Nicolle Pangis

Headed to Malawi (East Africa): Project Start July 2, 2023

Malawi is consistently ranked among the world’s 20 least developed countries on the UN Human Development Index. Seventy-one percent of the country’s population lives below the poverty line of US $1.90 a day. Nearly half of primary school-age children dropout before advancing to secondary school and the literacy rate in Malawi is only 62% among people 15 years old and older.

Team Dayā is scheduled to start its school groundbreaking in Malawi on Sunday, July 2, 2023. If you are interested in learning more, or possibly traveling with us to work on the groundbreaking, please contact us.

Nicolle Pangis – New York 

Bio: A little about me: I am the mom of the two coolest little girls on the planet and have worked in the media industry for over 20 years. Besides going on as many adventures with my daughters as possible, I am most happy when one or more of the following is nearby: a beach; a book; my nephews; a martini (or maybe two!); a boat; lots of buffalo wings and/or tacos; an Orange Theory Studio – not necessarily in that order. And, like many of us, I try to do what I can to be a positive energy in the world by helping people when and where I can, which leads to my why……

Why: I believe that access to education can change the world, one student at a time.

My maternal grandfather stopped going to school when he was 8 years old and went to work to help support his family, who lived in the mountains of Chios, Greece, where he grew up. He was the smartest man I have ever met, and did the best he could with the education he had, but he had deep regret that his formal education was cut short. My mother immigrated from Greece when she was eight, and my dad grew up in the projects in the Bronx. They both graduated high school but didn’t attend college courses until they were adults; neither completed a four year degree.

Despite my family not being highly educated by US standards, I learned from a young age; mostly by observation; how education was strongly linked to the ability to better provide for the necessities of life. As I’ve gotten older and started being more aware of the world outside of my suburban NJ upbringing, I’ve realized that the public school education I received and considered as table stakes was not available to so many in the world. In fact, I was incredibly privileged.

My parents sacrificed a lot to make sure my brother and I could be better educated than they were, so we could be more financially secure than they were. I have been very privileged to find some level of career success and the feeling of safety that comes with it, and this is one way help others who have less privilege find more opportunity, and by extension security through education as well.

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