Liberia, West Africa has a population of about 4 million people. The official language is English - the name Liberia derives from "Liberty" meaning freedom. Liberia's current president (and Nobel Laureate) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first female head of state in Africa! Liberia is celebrating a decade of peace after a 14-year civil war from 1989 to 2003 greatly destroyed the country. According to GirlUp, more than 40% of Liberian girls ages 10-14 have never gone to school. Unfortunately, young girls fall victim to the most frequently reported crime in Liberia, rape. Before the war in 1989, Liberia had over 2,400 schools. After 2003, Liberia only had about 480 remaining.
When a girl in the developing world receives 7 or more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
An extra year of primary school boosts girls' eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
Mike is a known doctor, leader, connector and strategic consult. Mike spent his career in Arlington, Texas as a leader in orthopedic surgery. In 1981, Mike founded Arlington Orthopedic Associates, the second largest orthopedic group in Texas. He served President of group from inception until retirement in 2011. During his time, he built ambulatory surgery center, 2 physician office buildings in including PT and MRI facilities. And as his final project, he built a full service, 24 inpatient bed orthopedic hospital in partnership with Baylor Healthcare System.
Mike recently retired from orthopedic surgery practice after 30 years and has been strategically involved in several social entrepreneurship projects. He is the Medical Director at TOMS. There, Mike works specifically in the area of podoconiosis, looking to eradicate it initially in Ethiopia and ultimately globally. Mike serves as an advisor on the Start Something that Matters Foundation and works with organizations to help establish effective business plans that sustain impact.
Mike has a deep passion for kids in need and has travelled the world in support of efforts that meet their needs. Most recently, Mike traveled to Monrovia, Liberia to celebrate the grand opening of the More Than Me Academy.
Mike lives in Marina del Rey with his wife Pamela Jean (Doehler) Mycoskie of 43 years. Pam and Mike have three children: Blake, Paige and Tyler. And are thrilled to have their first grandchild, Becket.
Mike graduated in 1976 from Tulane University’s School of Medicine.
Katie and her husband Skip lived happily in Far Hills, New Jersey, and have just relocated to sunny Jacksonville, Florida with their four children. Katie is the executive director of Casa di Francesca Home Fragrance and Décor, which she sells on the Home-Shopping Network. She is also the creative director at Multi Media Exposure. She recognizes how much she has been given and finds a sense of purpose in giving back both to the local community and to the girls that More Than Me helps in Liberia. Because Katie has two girls of her own, imagining small girls on the street selling goods instead of being in school hits close to home. She believes we are the same humanity and deserving of an equal chance at our dreams.
In addition to being a finance guru and social entrepreneur, Chid presides over Liberty & Justice, a company that develops local African factories and connects them with international retailers, producing fair-trade apparel and replacing a culture of sweatshops with a culture of sweat equity. Before co-founding Liberty & Justice Chid worked in finance and information systems for several high growth technology companies including Metavante Corporation (now Fidelity National Information Services), Mindjet, and Trilogy Integrated Resources. Chid also lectures extensively on social entrepreneurship and innovation, most recently at Stanford, IE Business School, Princeton, Tennessee State, and the University of Liberia where he serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Monrovia Business Startup Center. He is a member of TransFair USA's Fair Trade Certified Apparel Multistakeholder Group where he helps to guide Fair Trade Certified apparel policy for the United States. Chid was also awarded the Cordes Fellowship in 2010 and sits on the 2011 Cordes Fellowship Selection Committee. A native Liberian, Chid is on the Board of More Than Me, lending his expertise to the organization’s growth.
Saul's been an entrepreneur since 17, as is evidenced by his recognition as a Top 9 Young Foreign Policy Leader under 33, and is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council. As an avid blogger for the Huffington Post and renowned speaker and International Speaker Specialist for the Bureau of International Information Programs at the Department of State, his work has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, and Fast Company. Saul founded a Nelson Mandela endorsed Student Movement for Real Change as well as ThinkImpact, a certified B Corporation based in Colorado with global offices across Africa. In addition to More Than Me, Saul serves on the Board of Directors for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, University of the Pacific’s Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and iOnPoverty. A Truman Scholar, Saul graduated from Johns Hopkins University and John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). An avid runner, skier and Broncos fan, Saul lives in Denver with his wife Emily.
Born in Rome Italy to the illustrious Borghese family, Scipione (Skip) was educated in France and attended college in the U.S. After working in finance he joined his father’s cosmetics business which distributed some of beauty's best known fragrance and cosmetic brands. At 23, Skip presented Perlier on QVC. In 1996 he brought Perlier to HSN. He recently celebrated his 15th year on HSN and has built Perlier as one of the largest beauty lines sold on Live TV. Skip is president of Multi Media Exposure Inc, a marketing specialty company. He is married to Katherine Borghese (née Long) and they have four children. Skip is passionate about More Than Me because it provides a way to have a direct impact on some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Skip brings all his skills to the table in order to make the biggest difference he can for the girls including his shameless talent at doing the worm.
Despite her career as a corporate tax attorney, Erica has fortunately been able to find ways to utilize her degree and skills to help others. She has advised non-profits on US tax issues, represented a Guinean family in an immigration asylum case, and organized a trial advocacy training program in Liberia, West Africa. During her stint in Liberia, Erica was able to see firsthand what it means for education to be a luxury when she met a family who could not afford to send their child to school. Assisting the family with their educational expenses led Erica to seek additional opportunities to help Liberia's children. It was around this time that she met Katie Meyler who had already begun to sow the seeds for More Than Me.
Trevor has been living and working in Africa for the last five years, first in Nigeria and later moving to Liberia where he now lives with his wife and two children. He is a civil engineer by trade, working on major infrastructure projects in Monrovia for Royal HaskoningDHV. A keen environmentalist, Trevor has a real affinity for Africa and is committed to rebuilding the continent. Through engineering and development projects he aims to provide a better quality of life for people in the developing world. Trevor chairs the CSR Committee for a group of companies operating in the port area of Monrovia; Royal HaskoningDHV, APM Terminals Liberia, Bam International, Van Oord and SMIT. This group of companies have contributed immensly to the construction of the new More Than Me Academy. Trevor is now an Advisory Board Member for MTM, helping to secure the government lease and leading the building reconstruction.
Jose Alfaro is originally from San Jose, Costa Rica is currently working towards a PhD in Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan. Jose worked for 5 years as a Researcher for Mitsubishi Chemical in SC where he had global responsibilities for implementation of research projects. Jose's research tries to find ways to bring electricity to the bottom of the pyramid. He has served as the UM co-director for the USAID project, Excellence in Higher Education for Liberian Development (EHELD) and the UM Africa STEM committee. Working with More Than Me, Jose hopes to see lots of young engineers developing a sustainable Liberia!