Whether acting as a United Nations Field Officer or as a local student volunteer, Tanya De Mello’s work has always been focused on building communities. Whether it’s through creating community service initiatives at universities, managing humanitarian aid donations in Senegal or assisting with refugee relocation planning, Tanya excels at bringing people together around shared ideas to build vibrant communities.
Her commitment and zeal for enacting change has earned her several distinctions, including McGill’s prestigious Scarlet Key Award and Princeton’s esteemed Donald E. Stokes Award for leadership and academic excellence. Between co-founding two Non-Governmental Organizations and working for the United Nations, Tanya finds the time to kick-start new initiatives such as the Community Action – a community-led group that organizes charity fundraisers for legal aid and student to work not just in the community, but with the community.One recent project called “Community Captured”, was a photo display that addressed the complex dimensions of pressing social issues, while inviting community members and organizations alike to participate in the process of creating change.
And what’s the common denominator that underlies all of her achievements? Tanya firmly believes that efforts taken to bring about change, even at a very local level, can be as transformative as the largest of international development projects.
Start small, but start now – that is what will make the greatest difference tomorrow.