As a global relationship manager at the World Bank, Angelique Sina, A&S '14 (MA), works to improve economic and educational opportunities in impoverished countries around the world. It was ironic that she was never able to do the same for her native Puerto Rico, she says—it's a U.S. territory, not eligible for assistance through World Bank programs.
In 2015 Sina co-founded Friends of Puerto Rico, a D.C.-based nonprofit that raises funds to help support arts, education, and entrepreneurial initiatives on the island. But when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last November, "my whole life changed," Sina says. And so did her nonprofit. Suddenly, Friends of Puerto Rico morphed into a relief organization, raising more than $3 million, mobilizing six cargo planes of food and supplies, and delivering 49,000 toys before Christmas. "We used to have 30 or 40 steady donors," she says. "Now we have 30,000." While FPR will continue raising money for recovery efforts, Sina wants to shift focus back to helping the island's communities become more economically self-sufficient so they'll be less reliant on outside aid, whether or not disaster strikes again.
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