Nathaniel Nyok, a former Lost Boy of Sudan, was separated from his parents and siblings during the second Sudanese Civil War when he was eight years old. Having lived as a refugee for fourteen years, Nyok came to the United States in 2001. In 2009, twenty-two years after Nyok was separated from his family, he was reunited with his family in Sudan. Overjoyed to see his family, Nyok was disheartened to see the continued lack of education in South Sudan, and as a result founded Ambassadors for Change, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to build a high school in South Sudan. Nyok possesses his B.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Diplomacy and International Service from Kennesaw State University and is currently pursuing his M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University.
Yaar Garang, a former Lost Girl of Sudan, is a strong advocate of women’s education. Recognizing that only 1% of girls in South Sudan finish secondary school, Yaar realizes the necessity in educating the community about the importance of educating their daughters and providing educational opportunities for girls. With this firm belief in the importance of education and, in particular, women’s education, Yaar co-founded Ambassadors for Change, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to build a high school in South Sudan, with Nathaniel Nyok.
Sonya Cunningham, full-time educator and part-time editor, earned her B.A. in English from Wesleyan University and pursued her graduate work in Humanities, with a focus on literature, at California State University. Ms. Cunningham currently teaches World Literature at Fayette County High School, where she also serves as the faculty adviser for the school’s STAND program. An advocate for human rights – in particular, the right to education regardless of race, gender, and creed – Ms. Cunningham was inspired by Mr. Nyok’s story and began various fundraisers at her school to assist with the school building project in South Sudan. Through her collaboration with Mr. Nyok, Ms. Cunningham began to work diligently and on a voluntary basis as executive director for Ambassadors for Change, as she sees the dire need for schools in the area and firmly believes in the correlation between education and peace.