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."
Betty Merveil-Ceneus, CLNC, APN-C, MSN
Betty Merveil-Ceneus, a native of Haiti, is compassionate, tenacious in the quest to make a difference in the life of women in her community, Haiti and Africa. She started off her nursing career as a certified nurse assistant and gracefully climbed the ladder of success to become an advance practice nurse. With over 15 years in the healthcare field, Betty has strived to provide the best quality of care to her patients in multiple clinical settings such as emergency care, clinical research, intensive care, medical-surgical, cardiology, geriatric, post interventional cardiology, and long term care. She is a strong believer of this motto “Every great success is a conquest of self-discipline, persistence and motivation”.
As of now, Betty is pursuing her doctorate degree in the domain of nursing practice to effectively manage this ever-evolving healthcare system and its complex demands. Fascinated with the connection between medicine and law, Betty pursued a certification in Legal Nurse Consulting. As a result, she founded her own consulting business which is known as Fidelity Legal Nurse Consulting. A consulting firm which specializes in helping attorneys bring some sort of closure to those who had been injured from preventable medical errors and also to keep non-meritorious cases out of the legal system.
As a co-founding member and V.P. of W.L.A. Betty is dedicated to empower women to take control over their health and social issues that they face on a regular basis. In essence, Betty hopes to inspire women to pursue higher education so that they can be equipped with the necessary tools to overcome life challenges and develop resilient family units, strong communities, and powerful nations.
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.
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.
Events and Program Coordinator
Stephanie has worked as a licensed RN for over 20 years at University Hospital in Newark NJ. Growing up in Jersey City, it was a dream of hers to work in the Emergency Room and after graduating from Elizabeth General School of Nursing, that dream came true. Immediately her BSN and later CCRN was obtained. She has worked as and Emergency Room and Cardiac Nurse, but it is in the ER where she finds joy and excitement. Working in Newark's level one trauma center, Stephanie believes that "just when I think I've seen everything something new shows its face."
The newest board member of WLA, Stephanie hopes to rise to the challenge and make this new venture a successful one .Volunteering is another one of her passions and she has traveled and volunteered with ISHI (International Surgical Health Initiative), a non-profit organization for over 8 missions. Combining the love of travel and helping others, her work with ISHI has placed her in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Guatemala. "Sharing and passing our knowledge helps and empowers others to become self sufficient and powerful".
Stephanie's hobbies includes crocheting and gardening.