HPC Fellow: Abena Agyei-Boateng, SOS Children’s Villages USA

Abena Agyei-Boateng is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow with SOS Children’s Villages USA Abena worked closely with the Marketing and Communications department to produce ads, monitor social media accounts, and create content for the annual report. In her blog, Abena reflects on her experience combining communications and development work.

My Path to Discovery at SOS Children’s Villages
By Abena Agyei-Boateng

When I first graduated from Ohio University with a Masters in Communication and Development, I was excited at the prospect of making a global difference. I had taken classes in Global health, Public Health, Social Media Analytics, and International Development and was excited at the prospect of becoming a global leader in the development sector. However, I was confronted with the challenge of matching my skillset to the right organization.

For me, finding the right organization with a mission that I believed in and that I could identify with was very important. This is why I was extremely excited to find out about the Hilton Prize Coalition Fellows position at SOS Children’s Villages USA. I was even more excited when my application to become a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow was accepted. My experience here at SOS Children’s Villages has been a path to self-discovery. I have had the opportunity to learn how I can harness my strengths to complement my weaknesses. I have had the opportunity to clarify the kind of professional that I want to be and have gained the hard skills I need to become an expert in my field.

Growing up in West Africa, Ghana, I knew all about SOS Children’s Villages and the work they were doing to support orphaned and abandoned children in 135 countries, including the United States. Thus, I was excited to have the opportunity to work for them. One thing that surprised me, however, was the depth of the work they did in these countries. I learned that they did not only offer long-term care to orphaned and abandoned children, but they also had work that focused on strengthening vulnerable families and communities, educating and empowering youth, and advocating for children’s rights.

My work here at SOS Children’s Villages encompassed many roles in different capacities. I began by working with the Director of Marketing and Communications on a pro bono ad project with PSP magazine. I also worked on researching partnership opportunities for the organization and was involved in the planning and content creation of the annual report. I also had the opportunity to manage the social media pages of SOS Children’s Villages USA. This was a great opportunity for me because it was a project that I was able to lead. I created posts for all their platforms then monitored and reported key metrics to the Director of Integrated Marketing. I also had the privilege of working with a team of interns to host a happy hour fundraiser that raised double of what our goal was!

One thing that I can say about my time at SOS Children’s Villages USA is that there was never a dull moment at the office. There was always a project to take on, or there was always someone to support. This made me feel like part of the team, and I quickly got invested in the mission of the organization. An example of this is when all the fellows and interns came together to plan and execute a fundraising campaign. Although we hadn’t been in the organization for long, we believed that our efforts would make a difference in the lives of children all over the world, and for us that made all the difference.

I am grateful for the time that I have spent here with the team at SOS Children’s Villages USA and will always remember the skills and experience that I learned while working with them.

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

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