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda

Stepping up

I wanted to help lead the Board of Governors because I believe that Opportunity has the greatest reach to help the largest number of people achieve their personal intellectual potential. Our clients can therefore provide for their basic human comforts with dignity and pride.

I can’t think of a better organization with which to volunteer my attention, time, and care.

Kerri McAfoos

Fast forwarding

I’ve thought about what I want the Governors community to look like a year from now, but with the world facing the coronavirus, our attention has now turned to our families and our own community’s hardships. My attention also turns to our clients who reside in vulnerable circumstances. I would hope that in a year, our Governors will be reflecting on how they continued to support our clients around the world during the coronavirus so they could return to caring for their families and businesses.

The McAfoos family in Colorado
The McAfoos family in Colorado

Life outside of Opportunity 

I love to play with my three sons, ages 13, 11, and 9. My husband, Travis, and I try to keep up with them at every moment, whether it be skiing, hiking, camping, or tossing the football with them. Our family loves to travel and craves the stimulation travel provides by learning about new cultures and countries. Our family just recently lived in Vienna, Austria, for a year attempting to see if we could successfully live on a different continent. We treasure such great memories from that experience.

One last thing

I would love it if any Governors wanted to get in touch with me. It would be wonderful to get to know you better and learn why you have become friends of Opportunity. I am immensely drawn to people with big, generous hearts, who think outside of themselves and how they can better help others. To be able to surround myself by such incredible, intelligent people may be the best part of working with Opportunity International.


 Thank you, Kerri, for sharing a bit about your journey with us! We are grateful to have you working with Cassie to lead our Governor community.

 

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