BBW President and Co-Founder
I first met the kids in 2008 when I accompanied friends on their adoption trip. I spent a lot of time with the older kids and I was so impressed with them. After a couple of weeks, I found myself very attached. When we returned home, we did some research. We learned of the sad fates that await an alarming percentage of children who age out of orphanage care without an education. I could not imagine that for the beautiful children I had gotten to know. I could not help picturing my own children in their situation and found I could not look away.
We have returned each year since then. Along the way, talented people have joined us and helped to create Big Big World Project. We are happy to have an ALL VOLUNTEER Board of Directors.
I live in Florida with my husband. We have three grown kids.
I am a Realtor and a long distance backpacker.
BBW Vice President
I took my first trip to Vietnam with Cynthia and Bonnie in 2010 out of a sense of adventure. I came back with an extended family of 24 kids that I care about deeply. Big Big World Project has a special mission, and I’m proud to be part of it. The impact that this organization has had on these children and their community is profound.
Since that first trip, I see a certain confidence in their steps, caring in their hearts, and a sense of the future in their eyes that is new. I love this work.
My day job is in the field of healthcare quality. I currently work at the New York Blood Center.
I have two children of my own and live in New York City.
Allison Annette Foster
Allison is a new member of the to the BBW Board. She has been an enthusiastic supporter of BBW, leading a Zumba fund raiser event several years ago, and serving on the volunteer committee for the 2013 Gala. Allison works in the area of health – both at the community level and at the global level. Her global work takes her to some of the most underserved areas of Latin America and Africa, so she has a special place in her heart for the challenges that our Ham Tan kids face, and the potential that they can tap with just a little bit of help. Allison claims her Texas roots, and currently lives in Northern Virginia.
I adopted my son in 2008 from Ham Tan Children’s Center, so for me the mission of Big Big World is intensely personal. After I returned and got settled in my life as a new mom, I started volunteering for Big Big World’s galas to keep myself connected to the orphanage and to help the wonderful young people I met there. In 2018, we traveled back to Vietnam for the first time with Big Big World. I am committed to seeing that the children we serve become self-sufficient, independent, thriving adults. I'm currently a product manager for the National Education Association. Previously, I worked for higher ed associations and have been a journalist. A Maryland native, I’m a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Johns Hopkins University. I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband and son.
Jade Ann Gingerich
Jade Gingerich adopted her daughter from Ham Tan in 2007 and returned with her to Ham Tan in 2012 to visit the orphanage. A long-time supporter of Big Big World's work, she welcomed the opportunity to join the Board in 2017. She does policy and research at the state and national level to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and believes everyone should have the opportunity to access training and engage in meaningful work. Her undergraduate degree is from Wheeling Jesuit University in International Studies and received her MSc in Special Education from The Johns Hopkins University. Raised in New Hampshire and West Virginia, with year long stints in Finland and England, she currently resides in Maryland with her husband and daughter.
BBW Emeritus Director
I became involved in 2011with Big Big World thinking it was a way I could give back internationally. The mission was understandable and tangible and I have always been connected to children in my life and through my work. Then in the fall of 2013 I visited the Ham Tan Children’s Center, met the kids, saw where and how they lived and how much hope they have for the possibilities of their future because of our presence. That experience and awareness gave my work with BBW an entirely different meaning.
My work with Big Big World has been ta deep personal commitment. I'm grateful for the time I had to in my Board role to play with kids, hold their hands, and observe their creativity and above all witness their care and kindness toward one another. They have created a family among themselves where there was none. It was a privilege to be part of that family, to be embraced by them, to be appreciated by them. It is work that will always make me glow and sing inside.
Co-Founder and Emeritus Director
When Cynthia isn’t being a mom (locally or globally), she is principal of Way To Go! inc, helping leaders and teams achieve breakthrough results. While coaching, facilitating and training since 1991, Cynthia brings a unique background: working for the American Embassy in West Africa for two years, living in Mexico, teaching an empowerment course to women and children at a homeless shelter, a successful 13-year career within the federal government, being an active volunteer in the Cambodian-American community and launching the Big Big World Project with her friend Bonnie (President and Co-Founder) in 2009. She has served on the Board for the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) and the SoL Global Coaching Community.