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Change Starts with One Ripple

Betty Ross is using her music business and digital communications degrees in her job in Uganda

Betty Ross ’14 is a shining example of how one person’s service can make a difference in their community. 

Ross, a music business and digital communications graduate, is the director of marketing and administration for His Heart for Africa (HHFA), a nonprofit organization based out of Nashville, Tenn. Ross is on-site in Jinja, Uganda, where she works with the organization to help families through the pandemic, using many of the skills learned at LVC. She is converting Ugandan shillings to dollars as she manages the budget, built the organization’s website, manages their social media, creates fundraising campaigns, and oversees their services in Uganda. 

“I help run everything we do on the ground,” said Ross, “from our scholarship, elderly care, and tutoring programs to creating and delivering our food and supply care packages.”

Thanks to Ross and her team’s efforts, HHFA has placed more than 100 children in school, provided care for the elderly, offered English tutoring to students, and delivered more than 78,000 pounds of food and supplies to families in their program. The food and care packages alone have helped feed more than 300 people a good meal every day since March. 

“My job isn’t easy, but I love what I do,” reflected Ross. “Our tutoring program gives students a better chance at succeeding in school and life. Our elderly receive care and know that they are loved even when they have no one else to care for them.”

Along with running these programs, Ross recently accepted a part-time position as a staff member at Amazima, a secondary school in Jinja. At Amazima, she manages sound and creates the worship schedule for Sunday church. Such tasks may include creating the setlist, choosing people to serve on Sundays, and running rehearsals. 

Ross’s journey to finding a home at HHFA started in her senior year at The Valley. She was hosting LVC’s annual VALE Media Conference when she met Steve Lorenz, co-founder of Missions Development International and great-grandson of LVC’s fourth president, Rev. Edmund S. Lorenz H’36. With his help, Ross found HEAL Ministries, where she served four years after graduation, including three and a half in Jinja. These experiences connected her with Heather Teague, HHFA’s founder.

“I’ve learned that you are to love the person directly in front of you and do what you can for them,” said Ross. “Then, from that, there is a ripple effect, and slowly you will see a bigger change in the community.”