The Akola Project: Transforming Lives of Impoverished Women

October 11, 2017
Hosted by Alise Cortez, PhD

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Brittany Merrill Underwood has made an extraordinary impact through her dedication over the past 14 years to transform the lives of impoverished women and families through Akola, a non-profit social business designed to empower women in disadvantaged communities through training, employment and holistic care. Currently, Akola provides work opportunities to over 500 women in Uganda and Dallas so they can transform the lives of over 4,000 children in their communities. The non-profit has developed holistic programs in 12 development categories, drilled 23 clean water wells, and has built three training centers throughout Uganda. Akola Jewelry is the first full-impact brand to be sold in the luxury space through their national, every store launch in Neiman Marcus. As a non-profit, Akola reinvests 100 percent of its profits to help women in poverty.

Working on Purpose

Working on Purpose

New Episodes Weekly on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel

WORK. For some, its utter lack of enjoyment or meaning hurls them into existential crisis, while for others being on the job allows the highest level of fulfillment and even provides a life purpose. We spend a full third of our lives either preparing for work via school or actually being in the workforce. Why not look for ways to live with passion and work on purpose to maximize the meaning, fulfillment, and performance contribution associated with it? This show explores a wide array of topics that impact and shape the experience of being in today’s workforce, with the aim of creating meaningful work-life integration. Anyone looking for guidance, inspiration, and examples on how to get unstuck at work or move to a higher level of meaning or contribution will enjoy tuning in. We’ll engage in enlightening conversation with thought leaders, authors, and experts from various fields from around the world. Working on Purpose airs weekly on VoiceAmerica Empowerment.

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Alise Cortez, PhD

Alise Cortez, PhD

Dr. Alise Cortez is a speaker, consultant, coach, published author, radio show and podcast host, and Development/Engagement Catalyst based in Dallas, Texas. She has dedicated herself to helping people across the globe more meaningfully and productively connect with their work to achieve greater fulfillment, more impactful results, and meaningful work-life integration, and “live with passion, work on purpose.” Alise is particularly called to help organizations synergize the human-technological workforce integration that artificial intelligence and robotics have introduced to enable workforce development that raises the human contribution to work. Her other niche area is working with organizations to integrate the younger millennial and generation Z workforces with their more tenured counterparts to create an engaged, productive culture.

Alise earned a PhD in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University. Fascinated with how people choose and experience their careers, she focused her dissertation on meaning in work and its relationship to personal identity. Her post-doc research yielded 15 “modes of engagement,” discovered by interviewing 115 professionals aged 18 to 80 across multiple industries. Her consulting offerings are drawn from this research.

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