Becky Douglas on Transforming Leprosy Colonies in India

Becky Douglas, founder of Rising Star Outreach, a non-profit dedicated to saving and transforming the lives of children and their parents affected by leprosy in India, discusses how it became reality on Alan Olsen‘s American Dreams Show.

Rising Star Outreach born from tragedy.

Becky's journey to helping leper colonies in India began with a personal tragedy that transformed into a mission of hope and empowerment. As the mother of ten children and grandmother to twenty-three, Becky faced immense heartbreak when her eldest daughter, Amber, who suffered from severe bipolar disorder, took her own life. Amidst the grieving process, Becky discovered that Amber had been sending part of her college funds to support an orphanage in India.

This act of compassion amidst her own suffering moved Becky profoundly, leading her to honor Amber’s memory by supporting the orphanage and eventually visiting India herself.

Becky started Rising Star Outreach upon learning that her late daughter had been supporting an orphan in India. Here Becky Stands in front of a dormitory at a boarding school named after her daughter.

During her visit in 2001, Becky was confronted with the harsh reality of leprosy. The streets of Chennai revealed a grim sight at every stoplight: beggars with severe deformities, open wounds, and missing limbs, many with maggots crawling through their injuries. The sight of these individuals, ostracized and suffering due to the stigma associated with leprosy, left a lasting impact on Becky.

She learned that despite global advances, India still harbored millions of leprosy cases, and those affected were treated as outcasts, believed to be cursed. This realization ignited a resolve in Becky to take action.

Even though he had no hands Copal was able to start a tea business to help support himself with a $3 microfinance loan.

Returning home, Becky couldn't shake the haunting images of the lepers she had seen. Driven by a sense of responsibility and a desire to make a difference, she gathered a group of friends and formed Rising Star Outreach.

Despite having no prior experience in medicine, business, or Indian culture, Becky and her team of housewives and a secretary embarked on a journey to bring hope and change to the leper colonies of India. They faced numerous challenges, including finding medical professionals willing to treat leprosy patients and breaking the deep-rooted stigma that isolated these individuals from society.

One of the early initiatives was the introduction of microfinance programs aimed at helping leprosy-affected individuals start their own small businesses. This initiative not only provided them with a means of livelihood but also restored their dignity and self-worth. Becky recalls stories like that of Gopal, who transformed his life with a simple loan to start a tea business.

From being a beggar, he became a respected member of society, demonstrating the powerful impact of economic empowerment.

Becky Douglas on Saving Leper Colony Children

We setup schools for the children who lived in the leper colonies could have greater opportunities in life.

Additionally, Rising Star Outreach tackled the issue of medical care through innovative solutions like wound self-care training, allowing leprosy patients to manage their own wounds effectively. This initiative significantly improved healing rates and reduced dependency on external medical aid. The organization also focused on education, establishing schools that provided children from leprosy-affected families with opportunities for a better future.

Through Rising Star Outreach, Becky Douglas has touched countless lives, transforming despair into hope. Her journey is a testament to the profound difference one person can make when driven by compassion and determination. By addressing both the medical and social challenges of leprosy, Becky and her organization have not only improved the lives of those affected but have also fostered a sense of community and respect that transcends the barriers of stigma and discrimination.

Becky Douglas, Founder, Rising Star Outreach


Alan Olsen

Welcome to American Dreams. I'm here today with Becky Douglas. Becky, welcome to the show.


Becky Douglas

Thank you, sir. Pleasure to be here.


Alan Olsen

So Becky, you haven't made an amazing story and your life, one that started with some adversity tragedy, but you were able to put pieces of life together with what came your way and then create something really special. And it resulted in something called the rising star foundation. Could you share the story behind how this started?


Becky Douglas

Sure. So. So I'm the mother of 10 children, and I have 23 grandchildren. My oldest daughter, Amber was severely bipolar. And she struggled in and out of mental institutions for about eight years. And then she finally gave up and took her own life. She was in college at the time. When we went through her things, we found that she had been sending part of the money we gave her for college every month to support an orphanage in India. No, I think maybe because she suffered so much.

She just had a tender spot for the underdog. At any rate, at her funeral, we thought, rather than have our friends send flowers, we should just ask them to send money to this little orphanage. And suddenly did our friends were very generous and enough money was sentient that this orphanage asked me to be on their board of directors. And I thought, okay, if I'm on this board, I should probably go to India and see what I'm doing. So I went to India.

And when I got there, I mean, nothing prepared me for what I saw when I got there. Every day as we would go to the orphanage and then back again on the streets of Chennai, from our hotel, at every stoplight. This was back in 2001. And at every single stoplight. Our car was just surrounded by beggars. And these were not ordinary beggars. They were missing hands and feet.

They were rotting off actually they had many of them had no eyes, they had open gaping wounds, some of them had husk running down their arms. I remember at one stoplight, a man thrusts his hand in the window to bed with maggots crawling through his hand. I had just never seen anything like it. And I remember saying to our driver who hurt these people. And he said, Oh, those are the lepers. And I said what are you talking about? There's no leprosy in the world because half we have millions in India.

And that was my introduction to leprosy in India. When I got home from my trip, I couldn't sleep those images just haunted me at night. And I just kept thinking, why doesn't somebody do something? Then, one morning, after a long night, I thought well, da, Becky, you're somebody do something. So I call three of my friends who were also housewives, I dragged my husband secretary, we sat around my kitchen table. And we formed rising star outreach to serve people in India that were affected by leprosy.

By Allen, I have to tell you, when my husband came home that night, I, I said to him, like you're never gonna believe what we did today. And he said, Becky, those are words that center into my heart. I said, we got together and we formed a charity. We're gonna work in India with people that have leprosy and he said, seriously, Becky, what do you know about leprosy? And I thought, Well, I mean, like nothing. He goes, Yeah. He says, What do you know about medicine? And I said, Okay, nothing.

And he goes, Uh huh. He says, What do you know about India? And I said, Well, I was there for 10 days. He just kind of rolled his eyes. He said, What do you know about running a business? And I said, Okay, nothing. He said, Well, what do you think you're going to do? And I said, Well, I don't know. But we're going to do something. And I know we're going to need one of those licenses, right? That if people donate to you, they don't have to pay taxes, and you're an attorney, you need to get us that license.

You said Becky, that's called a 501 C three license. And normally, when people ask the government for one, they have to tell them what they're going to do. I said, Great. Just tell them we're gonna do something. So Alan, that's how we started four housewives and the secretary


Alan Olsen

With the vision, and amazing things happen. Now I want to jump into some of the challenges and successes that you went through. So running a non profit organization is no small feat. Can you talk about some of the significant challenges that you faced with rising star outreach and how you have overcome them?


Becky Douglas

Well, you know, I think I'd have to say the greatest challenge we face is To the stigma that is given to the people affected by leprosy in India. You know, in India, it's believed that leprosy is a curse of God. And since it's considered to be the worst curse that God can give a person, it naturally follows that that must be a very evil person. So they must have done something terrible even in either in this life or in a previous life, and they're being punished by God, and that they deserve this.

So because of this curse, when we first started, it was impossible to find a doctor, for example, to work for us, we, they would say, oh, no, if we touch this person, then we will become defiled. And then we can't treat anyone else and we'll lose our practice. And so we couldn't even find a doctor. So you know, at that point, we actually just started bringing our pocket knives to India, to dig out those rotten wounds, because they were just walking in the dirt with her open wounds.

And we would fill the holes with thought crystals and then wrap them in bandages. And this allowed them to keep their limbs a little bit longer. But clearly, it wasn't a great solution. But that's what we did. Another challenge that we had was manifested when we started. Because not knowing where to start, we began by just taking rice and beans to the colonies, because they were clearly starving. And they were thrilled to get the food.

But it didn't take us long to figure out that if we found them today, we had to come back and feed them tomorrow. So we decided early on that we had to get them off the street as backers that as long as they were begging, no one would ever really respect them. And they would never be accepted into normal society. So we started a micro lending program. And there were two main challenges with that. The first one was that no bank would loan money to them.

And so we started what we call micro savings groups. We started by creating what we call the woman's self help group, and then they created a little micro bank. And the way it worked is that each of the women, it would be like five women that would run it and they each had to put 10 rupees a month out of their begging money, which was, you know, I mean, about six cents, whatever today, but it was a lot to them, because the average beggar at that time earned less than $20 a month on the streets.

Anyway, when they finally got enough money in their little bank, to make a loan like $5 for an iron or something, then one of them would take that money, and that woman would start an ironing business. But it was not our money, right? It was their begging money. And so the pressure to repay it was huge. So when the woman repaid the loan with 8% interest, and the next one would take the money and she started a little business. And before long, those five women had more money than anyone in the colony.

Because at that point, our average micro business was making between one and $300 a month. So on it was interesting. At that point, all the men wanted to come join us, right, and we let them but we we taught the women that if a man came for a loan, that they knew brutally beat his wife, there would be no loans until those beatings has stopped. Or if a man came for a loan that was known to have raped several goals in the economy, which unfortunately, is quite common.

But again, there will be no loans until those rates have stopped. So really, for the first time in history, those women were taking charge of their lives in ways they had never been able to do before. And it was completely changing the colony, it was just a beautiful thing. The second thing is that if even if they could create something, nobody would purchase it. And so we had to create our own economy and a market between leprosy colonies, but I'm probably getting ahead of myself.


Alan Olsen

Becky, this is remarkable what, what you started and what was inspired. I want to dive a little deeper here though. Can you share a particular story or milestone that stands out with you in the history of raising surreal outreach that came out of this program, that microlending program?


Becky Douglas

Whoa, you know what, let me back up a little bit. Probably the greatest thing that happened to us was we met a woman named him up and Countryman had Ma was the daughter of the former President of India. And she had been the permanent woman's representative to the UN for 20 years for India. And during much of that time, she had overseen humanitarian work for the UN. So she had all the experience that we didn't have.

And she was she became our mentor, and that's probably the biggest thing that happened to us. She was able to find a doctor through her contacts at the UN. She's the one that ran our microfinance. program. And that was probably that was probably the single biggest thing that helped us go from five housewives, trying to make a difference in India to be an effective. I mean, we really needed to not have to reinvent the wheel again. We needed someone to guide us and she was that person.


Alan Olsen

Then he could move into the operational strategies that you would do. So rising star outreach has a distinctive approach towards leprosy to medical care, education, microfinance, how did these components work together to address both medical and social challenges of leprosy?


Becky Douglas

Okay, well, here's the thing, poverty is not just a lack of money. It's a lack of education, a lack of opportunity of resources, of morals of respect. I mean, it's a lack of many things. And so you can't just treat one thing and expense, you're really going to change a life. Pam, I used to say to us, look, I could give a microfinance loan to a woman and she can create a business. But if she's so beaten every night by her husband, How much better is her life really, it has to be a holistic approach.

So we decided that we would try to find an approach that would be holistic. And I think, honestly, that's one of the things that sets us a little bit apart from other charities, other charities tend to do microfinance, or they do education, or they do wells and whatever I mean, that they sort of, you know, focus on one thing, but to really change a human being long term, you really have to treat all the things that have created their poverty in the first place.

So we thought we decided that if we were going to eliminate leprosy, it had to begin with the rising generation. And so you know, the kids are used as beggars by their parents, the children that are the children of leprosy affected people. So we felt like, Okay, let's get them off the streets. So we started some schools. We first started with a little tiny preschool. And they have been, our schools now are remarkably successful.

We partnered with the Harvard world Teach program, and they brought, they sent us for World teach teachers to teach the Indian teachers that we had how to teach critical thinking, and problem solving. Because in India, at the time, every Buddy was using rote memory. But we wanted our kids to think now they came to us not able to read or write their name, in any language. Many of them are not even throw a train, they've been begging on the streets, they've been paying on the streets.

But they came and we began this teaching, so that they understood concepts. And it worked. I mean, that the cool thing is that in 2019, unbelievably, we were named the number one school in all India, for hands on teaching. And just to put that into perspective, there are between one and one and a half million schools in India. And actually, that year, our principal was named the Principal of the Year for India, by the International Education Association. And then again, in 2020. He got that same award.

During COVID, our school was named the top online school in the state of Tamil Nadu. I mean, so we have really been blessed by by using more methods that are just more progressive, right. And, and the interesting thing is 95% of our graduates go to college. And so we are currently educating more than 1100 students, including those in college, and we are now listed as an elite school in India.

As our kids get real jobs, then they are able to help lift their families, and then it becomes it becomes a lifting of the entire community. Does that make sense?


Alan Olsen

Becky, you we talked about a school we talked about 1100 kids, but reality is how many lives have you impacted through the rising star outreach if you're added up?


Becky Douglas

You know, numbers are hard. And so saw this Hey, what we guess we have worked now with a portion of our program at least in 200 leprosy colonies spread across 10 states of India, some have access to the school some have access to the microfinance some we do the medical care and some we do all those things. During the COVID pandemic, we've fed 112,000 People in the colonies to keep them from starving.

So my guess is that we've been packed and then well over 60 1000 People in fairly significant ways, obviously, we have a lot more work to do.


Alan Olsen

Amazing. I'm gonna jump into some of the impactful stories that stand out. Could you share a story about an individual or family whose life has been transformed through the work of rising star outreach?


Becky Douglas

Oh, Alan, there are so many stories, and they're all fun. So why don't I tell you a story with each of the main three things we did? Does that make sense? That makes sense. Okay, so let's start with the microfinance. There's a zillion microfinance stories. But my favorite one is a little guy named Copal, who wanted to start a tea business. And so he asked the woman self help group for a loan of $3, he bought a pot and two cups, that was his tea business.

And anyway, he then he came back, he paid his loan off, and he asked him for a loan of $8. He said, If I can buy the sobhita bike, I can get the T out to the workers in the field, and they'll pay me more money. So he did that. They gave him that loan, he just kept taking out loans and paying them back. And before long, he had a business that now supports his family. One time I was there with a reporter from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

And he asked co PA and he says, oh, co PA, how's your life really different now that you have this business and you're not begging. And to tell the truth, I thought he would say something like, well, I get to eat every day now. Or my kids get to go to school or something like that. But he didn't. He said, You know, when I used to beg in front of the shop in the city, the shop owner would come out and curse at me and threaten me until I moved away. But he said, Now I supply to that shop.

When I come now the owner sets a seat and offers me tea. So it's a him, you know, just the dignity that he gets for being a productive member of society. For him. That is, that's more than eating every day. And that to me is showing that the entire individual is being changed. So that's one thing with our medical, oh, my goodness, and we just fitted a lady with she she had lost both of her legs to leprosy. And so she was bedridden for several months.

And we heard about it, we came we brought our mobile medical clinic to her town, her her leprosy colony, and we were able to fit her with artificial legs. And she now can walk and take care of her children and do what she needs to do and run our little business. And so she's doing great with that. The other kind of interesting thing with the medical stuff is that we started a wound self care system, because the thing is, they're kind of like, diabetics, they don't heal very well.

And so our mobile medical clinic would go to each colony once a week. But our doctor just said, You know what, these words aren't really healing up, they need to be treated every day, they need to be debriefed, they need to be cleaned, they need the necrotic tissue needs to be cut off, why don't we train them how to do it. So we gave them scalpels, and bandages and medicines, and did a number of trainings. And they started doing their own wound care.

And the beautiful thing is that was that hadn't healed up in over a year of us trading them quickly began to heal up and now we're working ourselves out of a job, we'll go to a colony and instead of 50 people waiting to see the medical doctor, now there's five or six, which is wonderful. And it taught us something it taught us that people can do way more for themselves than you can do for them. And so the I guess the trick is, is to empower them to be able to care for themselves in a way that makes sense.

So, so new, I would say that one Self Care Program has made a huge difference in the medical field, or the medical part of our work in the education part, so hard to because every kid you talk to is got a story. And we've had several girls that have been married off at age 14. We've had kids that were two kids that came in because their mother had been doused with cooking oil by the Father and set on fire and burned to death. And they all have a story.

And it's just remarkable to me that no matter what they come from, they are still able to be nurtured and inspired and helped to become successful. And probably the best example of that as a little girl named Jennifer. When Jennifer was just a little tiny toddler, her mother who has some mental and emotional issues, felt overwhelmed and so one day she was angry. And she threw Jennifer onto what they had this huge trash heap. I mean they they call it a dustbin, but I mean They're massive.

Some of these are up to seven storeys high. They're huge And actually this is where the dogs of India feed while she through little Jennifer there told her never to come home and left and little Jennifer was just surrounded by these dogs who were snarling and threatening to attack her and she was terrified. She was screaming. And just so happened that her grandfather was coming home from begging in the city house, this big, huge trash pile, hurt a child screaming hurt the dog, snarly, he doesn't have any feet.

But he managed to climb with his stumps up to the top of this trash heap. And there he went to his granddaughter. And he brought her home to his home. And he raised her. When she turned five, he brought it a rising star outreach and gave her to us now our schools are the kids have to sleep there because they're boarding schools. Because the leprosy colonies are spread so far apart, they can't come and go every day. So he brought it to our school. And she's been with us ever since.

And she Jennifer now has just graduated from medical school as a nurse anesthetist, and she is now able to help heal others, which is just such a beautiful thing, right? This little girl that was thrown away on a pile of stinking rotting trash is now serving others, which is just just an incredible story. So that's one. We had two brothers come to us, David and Daniel. Their mother brought him in, I happened to be there the day they came in from the leprosy colony, the older brother Daniel, had had leprosy.

They both had a fever, the day they came in, I gave them the first toothbrushes they ever owned. And today, you should see them you would never ever recognize them. Daniel has his master's degree in hospitality. He's really working with the Marriott Corporation. And David has his master's degree, he has his MBA. So I mean, you just think of what their life could have been like, and yet they are now you know, they're at the top, they're able to do whatever they want to do.


Alan Olsen

So Becky, in putting the model of rising star outreach together, is there any methodology that you would attribute to the successes of your programs or the approach that you use?


Becky Douglas

Well, I would have to say that because of Panama's experience, we we do things differently. You know, when we, for example, when we first started with our MediCal program, we gave the medical care for free. But I remember coming to India and looking at these wounds. I mean, I've not been to India 69 times. So I'm pretty, pretty aware of how people are using but they just seemed not to be healing very well.

And I mentioned it to our doctor, I said, Look, we're paying you all this money, how come these wounds aren't healing? And he said, Look, they never do anything. I tell them. The patients, I said, seriously, why not? And he said, you know, why don't you ask Padma. So I did. And she she was quiet for a minute. And then she said, You Americans, you come to India, and you just give things away. She said, I know it probably makes you feel good.

That she said Becky, every time you give something to someone, you diminish that person. She said, you're really just making them beggars to you. If you really want to help them make them responsible for their own well being, you should be charging them to see the doctor isoa nominee money. She said just charge him two rupees, which is, you know, two and a half cents and American money. She just said, just try it. So we started charging them two and a half rupees to see the doctor.

And then if they those ones didn't start getting better because they started doing but the doctors told them to do because they had skin in the game, right? They were invested. And that became a guiding principle for us that nothing was ever to be given free. That they should have the dignity of being able to pay for what they were getting done for them. And so I think that was huge.

You know, we will give 57,000 medical treatments this year, a lot of surgeries, we'll do artificial limbs, we'll do some, even some limb reconstructions. It makes a big difference. But if they don't do their part, it doesn't help doesn't make any difference. You know, in the microfinance area, we have created hundreds and hundreds of businesses. And it's pretty interesting. You can now go to Chennai, today and be on the street for a week and not see a single beggar affected by leprosy.

They're all working their businesses. And so it has taught me that change is truly possible. With the school I would have to say the biggest thing is the fact that that is what makes the program generational. You know, when we build our dorms for the Children that at the first school they were paid for by the Marriott Corporation. Since they paid for them, they got to name them. And they named the little boy storm that Bill Indyk Marriott Home for Boys.

And they named the girls storm the Emory Douglas held for girls after my daughter who died. And her picture is up there. And I just have to tell you that every time I go to India and I see her picture there, I just get chills her down to my toenails, I think of all of the girls over time, more than 1000 girls will go through that door and have vastly different their lives will be because they were in that drum and attended our school, went to college and became a successful human being instead of a beggar on the streets.

And you know what, it doesn't end with them. Because those girls will one day marry and have children of their own. And those children's lives will be completely different because their mothers would have been that door. And then those girls will get married right and have children one day, and their children's lives will be vastly different because their grandmothers lived in that dorm. So it becomes generational. And sometimes we think, Oh, our impact too small.

But it will grow over time to where it includes, I believe, eventually millions of people. So you know, as Mother Teresa said, it doesn't matter how much we do. It only matters how much love we do it we have. And I think that's probably our motto, our rising star


Alan Olsen

bees are very inspiring in the way that people have been impacted. But Becky, somebody wanted to get involved and be part of what you're doing, how would they go ahead and do that?


Becky Douglas

Well, probably the easiest way would just be to sponsor a child. Each of our children in our schools, we have now three main schools. And each of the children have three sponsor, oh, sorry, they now have four sponsors, that said in $30 a month, every month, and it costs us $120 a month to provide all their board and room and their food and the house mothers and the teachers and the school and everything. And that's the easiest way to get involved.

And that's actually pretty cool Allen because, you know, you can write them, you can Skype them and you made this, it's really remarkable how bonded, the sponsors get to the children, and what a difference it makes to them. Because in their society, they're cursed by God. But you know, Americans are considered high caste people, mostly because of the color of a lot of their skin. And so to have someone that they think of as very important that cares about them, is very highly motivating to them.

Another thing you can do, we are just finishing this school in Bihar, that we'll be able to accommodate 700 students, we don't yet have the money to bring 700 students in so every time we get four more sponsors, we can bring another child into that school. Also, it has scuffs off, alright, it's just been completed the building, it has no desks, it has no whiteboards, it has no computers, no playground, I mean, so it needs a lot of things. If you wanted, someone wanted to just do a one time, kind of a helping thing.

There's like all kinds of opportunities for that. We need funds for micro loans, a very little bit amount of money can help someone start a business and gain some respect and a reason to wake up every morning. And so the other thing is we've been working with the developer of a leprosy vaccination, the first vaccination ever, for leprosy. And the developer just happens to be the brother in law, a one of my board members, and he is offered to give it to rising star outreach at his cost, which is 20 cents a dose.

So because leprosy has a genetic component, the children in the leprosy colonies are the most likely to develop leprosy of anyone in India. So by getting this vaccination out to the children in the colonies, we can come pretty close to stopping the spread of leprosy in India. So funding for that. And then there's just a lot of opportunities. A lot of volunteers go to India, we sent more than 1000 people to India to volunteer with us.

They work with the leprosy patients, they work with the medical team, they work with the children. In fact, our children are tutored constantly by our volunteers who taught them in English. And that's why there are kids English is so good. I know that. So there's just a lot of ways that you can get involved.


Alan Olsen

So is there a website or next steps for common action for either donating or volunteering?


Becky Douglas And what she did on that site, you'll see all the opportunities there are to get involved. There's like tons of ways to get involved. And I mean, even small things like making those little ones self care kits, we have people doing those and donating those so that every patient can have one and can take care of their own wounds and their own health. And so anyway, there's all kinds of ways.


Alan Olsen

Thank you, Becky. It's an absolute pleasure having you with us today. Very inspiring the work that you're doing, and we're really glad to have you as our part of the American Dream community.


Becky Douglas

Thank you. It's been a pleasure to come in and be on your on your program. Thank you for inviting me


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Transcript generated by software and may contain errors.

    Becky Douglas on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Becky Douglas

    Becky Douglas is the founder of Rising Star Outreach, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of individuals affected by leprosy in India. Through innovative programs in micro-credit, medical services, and education, Rising Star Outreach empowers leprosy-affected communities to achieve economic self-reliance, access essential medical care, and receive world-class education. Becky’s tireless work has inspired and touched audiences around the globe, spreading the message that within each of us lies the power to make a difference.

    Under Becky’s leadership, Rising Star Outreach has implemented holistic solutions to address the multifaceted challenges faced by leprosy-affected individuals. The organization’s mobile medical clinics provide crucial medical and vision care, along with an aggressive screening program to detect and treat new cases of leprosy. By facilitating early detection and administering multi-drug therapy, Rising Star Outreach effectively prevents the disease from ravaging bodies and destroying families. Additionally, the organization’s micro-credit initiatives enable colony leaders to manage and grow loans, fostering self-sufficiency and dignity among families, while allowing children to focus on their education instead of financial survival.

    Becky’s achievements and dedication have been widely recognized. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Gracie Award for the PBS documentary “Breaking the Curse,” and an Emmy Award for the documentary “Profiles in Caring.” Her humanitarian efforts have earned her the John Houston Allen Humanitarian of the Year Award by Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters, Humanitarian of the Year by Utah Valley University, and the “Classic Woman Award” by Traditional Homes Magazine in 2009. Becky’s impactful work has been featured in prominent publications such as Ladies Home Journal and the Washington Post, as well as on major television networks including the BBC, ABC, and NBC.

    Becky Douglas’s unwavering commitment to combating the fear and stigma associated with leprosy and her innovative approach to community development have made her a beacon of hope and change. Her journey from personal tragedy to global impact exemplifies the profound difference one person can make when driven by compassion and determination. Through Rising Star Outreach, Becky continues to inspire and empower others to join her mission of creating a world where every individual can live with dignity and opportunity.

    Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Alan Olsen

    Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

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