Board Members of Women Leaders in Action
Laura Adjangba, Esq
As a founding member and visionary leader of Women Leaders in Action, Laura's focus is to use her legal, entrepreneurial and cultural background to empower women in the areas of self-development, economic subsistence, health, and education. To that end, she is committed to helping others achieve their goals through mentoring and contagious encouragement.
Laura strongly believes in the biblical saying, "to whom much is given, much is expected." She is also a firm believer in the adage of the late Ghanaian leader, Dr. Kweggir Aggrey: "If you educate a man, you educate one person, if you educate a woman, you educate a nation."
Born and raised in Ghana, I was the third among five siblings. Living in such a setting gave me a competitive and focused mentality. Despite Ghana being a predominately matriarchal society, it was clear that gender inequality was still prevalent. Manifesting very early in my life, the idea of eliminating inequality between genders was a dream of mine. I generally believed that anything a man can do or achieve a woman can do and do it better. This idealism motivated me. I migrated to America after high school to attend college. Half way through my college career, I was blessed with a wonderful son. Providing a stable environment for my son took priority so I put my education on hold for some time.
The importance of education was instilled in me at a very young age so once I was accustom to the life of parenthood, I returned to school. In 2000, I earned my first degree (Bachelors of Arts in Computer Information Systems with Honors) at Rutgers University & New Jersey Institutes of Technology in Newark, New Jersey. I then worked for Roche Vitamins for a year before opening a retail pharmacy with my husband in 2002.
After working in the pharmacy for some time, I developed a true passion for the health care field. This passion led me to continue my education and receive a Bachelors of Science in Nursing at University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ) in 2007. In May of 2011, I earned my Master of Science degree program at UMDNJ concentrating in Family Nurse Practitioner. I am currently enrolling in a PHD program in Urban Health for I am still eager to learn and grow.
I do believe that to whom much is given much is expected. I enjoy being a provider and I am very passionate about giving. I enjoy making time to help others. Love cooking, travelling, and arts. I do appreciate nature, and beautiful architecture.
Mavis Awuku, born and raised in Ghana until age 14, is the treasurer and one of the founding members of WLA. She is a graduate from SUNY Binghamton with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Mavis Awuku has over 25 years as an accomplished progressive financial accountant with experiences in financial analysis and reporting for both profit and non-profit industries. She brings to WLA a set of strong organization and analytical skills with special attention to detail in a thorough precise fashion.
At the age of 14, she and her siblings joined their parents in New York City where she attended Evander Childs High School and pursued her college education at SUNY Binghamton.
Right after her graduation from college she started off her accounting career working on Wall Street with rating and brokerage companies. After 15 years on Wall Street, she decided to work for a non-profit company where she has been working as the Assistant Controller. In addition, Mavis Awuku is a member of Livingston Presbyterian church and an active member of the finance committee. Her role consists of preparing monthly and annual financial statements for review by the leaders of the church and church members.
As the treasurer of WLA, Mavis hopes to use her expertise in the financial world to help shape and guide the financial activities of WLA. Through her life experiences and her professional growth Mavis is dedicated to devote her time in guiding, and mentoring young women in her community, Haiti and Africa.
Catherine Mutunga was raised in Kenya and went to university in India where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree. She started her career in Kenya as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative in marketing and distribution of pharmaceutical and consumer products.
Catherine migrated to the US and over the past 7 years has worked at the Kenya consulate office in NYC managing and coordinating all international and diplomatic matters as well as Visa and passport control.
Catherine is a founding member of WLA as well as the Assistant treasurer. With her great organizational skills, Catherine will be working closely with the treasurer to ensure that all financial needs for WLA are organized, tracked, communicated and reported and in compliance with appropriate regulations. Catherine is the proud mother of two young boys, Keith and Johnson.
Mercy was born and raised in Kenya in a family that stressed the importance of education, love of family and neighbor and involvement in charity, It is to that end that she travelled to the United States after completing secondary education to further her studies. Her quest landed her at The University of Rhode Island where she attained a bachelors of science degree in nursing and a minor in psychology.
While in college Mercy continued to follow some of her passions, teaching Sunday school, volunteering her free time working with the homeless population in Rhode Island and receiving the social justice in medicine award from Brown University for her participation in the coalition to end hunger in the homeless population in Rhode Island. Mercy also volunteered her time with the Brown center for children as a student research assistant.
Upon graduating Mercy worked briefly as a home care nurse in Massachusetts before moving to New Jersey where she was hired as a trauma nurse at the University Hospital in Newark. She later transferred to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit in the same hospital. Mercy is currently enrolled in a Masters in nursing program that she hopes will broaden her ability to serve her community.
Mercy is currently an active member of the International Surgical Health Initiative, a non-profit medical organization that was started by Dr. Sifri Ziad and Asha Bale to help relieve surgical burden in third world countries. With the team, Mercy has participated in repeat surgical missions to Ghana and Peru and is currently preparing one to Kenya and will be joining the team as they travel to Sierra Leon.
In her free time, Mercy enjoys cooking , reading motivational books, spending time with her nephews and nieces, mentoring young nurses, travelling, listening to classical music, getting involved in the works of charity and taking on new challenges.
Mercy is fluent in English, Swahili, Luo and speaks some Spanish.