When Amy Zehnder traveled to Tanzania two years ago, she prepared herself for an exciting photo safari. But she returned home with much more than pictures of wildlife, “I came back completely transformed by the people,” she says.
A girl–to whom Amy refers to as her “inspirational vision”–left a lasting impression on her. “She came up to us while we were walking in the fields, and I could tell she was educated by the way she carried herself with such pride and in how she spoke.”
When Amy learned about an opening on the Girls Ed board earlier this year, the memory of the Tanzanian girl, along with her own personal passion for education, prompted her to join. Amy, originally from Sunfish Lake, MN, was the first in her family to go to college. “I broke the cycle,” she says. “And the students Girls Ed works with need to know they can do the same. I want to help these girls that have the same drive for education as I did.”
That “drive” helped Amy pay her own way through nine years of school–an academic career that
culminated in a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University in California. After achieving her degree, Amy moved to Colorado, where she now works as an executive coach and internal wealth dynamics coach at U.S. Bank.
Amy’s own success story is example enough of how powerful education can be. “When we educate, we can help others make a difference in the world,” she says. And she’s doing just that on the Girls Ed board. “I’m really pleased to be a part of this initiative–even if I never get a chance to meet the young ladies we help, it’s meaningful just to know that we’re creating such joy and hope in their lives.”
Amy Zehnder lives in Denver, Colo. where she spends her spare time water skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and snowshoeing.
Welcome aboard, Amy!