Educator and Humanitarian, Christine Reidhead, is an Assistant Professor and the Founder and CEO of the Nonprofit Organization, AfrikRising. The youngest of five children, she was born in Mesa, Arizona to Phyllis and Daniel Cluff. Christine is a native of Benson, Arizona, where she learned the importance of hard work and dedication. She had the pleasure of growing up in a great and supportive community. Today, she works at Navajo Technical University as an Assistant Professor of Business and Program Manager for the Department of Transportation Grant. She is also a Business Department Chair and Faculty Vice President.
Alongside these roles, Christine serves her own nonprofit organization, AfrikRising, which provides critical resources to the children of Africa who face starvation, educational limitations, and health disparities. Whether it is in her own local community or multiple populations across the world, it has always been her desire to help others, especially children. She also hosts her own podcasts, which focus on nonprofits, advocacy, the Tribal College Movement and sports talk. She just published her Tribal College Movement Podcast with the Tribal College Journal.
Outside of this and her career, she works tirelessly in serving as a positive example for her two amazing sons. It is her mission to make certain that they always know the importance of education and feel the joy of helping those who need it most.
We decided to meet this inspirational woman and ask her about her life, career and dreams.
CL: Hi Christine, how are you feeling today?
CR: I’m doing great, thank you!
CL: It is always a pleasure to meet woman that inspire, and you are definitely one of them! You have so many roles: being an assistant professor, faculty vice president, serving a non-profit organization for helping children in Africa and being a mom of two. What role do you consider the most important of all?
CR: Definitely, being a mother. My boys are amazing and I love being an important part of their lives. They are growing up too fast!
CL: You’ve been born in a large family with five kids. Was it tough being the youngest?
CR: I had older brothers and a lot of male cousins so I had to hold my own, but I loved it! It instilled toughness in me and a sense of fight.
CL: What is the warmest memory from your childhood?
CR: I was always involved in sports and really loved the relationships I built through that.
CL: Do the values from your family play an important role in your active necessity to support others and help people that have less than you?
CR: I loved being raised in the Benson and Pomerene communities. I grew up among many great families that just embraced me and helped me grow. To a certain extent they did, but even from a very young age, I felt the need to help others.
CL: You founded AfrikRising that provides critical resources to children in Africa. How did you come up with this idea?
CR: My family and I have been going to Mexico for the past 30 years to enjoy the environment, and, to serve. We were doing a service project at the beginning of the year in Mexico, and I happen to tell some of my friends in Africa about it. They told me of the struggles they faced every day and how it was worse than what Mexico was experiencing. It moved me so much that it made me want to make a difference and start some service projects there.
CL: What was your way from idea to the actual AfrikRising creation? Did you have people who guided you in this journey?
CR: I just did A LOT of research. Typically, in everything I do, I go out and teach myself. There is so much good online information that is easily accessible. So, I just immersed myself in learning and basically, taught myself how to start the process. I have worked with several nonprofit organizations, which have given me the experience and knowledge on how to operate an organization. I’m very passionate about nonprofits as they are helping those in need.
CL: What would you recommend to a person who has a brilliant idea for a non-profit organization, but does not know where to start?
CR: Do your research. Reach out and connect with some nonprofits and ask a lot of questions.
CL: Could you tell us more about the activities of the AfrikRising foundation? What kind of support did you manage to provide already?
CR: We’ve gone into several orphanages and schools and help provide relief and basic necessities.
CL: What are the future projects of the foundation?
CR: We are currently raising funds to start a trades school in Nigeria. We want to provide something sustainable, where Africans can help other fellow Africans out of poverty. Most of our board members are educational professionals and are very passionate about the project. We feel this will certainly provide positive outcomes for the people.
Read the full interview in December issue of "Cosmo Life".
Listen to Christine’s podcasts: https://christinereidhead.com
Follow Christine on social media: https://www.facebook.com/chris.reidhead
Tips to Starting College website: https://tipstostartingcollege.com
AfrikRising Nonprofit Organization: https://afrikrising.org