Charlotte Team




Here's a look at the Charlotte team who will be completing the 2012 Rwanda projects at the IWE women's center as mentioned in the previous blog entry:  here


MICHAEL LOWE Michael is a 2011 graduate of the UNC School of Construction Management and Engineering Technology. With project management experience in residential remodeling and participation in the Engineers Without Borders Program since 2010, Michael has traveled throughout Central America assisting on community development and enhancement construction projects. Projects include rainwater collection systems, storm water drainage control programs, high-efficiency cook stove designs, and residential and institutional construction programs using indigenous materials.




I grew up in NC playing sports, riding bikes, exploring the woods and climbing trees. I attended UNC Chapel Hill, then moved to Seattle for a new adventure.  I love hiking, rock climbing, traveling and meeting new people.  Now for another new adventure- volunteering with O2A in Rwanda.  I can't wait!

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As the volunteer and event coordinator for O2A, I’ve helped raise over $6,000 in funding for projects through a series of bake sales and a large gift wrapping fundraiser. I’m honored to be a part of the team traveling to Rwanda in May 2012 to provide aid to an orphanage of 450 girls, and fulfill my life-long dream to help others.

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After graduating from Appalachian State University in 2008 and teaching in Japan for years, I am continuing my work with children at a Daycare while Improvising with the Charlotte Comedy Theater.

I've worked with friends in O2A for almost two years developing projects that we believe in and I feel this is the most moral work I've ever done.  Not only do I believe in the way we're benefiting generations of children, but the work- from trip planning to intense problem solving on site and between countries- is completely engaging and I feel very lucky to enjoy working positively.




I’ve been with Orphans to Ambassadors for a year now, helping behind the scenes with fundraising, event planning, and grant writing. I’m thrilled beyond words to be going on my first international project in Rwanda.   For this project, I was responsible for designing and building a large chicken coop. I’m a social worker with experience with children, not chickens, so I enlisted the help of my friend Matt at CAST Architecture to help with the design process.  His help has proved priceless as this is my first chicken coop adventure!

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I am SO  excited to be traveling to East Africa with 02A!  I found out about 02A through Jacob Hanks, we met in college and bonded through friendship, school, and our spiritual lives for the next 3 years.  I shared with him my passion for mission work and also for refugees, particularly in Africa.

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I grew up in the foothills of North Carolina with O2A’s Founder Jake Gentry.  Ever since learning about Jake starting Orphans to Ambassadors, I have been an active volunteer.  The approach this organization takes to helping disadvantaged youth is so unique and compelling to me.  I am fascinated by teaching sustainable development to children and inspiring them to create positive opportunities for themselves while being good stewards of their resources.  I began volunteering as a fundraiser for the organization in April 2010 and since have worked with my older brother and best friend, Nathan Hanks to form a dedicated volunteer team in Charlotte, NC  to help further develop Orphans to Ambassadors.  I love the outdoors and serving youth locally and overseas.  In Charlotte I coordinate two after-school tutoring and art programs where I have helped co-create a garden to teach basic sustainability practices with my girlfriend Stephanie Braun.  Last summer I coordinated the Nazareti orphanage project in Ngara, Tanzania with the help of the Charlotte Volunteer Team and O2A Vice President Suzanne Fossum.  The Nazareti boys were incredibly thankful children and were very receptive to our team of volunteers.  With the help of the boys we installed an extensive rainwater harvesting system on the orphanage.  In December 2011 I coordinated our firstbio-sandwaterfilterproject in Embu, Kenya and now serve the volunteer role of O2A’s International Projects Manager.