Hello! My name is Alexandra Lawrence and I am thrilled to be joining the TFFT family as the Communications and Marketing Manager. This past month marks my 12th move around the world as my significant other, Danny, and I recently moved to Phoenix, Arizona: a new adventure for us in our personal lives, and also in our careers. It is very exciting to represent TFFT on the west coast as we grow our communications and development strategies. Family and friendships mean everything to me, and I enjoy traveling to see loved ones, being outdoors, and teaching hot yoga in my free time.

With most of my childhood spent in Cleveland, Ohio, I became connected to the arts and the story of expression. Thanks to the support and encouragement of my parents, I attended Elon University in North Carolina as a Dance major, but my college experience led to much more than the arts world. I took a class on child and family counseling, and was hooked on what expression meant not only through dance, but through the lens of human services in helping others make meaning of their experiences to become resilient in the face of adversity.

My counseling background led me to work in Human Resources for a global manufacturing company: working and living within different cultures to tell a consistent story of our accomplishments across the world and help employees develop their leadership skills and passion for their work. I found a specific group of employees that I loved: new graduates post-college. Their compassion, spunk, and willingness to be self-starters made me want to learn more about this population that was entering the workforce.

I began recruiting college graduates for a marketing analytics company, which then led me to graduate school in my home state, receiving my master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. Studying the student experience intrigued me. I focused on understanding access to education and how where one comes from often dictates his/her opportunities for life. I focused on social justice and student activism, first generation college students and guidance needed to and through college. I continued to stay on at the university post-masters on the fundraising side of our alumni association in a communications role for our president.

My themes of storytelling, rallying others around a singular message, and working with students and employees to find passion in their work, have evolved over time. I couldn’t be more excited to take the next step with TFFT to combine my own passions for access to education, holistic development, and communications. The mission, vision, and values of this organization align with my own and give us all a chance to work together towards one goal.

In my first month with TFFT, I was able to jump right in on the ground level and head to Tanzania with Meghann, Sarah, and a group of our wonderful donors for two weeks. While I continue to process my experience, the stories of our children and their families will stay with me forever, and the time I had to get to know them and our Tanzanian staff was priceless. The impact and progress we have made as an organization on an individual and systemic level is evident, and as we head into this next decade of significance, I cannot wait to continue to shape our messaging and grow with our children, families, teachers, donors, and Tanzanian communities.