Our Team

Management Team

Founder & Executive Director

Founding BULA in 2007, Melissa continues to serve as the organization’s Executive Director. Driving the organization fundraising agenda and managing programs, Melissa is thrilled to see BULA continue to succeed with the passing years. Beyond her Master’s Degree in International Affairs and Social Justice, Melissa brings experience outside of BULA to the table. She has experience working with the United Nation’s Development Programme, ACTogether Uganda, and US-based nonprofits.

She is forever grateful to the amazing people who have contributed, to all those mentioned on the website and to the rest of you who have made all of our work possible. Weebale nnyo!

Assistant Director

Beginning her journey with BULA in 2008 as a youthful volunteer, Angie Hong has grown into a leading player in the organization. Angie comes to BULA as Assistant Director following a degree at Towson University. Angie has always been active in community organizing, holding many leadership roles in social issues dear to her heart. She has worked in Towson’s Office of Civic Engagement, as an Advocate for Invisible Children, and as a PeaceCorps Volunteer. Angie comes to us with her leadership role following a fellowship with BULA where she established and oversaw our latest program, Home at Last, on ground in Uganda. This bubbly, enthusiastic, and heart-filled young woman brings so much to the table and we are thrilled to have her on board in this capacity

Staff in Uganda

Care Leavers Consultant

Mai comes to BULA as a passionate child advocate dedicated to protecting the rights and well-being children. Hired in December 2015 to launch a Care Leavers program in Uganda, Mai has become an integral member of BULA’s team.

Head Social Worker

Evelyne joined the BULA team in September 2013 with the establishment of Home at Last, BULA’s resettlement program for orphaned and vulnerable children. Evelyne is a certified social worker, specializing in child protection. Before joining BULA, Evelyne worked with Child i’s Foundation in Kampala on alternative care issues. Evelyne was integral in successfully unrolling Home at Last in Fall 2013 and is responsible for its lasting success. BULA is lucky to have this tenacious young woman on the team.

Board of Directors

Board Member

Tom Fricke is Melissa’s wonderful and supportive father.  He has been behind BULA since the very beginning and it was his initial encouragement that motivated Melissa in BULA’s founding. Tom is a humble buisness owner and active community member.  He is the Vice President of Alan E. Fricke Memorials.  He has served as community Little League President and Booster Club President and is always ready to get involved wherever needed.

Board Member

Amanda went to Pace University where she played for their soccer team.  She graduated in 2006 with a degree in Mathematics.  She currently works in Research at Cablevision.  Along wtih Director, Shauna Dixon, Amanda spent time in Costa Rica working as a volunteer and traveling through the country.

Board Member

Caitlyn attended University of Rhodes Island where she polevaulted for their track team and earned a degree in Communications.  Caitlyn hit the Appalachian trail in 2007 and excluding a small patch along the way she has nearly completed it.  Caitlyn earned her Master’s degree at Pratt in Art Therapy and works as an Art Therapist in PA.

Board Member

Joe graduated from Hofstra in 2006 with a degree in Computer Science.  After a year off, he enrolled in Law School at Hofstra.  He successfully completed his Law degree in 2010.

Board Member

Shauna graduated from Emory in 2006.  Since then, she has continued her educational development.  Shauna holds an MS in School Psychology and an Ed.M in Mind, Brain and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Shauna is currently working towards a Psy.D. in School Pyschology at St. John’s University.


Board Member

Kathleen is a Board Member and has been involved with BULA since Melissa founded the organization.  She was drawn to BULA because of Melissa’s dedication and commitment to the organization, as well as her passion for helping children to learn and thrive in both the U.S. and abroad.

Kathleen holds a B.A. (cum laude) in Political Science from Stonehill College and a M.Phil in International Peace Studies from the University of Dublin, Trinity College.  She is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Nutrition.  Kathleen is also a Community Based Mentor (or Big Sister) at the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, as well as a volunteer at the Boston MSPCA.

Favorite quote: “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?”-Dorothy Day

Board Member

Karen is Melissa’s mother who has taken on an incredible role at BULA.  She keeps everything going here in NY, never forgetting the minute details of everything we do.  Behind every successful fundraiser, is Karen’s hard work.  Karen traveled with her family to visit Melissa during the school construction and speaks of it highly.  The experience was a profound one for her and she has since devoted much of her self to advancing our work there