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Who We Are

 Executive Director- Helen Boxwill 

As an educator for the past 30 years, Helen Boxwill has taught kindergarten through high school, been a Director of Language Arts and then Principal and Coordinator of a family literacy program. She spent one year as a volunteer in Ethiopia, teaching a Ministry of Education mandated licensing program to college teachers at Hosanna Teacher Training College. While there, she not only was able to travel around the country, but worked with female students, local teachers and set up a library system through the town of 45,000, winning the Teacher of the Year Award from her sponsoring agency, the International Foundation for Education and Self Help.   Since 2005 she spearheaded a campaign to send books to various schools in Ethiopia and so far 90,000 books have been sent to 5 colleges, 30 primary schools, 25 secondary schools, 4 private schools, two town libraries and a hospital library. Helen worked in the Ethiopia Ministry of Education as the Early Grade Reading Expert in 20012-2013 and helped develop a new national syllabus and new Student Books and Teacher Guides for mother tongue in 7 languages. Helen has been training teachers in Ethiopia and making presentations to children and adults, connecting people and institutions to make a difference in people's lives.

Country Representative- Woldeamanuel Abiye

 Woldeamanuel is highly involved in many civic minded activities to help his rural community develop. As country representative of h2 Empower he organized all relations with the town government, education bureau, and school and parent community. He supervised  the construction of the library which was a complex task. He has monitored all of the projects we undertook, checking for use of funds and accomplishments of agreed goals. He is supervising Librarian staff and makes regular reports of all activities in Hosanna. Woldeamanuel has managed well all the work of H2 Empower in Ethiopia. Nothing could have been accomplished without  him.

 In addition, Woldeamanuel has been a leader and elected official to expand development and improve the quality of life for the residents of Hossana. He was president of the Hossana Town Chamber of Commerce and Industry, then Vice President of Southern Nations Nationality People's Region State Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was then elected to be a board member of the National Ethiopia Chamber of Commerce and Industry where he traveled throughout Ethiopia and internationally to countries like India, South Africa, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Sudan to expand business development in Ethiopia. Ten years ago Hossana had no asphalt road. Woldeamanuel became Chairman of Hossana Town arterial asphalt road construction which brought roads, both asphalt and cobblestone, throughout the town. He is a board member  of the Hadiya Nation Development Association and of Hosanna Town Water and Sewerage Service Office. H2 Empower is very proud and grateful for all of his service to the people of Ethiopia.


President- Andre Boxwill

 As a graduate of the Friend’s World Program of Long Island University, Andre has studied and traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Ethiopia. In Ethiopia he worked with college students, local farmers, environmental clubs and local agricultural organizations. Andre specializes in Sustainable Development and Cultural Anthropology. He is very passionate and connected to the developmental needs of the people and works to develop, and implement projects in the United States and in Ethiopia.

  • Susan Baum
  • Daniel Calise
  • Marilyn Kopp-Hecker
  • Hope McGrath
  • Todd Schlitt

Advisory Board

  • Mary Beth Guyther
  • Mamo Mengesha
  • Flor Calero

Senior Financial Accountant

Christopher Rivera, PMP, PMI-PBA

Christopher is a generous and professional supporter who supervises our accounting, advising us on best practices, and maintains all our financial records to the highest quality. We have had an external audit and we were deemed to be in excellent compliance meeting all requirement. Thanks to Christopher for his knowledge and competence.

Austin May, Social Outreach and PR Director

Austin May, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Austin manages our social media, researches funding sources, provides support and guidance for programs. He has funded a water project in a school, sent books to Ethiopia, and finds resources for the local university. Thanks to Austin for always being there for all sorts of projects and for his professionalism and creative solutions.

Technical Consultant


    Mamo Mengesha  

Mamo provides guidance related to our work in Ethiopia, advising us in effective strategies and ensuring culturally appropriate actions and understanding.