Growing up in Zimbabwe, Prisca’s parents instilled in her the importance of education and modeled what it looked like to extend a helping hand to people who needed it. “They would take in kids from the streets, and some would stay at our house,” Prisca explains. “My parents would pay their school fees and help get what they needed.”
She’s an Implementation Project Manager in our US Professional Services and Delivery division, a mom, and a small business owner. She’s also a fierce advocate for education and passionate about helping kids in Zimbabwe succeed.
Continuing a legacy
When Prisca’s mother passed away last year, she knew she had to step in to continue her legacy of supporting kids in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, there is no free public-school option, and many parents can’t afford school fees. “There are so many kids with amazing potential -- with 4.0 GPAs -- who lack the resources to afford an education,” she explains. “These children just need an opportunity.”
Prisca now financially supports and mentors 15 Zimbabwean kids – all the way from her home in Cary, North Carolina. Many are orphans or are being cared for by single parents or other family members. All, she’s never met in person. For young children, she helps with their school fees. For students who have completed a high school equivalent education, she provides SAT prep books, internet access, practice tests and more – all with the goal of helping them receive a scholarship to attend college in the United States.
“These kids are so determined, they keep going,” she shares. “They don’t have laptops, so they do all of their schoolwork on 5–7-year-old smartphones. Most of them work in the fields during the day and study by candlelight in the evening because they don’t have electricity. They will do anything to get an education.”
The power of education Around the world, SAS is using #Data4Good to support education initiatives that promote learning for all. “My education has shaped me into the person I am today, and it’s given me the ability to help other people. Children are the future of tomorrow, and education is key to a brighter future for all of us,” she says. It was Prisca’s education that led her to the tech industry, and ultimately, her role at SAS where she connects the dots to bring customer projects to successful completion. For Prisca, the best part about working at SAS is the curious and passionate people: “Working at SAS feels like you are with your family,” she shared. “When my mom passed away last year, I did not grieve alone. My SAS family surrounded me. It’s like they hand pick people with good hearts.”
Outside the office
To support her work of providing educational opportunities to children in Zimbabwe through the Fundo Scholars Foundation, Prisca started a sock company, Tanaka Designs. Her son loves socks, so this was a great way to connect and channel their two passions to help others. The socks are African-inspired and reflect the beauty and happiness of Zimbabwe. When she’s not helping others, you’ll find Prisca spending time outside, learning to play tennis, camping, and walking the SAS trails with her son and nieces. She also loves cooking: “I love being around people, especially hosting friends and family for meals.”
We’re inspired by Prisca’s passion for helping others and the impact she’s making at SAS and for kids in Zimbabwe! We can always use some good news – what’s your favorite way to give back? Let us know in the comments.