One of the Talents Empowered Co-founders, Emily Moody, has a burning desire to help others. From a young age she was called, burdened, though she did not know for whom or for what. Wide-eyed and inspired by missionaries who had visited her home and her church growing up, books about people who ventured, the people and the stories they held, she set off on a mission to travel where need was high.
She learned of a team travelling to East Africa, so she set her sights on joining them. As the trip grew closer, Emily’s mother, Becky, was told that Emily was not allowed to travel outside the United States by herself as she was still a minor.
This is the story of how Talents Empowered began.
Becky and Emily arrived in Tarime, a small town situated on the edge of Lake Victoria in the Northwest corner of Tanzania. It is here where Angel House Orphanage resides; a grassroots nonprofit founded to create a place for orphans to live and learn. It is the place where Becky and Emily met the loving children of Angel House; children who opened their hearts and minds across gaps in language and culture, a truly brave feat.
Becky and Emily heard stories and listened and learned from many on this trip.
In this new environment, surrounded by new people and immense stories, there was a voice that had yet to be heard--an orphaned student with aspirations to become a lawyer to help those around him. We know him as Yusuph.
A teacher from a local government school took Becky to meet Yusuph at a nearby thatched-roof church where she heard his story. Long after departing Tanzania and returning to America, her thoughts and prayers returned to Yusuph. She could not imagine taking responsibility for his education; her two daughters were about to start university and she had recently opened a law office. She was trying to meet growing financial demands. She was not prepared.
Finally, she realized that to fail to act was to be living in fear and would, in fact, be an act of disobedience to her Lord and Savior. Unwilling to continue to live in disobedience, she tracked Yusuph down and paid the tuition for the first semester of his schooling.
Mr. Carroll Underwood, a 90-year old widower living on a fixed income came along and helped--financially and in many other ways. They were joined by other retirees, clients of Becky’s law practice, and together they were able to cover Yusuph’s expenses; they were able to encourage one another. In late 2014, Becky and Emily decided to create Talents Empowered.
Since then, Yusuph has finished his secondary education and recently graduated from Law School in Tanzania to be sworn in as an Advocate of the High Court.
Since 2014, Talents Empowered has begun working with a dozen of other students and many organizations to create meaningful partnerships that lay the foundations for creating opportunities that empower. What started for one individual has grown for many, creating a network of scholars and leaders all lifting up those in their various communities.
Our mission is always developing and defining itself through the individuals we meet and the effects we see from offering opportunities for people to empower themselves.
We are excited to learn what is next as we discover ways to grow our impact to be more meaningful and sustainable.
- The Talents Empowered Team