Originally Published: October 3, 2010 10 p.m.
ARUSHA, Tanzania - A sense of altruism and adventure inspired Angie Haggard of Prescott to quit her job at Yavapai Regional Medical Center to volunteer for two years at a school in Tanzania, East Africa.
Haggard, 21, started in July as sponsorship relations coordinator at The School of St. Jude, which is supported entirely by donations. She is responsible for informing sponsors for students, teachers, buses and boarding houses about the progress and success at the school.
"I originally discovered St. Jude's online as I was drawn to the mission to fight poverty through education," Haggard stated in a press release that the school submitted via e-mail to The Daily Courier.
Haggard said she applied through the school's website, www.schoolofstjude.co.tz, and interviewed there after volunteering with another charity in Arusha.
St. Jude officials required Haggard to provide a letter of recommendation from a previous employer, according to Tara Crowe, marketing and media coordinator at the school.
Gema Sisia of Australia founded the school after realizing a need for high-quality education, especially for children in poor communities.
St. Jude's opened with only three students and one teacher in 2002, but now provides free education to more than 1,300 orphaned and disadvantaged children in Tanzania.
The school employs more than 330 Tanzanians, including headmasters and teachers. It educates children up to Form Two, the equivalent of the freshman year of high school in the United States.
Volunteers such as Haggard come from all over the world.
Haggard was born in Fresno, Calif., and moved with her family to Prescott in 2000. She attended Prescott Mile High Middle School and Tri-City College Prep.
She said she earned her high school diploma a year early after transferring to a distance program.
Haggard took advantage of opportunities during high school, said Keri Milliken, Tri-City Prep principal. "She was very dynamic, personable, really social in a good way," Milliken said. "She enjoyed the events that we had at school, and I am very excited that she is involved in this opportunity in Africa."
Haggard said that she is "incredibly content" with her life now. "For me, being even a small part of such a great mission is very rewarding. Down the road I hope to continue my travels, and spend time working within organizations that are making a difference in the lives of others."
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