About Us

 
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Our Story

 Founder, Polly Dolan

Founder, Polly Dolan

Nurturing Minds and the SEGA Girls’ School started in 2007 as the dream of founder Polly Dolan, who through her work on poverty alleviation in Africa (since 1996) became convinced that educating women and girls has a significant impact on global development.

Polly obtained 23 acres of land in Morogoro, Tanzania - the future site of the SEGA Girls’ School. She knew that only when equipped with a questioning mind can girls gain the understanding and tools necessary to address the social, economic and political situations affecting their lives.

In 2008, Polly enlisted the help of her sister Tracey Dolan, who with Polly, co-founded the U.S. based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Nurturing Minds with the goal of raising funds and providing technical expertise for the construction and development of the SEGA Girls’ School. SEGA opened its doors to 30 students in a borrowed classroom in July, 2008.

Nurturing Minds working alongside with the SEGA Girls’ School believes that educating vulnerable Tanzanian girls will give them the opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, improve their nation’s economy, and ultimately change our world!
 

 

Our Team

Thank you to our committed staff and volunteers who give their time and efforts to help these girls’ dreams become a reality! 

 

Julie Bourgoin

Foundation Researcher
julie@nurturingmindsinafrica.org

Laura DeDominicis

Executive Director
laura@nurturingmindsinafrica.org

Matthew Plourde

Development Associate
matt@nurturingmindsinafrica.org


Board of Directors

Juma Said Ally

Working with humanitarian and development projects in Africa, has played a vital role for me. Knowledge is power; to make positive decisions in life, to be active, self-reliant, a productive member in society and educating girls is a crucial component to this.

Marion Ballard

My whole life has been oriented around improving the lives of women and girls.

Clarke Blynn

I have applied my construction background to the construction of the campus at the SEGA Girls' School.

 

Betsy Crawford

As a PAN American flight attendant traveling to Africa, or a teacher of students with learning differences and as a school-based physical therapist have all contributed to my commitment to the mission of Nurturing Minds.

Annie de Cossy, Vice Chair

My experience in the nonprofit sector over the past three decades has informed our Board and fund development efforts in support of our goals to expand resources available to SEGA.

Polly Dolan, Co-Founder

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Tracey Dolan, Co-Founder

In 2008 this grassroots initiative drew upon my administrative, marketing and educational skills; however, over the years my work with NM has had a deepening impact on me personally as it has become a privilege to support and witness the gift of SEGA to vulnerable girls in Tanzania.

Nancy Ebb

Forty years of advocating for at-risk women and children gives me a profound appreciation of SEGA's role as a pathway to independence for young girls.

Catherine Flint

My belief in the importance of girls education paired with a career in Communications has enabled me to help Nurturing Minds/SEGA effectively communicate their mission and progress to our supporters and followers. 

 

Sherri Floros, Treasurer

My CFO experience helps us create transparent, reliable financials so donors can give to NM/SEGA with confidence.

Susan Hannah

My background in sustainable development and conservation has afforded me an appreciation for how thoughtful the planning and execution has been for SEGA's programs and evolution.

Heidi Kane

My experience in publishing, advertising, marketing & retail has allowed me to help by producing communication tools for NM/SEGA to get the word out on how people can help to end poverty through education.

 

Rod Kirsch

My career in educational fundraising provides me with the opportunity to help NM/SEGA maintain a strong financial foundation and help ensure SEGA’s long-term future through Nurturing Minds endowment campaign.

Angela McManus, Secretary

Wanting to provide inclusive education combining the academic, business and health aspects; NM/ SEGA gave me the opportunity to put my overseas teaching experience, corporate training and organizational skills to work.

Jane Nyamunga

As a native born Tanzanian woman who attended an all-girls secondary school similar to SEGA, I can appreciate the impact of a holistic education in empowering future generations of female leaders.

 

Amanda Opinsky

Having been educated at an all-girls school in London, I appreciate everything I gained from that experience and truly want to help open doors for the girls at SEGA to have much wider and diversified opportunities in life..

Clare Reilly

Working on behalf of vulnerable women and children in the US for over 25 years in has given me the passion to focus on girls' issues globally where the impact can be profound.

Eben Russell

Founder and President of Russell Pacific, a solar electric distribution business and RPCS, a solar tracker design build construction company. Born in Massachusetts, Eben is a lifelong sailboat racer.

 

Lynda Spence

My connection to SEGA grew out of my love of travel and the importance of educating and empowering girls/ women in third-world countries to combat endemic poverty. My experience with SEGA has reaffirmed my belief that eco-tourism works.

Kendall Webb, Chair

Working with over 1 million charities as ED of JustGive, NM stands out as one of the most personally meaningful ways to make worldwide change in many cause areas (i.e. poverty, hunger, health, education, etc.) starting with one girl. 

Nina Weisbord

Former CEO of an educational nonprofit and current extensive experience in higher educational, and independent school fundraising combined with my interest in educating girls (I have 4) ignite my interest and passion for NM. 

 

Sherley Young

Having led 14 builds for Habitat for Humanity, 6 of them in sub Sahara Africa, and taught in 3 girls high schools, I recognize the power of educating girls.

 

Advisors

  • Kirsten Barton

  • Kristin Bloom

  • Shanna Keown Calcei

  • April Gilbert

  • Nataly Kogan

  • Mackenzie Laudel

  • Rukia Marijani Mchumo

  • Brooke McInnes

  • Chelu Mfalila

  • Tausi Likokola Newton

  • Charlie Richards

  • Caroline Sanders

  • Leigh Stewart

  • Jean Suliteanu

  • Anna Temu

  • Marsha Wallace

  • Anne Wells

 


SEGA’s Board of Directors

 
  • Lascelles Chen

  • Polly Dolan

  • Demetrius Mathias Malopola

 

  • Oscar Mlowe

  • Blastus K. Mwizarubi,

  • Hellen Nkalang’ango

 

Friends

 

Volunteers

Thank you to the more than 120 volunteers who have supported Nurturing Minds and the SEGA Girls’ School through administrative support, event coordination, and short placements at SEGA!

 
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Generous Support

 

“My dream to visit SEGA finally came to fruition. I was so thrilled and honored to attend the very colourful and entertaining graduation ceremony. The high standards of the school facilities are unmatched in the country. I was so impressed by the girls outstanding and unprecedented academic achievements especially given their very poor backgrounds…"
- Ambassador. Liberata Mulamula

 
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Media and Publications

Photos courtesy of Sarah Bones Photography