Mary Wairiri

Kenya Program Co-ordinator

My name is Mary Wairiri. I am a Kenyan based in the USA. l relocated here in 2001. I was brought up in Molo Town, worked and settled in Nakuru, Rift valley, Kenya. After high school, I trained as a teacher and I was awarded a diploma in teaching. On arrival in the United States, I joined the Middlesex community and Salem state College respectively. I am now a holder of a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. I have worked in various companies as a developmental Social Worker and not limited to Mental Health Specialist.

I got connected with Global Bridges International when I was in the process of trying to seek help for my brother who has exhibited mental illness since 1985. We have struggled to get him better but all has been in vain. My mother and sister in law are now left to manage his care.

As the U.S Based Kenya Coordinator for Global Bridges, Inc I am committed to working passionately to bring social work training to members of our community so that families like ours are not left to struggle on our own. l am optimistic that with Global Bridges, we will be able to reach out not only to my brother but hopefully my entire community. Many in my community made me feel like I abandoned my family in this time of crisis by moving to the U.S. Now, more than ever, my father’s parting words remain a source of strength. He told me go to America and make the best of myself. I see now, that my time in the U.S has not been in vain, and rather, has equipped me with the training and connections I need to make a difference for mental illness in Kenya.

Regina Washington

Strategic Development Consultant

Dr. Washington has over 15 years of experience in community, governmental, academic institutional leadership, combined, related to strategic planning, program/policy development, implementation, and evaluation. Her presentations, projects, and writings have been focused on health disparities, health education, and health policy, specifically related to tobacco cessation and cancer control. Her public health practice focuses on geographic, social, behavioral factors associated with cancer health disparities among low socioeconomic status, minority racial/ethnic, and other disadvantaged populations. Dr. Washington is a nonprofit strategic consultant specializing in organizational strategic mapping, identifying and engaging partners, program design, provider-patient communication, health equity, tobacco cessation, and cancer health disparities. Dr. Washington obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology from Berea College, master’s degree in education from Eastern Kentucky University, Doctor of Public Health from the University of Kentucky, completed a CERTA fellowship with the National Cancer Institute, and is one of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Public Health Leadership Scholars. She has achieved numerous leadership and service awards.

Jade Presnell

International Program Coordinator

Over the last decade Jade has worked in a variety of settings in the arena of community mental health providing support to individuals across the lifespan living with emotional and behavioral difficulties and their families. Jade graduated from Butler University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and English. Following this, she completed a Master’s degree in Psychology at DePaul University in 2009. After several years of working in the field, she returned to school to obtain a Master’s in Social Work at Indiana University in 2016, as social work really stole her heart! Most notably, Jade completed a post-graduate internship with the World Health Organization in Geneva in 2017 whereshe developed a better understanding of global mental health and human-rights based social work – two areas of which she is extremely passionate. Currently, Jade supports individuals with developmental disabilities across Indianapolis to learn new skills and live their best life. Jade has a special interest in working with individuals living with psychosocial disabilities, particularly in areas where resources are limited and fully embraces recovery-oriented, strengths-based practice in her work. She believes it is such a gift to be able to be a part of the social work profession and continues to strive to make meaningful contributions to her local and global communities. Jade has a heart for service, but when she is not advocating or serving, she enjoys traveling,playing with her dogs, antiquing, and spending time outdoors.