Kelly Shaughnessy – Founder and President

Kelly has a B. S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and is pursing her masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado.  Kelly has experience starting and running several small businesses and has been involved with orphan care since first visiting Kenya in 2009, through adoption of her daughter from an orphanage in Ethiopia in 2011 and through her eighteen trips to Kenya as Founder of Light Up Hope.  Kelly is also a student of Kiswahili and lover of the beautiful and diverse culture of Kenya. 


Augustine Wanyama – Director of Kenya Operations

Augustine brings to Light Up Hope a background in leadership, teaching and mentorship having worked as the principal of a primary school in a slum area of Nairobi.  His time as a principal gave him the compassion for the potential of every child, regardless of their background, as well as 14 years experience working cross culturally with the many international partners who would visit the school.  Augustine’s skills with mentoring young adults, as well as his outstanding work ethic, impressed the Light Up Hope founders and board of advisors, and he was invited to join the Light Up Hope team in fall 2016. Additionally he is the pastor of Hope Discovery International Church in Nairobi.

Diana Mays – Chief Operating Officer

Diana has a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing from Bowling Green State University. Diana has over 18 years of experience planning events and leading fundraising efforts for non-profit organizations.  She joined Light Up Hope in 2013 and since 2015 she has taken multiple trips to Kenya to see first hand all the amazing work that has been happening.

Additionally Light Up Hope would not be possible without the loving support and hard work of our team volunteer project managers who donate their time and skills every week to making Light Up Hope a success.

Kenyan Staff (from left)

  • Eliud Kipkorir – Lead Social Worker and LIFT Program Coordinator
  • John Biboh – Driver
  • Remjues Kotiah – Assistant Social Worker and High School Program Coordinator
  • Kelly Little – President
  • Augustine Wanyama – Director of Kenyan Operations
  • Brian Isalambo – Secretary and Joseph’s House Program Coordinator
  • Victoria Krop – High School Director (not pictured)
  • Jecinta Ndanu – Mental Health Counselor
  • Ellis Liyala – WOVEN Mentorship
  • Rebecca Magire – Woven Mentorship


Seeds of Change  Since 2019 Seeds of Change has been working in collaboration with Light Up Hope to bring high school education to talented girls from impoverished backgrounds across Kenya.

Board of Directors

    • Kelly Shaughnessy – Founder and President Light Up Hope
  • Maureen Funkhouser
  • Kelsey Otim
  • Janessa Cole