Oby Ukadike, MBA
Director of Development & Community Relations
I was born in New Jersey and grew up below the Mason-Dixon Line in the sunny state of Georgia. For as long as I can remember, I have deeply enjoyed learning and the power of education. With that passion, I believe that every single person deserves access to basic education. In pursuit of my own education, I came to Boston years ago to attend Boston College and get my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After a short time working as a youth counselor, I began working in higher education and received my Master of Business Administration with a double concentration in Nonprofit Management and Entrepreneurship. For the last 10 years I have spent my time at Harvard Medical School working in postgraduate education. I joined the WaWa Project as a co-founder and now work to foster and maintain relationships in Ghana and lead fundraising efforts.
I'm a Boston native with a heart for Ghana. I'm a mother of two little girls and spend much of my time caring for them. I love to travel, cook, read, host parties, and spend time outdoors with my family. I believe in the power of education and doing my part to create a more inclusive and just world for all. I hold a degree in International Relations from Boston University.
Erica Lawlor, MPS Director of Programs
I started working with WaWa in 2011, immediately drawn to an organization lowering barriers to education. While a native New Englander, I have traveled a fair amount (all 50 states and a dozen countries), and much of that has been deeply connected to learning - always my own but also in schools, advocacy, or documenting how others go about it. What was a constant curiosity as a child grew into a professional passion. I’ve worked with preschoolers, middle school-aged children, college students, and, for the past ten years, with adults in postgraduate education. There’s no limit to what we can learn from each other and always exciting to see the opportunities that unfold as a result. I joined the WaWa Project board of directors, because everyone deserves access to education, and it’s our privilege to contribute to that effort wherever we can.
I am a retired educator with 39 years of experience in public and private education. I worked as a counselor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis; as a Project Coordinator at Northeastern University; and after years as a public school counselor, began my 16-year career as a school principal. In addition, I taught graduate level courses at Northeastern and Lesley Universities.
Since retiring, I have become active politically and volunteer with Project Have Hope, a non-profit that seeks to empower women in the Acholi Quarter of Uganda.
Having worked with both typically developing students and those with disabilities, I believe that students generally learn best in an environment that supports diversity, individual effort, responsible citizenship and acceptance of differences. In a school where all students are valued and respected and where the curriculum is differentiated to reach diverse learners, children learn to value themselves and to respect others.
My husband Richard and I have a stellar daughter, Anna, who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique; a wonderful son-in-law from Mozambique, Rodolfo; and an amazing grandson, Gabe!
Rick McCartney, NP
I'm a Nurse Practitioner with a focus on community and public health. I currently run iRewardHealth, a software company helping people to build healthy habits. Big problems excite me, and I look for ways to find effective interventions that can scale to improve quality of life for people around the world. The WaWa Project is important to me because I believe that education is a great democratizer, and I'm excited to see what we can learn as we support people in pursuit of comprehensive education.