What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
The ecstatic response I received from a classroom of students when I introduced myself in Swahili during a safari visit to a school in rural Tanzania.
Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.
Since 1987 Janice Lathen has had a computer consulting business in New York City specializing in training. Into a family of pioneers, Janice was born in Winner, South Dakota, raised in Minnesota, and moved to Manhattan with college degree in hand and a passionate desire to be a classical stage actress. She acted for Woody Allen, Robert Downey and Zoe Caldwell, and along the way modeled for Halston, Christian Dior, and Karl Lagerfeld.
Fulfilling a childhood dream to visit Africa and see animals living freely, especially to watch giraffes running across the Serengeti, Janice safaried to Tanzania in February of 2006. The animals drew Janice to Tanzania and the people draw her back. Their extraordinary warmth and gentleness, uplifting spirit, and deep sense of appreciation inspire her to action.
In high school Janice was very active in Junior Achievement, attending regional and national conferences, and represented her local chapter in the national Miss Junior Achievement contest. Janice was treasurer of the Minnesota state chapter of the National Honor Society and in that capacity represented Minnesota at a National Leadership Conference as a camper and a camp counselor.
As an adult Janice learned how to ride a horse and went on to earn nine blue ribbons at local horse shows. She also sailed with the Manhattan Yacht Club often crewing for sailboat races in the NY harbor and she has taken lessons in flying airplanes.
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