In July of 2006, the first 7 of the 18 “Lost Girls of Sudan” arrived in Boulder. Our organization was instrumental in helping each of these young women find good housing, stable jobs with set schedules that allowed them to go to school and further their educational pursuits.

Thinking Outside the Box School in Boulder, CO

Upon arrival, we were able to determine that there were gaps in their education that would inhibit their ability to pass the GED exam. So three of our volunteers came together to form the “Thinking Out of the Box (TOB)” school, which was located in the basement of one of the volunteers’ homes.
At this school, eight of the women learned conversational English, reading comprehension, writing, computer skills, math on many levels and U.S. history. All eight went on to receive their GED’s and matriculated into Front Range Community College (FRCC).

Three of the other girls, who were of age, went to Boulder High School, where they received their high school diploma’s. All of them matriculated into FRCC, with two of the women earning their Associates degrees and then matriculating into the University of Colorado.

In partnership with the Ann Rose School of Nursing seven women chose to study for their Certified Nursing Assistants license. Prior to beginning the coursework at the nursing school, the Think Out of the Box school was reconstituted to help them learn medical nomenclature and essentially the curricula that they would be exposed to at the nursing school. One of our volunteers, at her own expense, attended the Ann Rose school and then taught the concepts at the TOB.

Overall Achievements

All told, the hard work and dedication of the women and our volunteers, has led to the following accomplishments (some of the girls fall into more than one grouping):

  • 6 graduates of the University of Colorado with Bachelor’s Degrees
  • 7 Associate degrees from Front Range Community College
  • 7 Certified Nursing Assistant Colorado State certifications
  • 1 became an intern for Michelle Obama at the White House, following her graduation from CU
  • All have become naturalized citizens of the U.S.
  • 2 are owners of their own homes.
  • 14 children born in Boulder


The jobs that they have been able to get on their own include; CNA’s at organizations for elder care, receptionist for our local congressman, nanny positions for local families, and a restaurant cook.