December 12, 2013
Dear Friends of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village,
I am thrilled to tell you that Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village has welcomed Danielle S. Burenstein as our new Executive Director, beginning full time in January, 2014. Danielle will oversee overall day to day operations, program delivery and strategic planning, while leading the organization to a higher level of visibility, fundraising, partnership development and impact.
Danielle is an accomplished leader with expertise in fundraising and development, corporate social responsibility, communications and partnership building. Her passion is in creating platforms that leverage the power of business, individuals and the energy of community to create meaningful and impactful social change.
Importantly, Danielle has played a central role in cultivating relationships and key corporate partnerships in both the non-profit and the corporate sectors. In addition to her expertise, she brings with her energy, heart and a deep commitment.
Before joining Agahozo-Shalom, Danielle was the head of development at an independent school in Harlem and at a leading congregation in NYC. She successfully worked with donors, staff and Trustees—igniting excitement, expanding overall partnerships and major donor opportunities, while creating and increasing revenue streams. She began her career as an attorney with a leading European law firm before moving back to the U.S. to join The Legal Aid Society where she represented the underserved and the communities in which they lived, working both on the ground and successfully litigating. At Philip Morris USA, she worked with senior leadership to design strategy, create partnerships and implement programs to support the company’s social responsibility initiatives.
The Board of Directors announces the news of our new Executive Director at an exciting time. We are about to begin our 6th year of transforming, saving, educating and changing the lives of vulnerable and orphaned youth in Rwanda. As we gear up to welcome a new 125 students on December 27th this year, we are also planning the celebration for our second graduating class and eagerly awaiting the results from their National Examinations. Student academic performance this year has been stronger than ever, and Agahozo-Shalom continues to shine in all extra-curricular areas, winning and placing in regional and national championships in both sports and the arts. Our students continue to have a deep impact on our local as well as their home communities as they share their new found knowledge and skills through our “tikkun olam” programs – they are quite literally healing the world.
With a deepened focus on strengthening our organizational capacity, the Board recently held a fruitful retreat, voting on a new strategic plan to enhance programmatic opportunities and expand our partnership universe to include greater corporate and foundation participation and an enhanced role for our individual partners.
We have deep confidence in the demonstrated commitment and vision of Danielle and our leadership team to build on the history and strengths of Agahozo-Shalom, to lead the organization and assure the fulfillment of its mission with stronger programs and an ever-richer impact on the lives of our students and those they touch.
With Danielle at the helm we look forward to an extraordinarily successful and productive 2014. Wishing you and your families all the very best for the New Year.
Anne Heyman, Founder, Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village