Straddling two continents, while wholeheartedly American, Winstina grew up with one foot in a Sierra Leonean culture and another foot in American culture.
She was surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins and as she grew older by her best friend and her family. In African culture there is a collective identity centered around a shared sense of self.
Taking this teaching with her, she, like so many children of immigrants raised in our country, sees herself as a part of the fabric of the communities that have invested in her.
Winstina is committed to service.
Covenant House A member of the New Jersey Young Professionals Group of Covenant House between 2013 and 2015, she participated in the annual Sleep Out fundraiser in 2013. She slept outside during winter with others to understand what homeless youth experience in winter and raised over $890 to support Covenant House initiatives including job training.
Junior State of America (JSA) “Be the People” and “Democracy is not a Spectator Sport” are the JSA mottos. As a Columbia High School two term JSA Chapter President, she experienced in JSA that citizenship is not merely determined by a passport or a stamp on a visa. Love of our nation and civic participation in our democracy are the key to citizenship. She is a proud JSAer. Winstina is a founding member of the Junior State of America Alumni Association (JSAAA) on which she served as a committee member. She has worked with members to fundraise tens of thousands of dollars to support JSA summer school programs for our high school students.
Obama for America Out of every job position to date, working as an organizer to re-elect President Barack Hussein Obama II was the most daring and rewarding for her. Winstina learned what it takes to win a political campaign. She moved away from home to work for OFA first in Pennsylvania and later New Jersey HQ. To Winstina, President Obama embodies the principles of the Desiderata poem by Max Ehramann. Say what one may about our 44th President, Winstina sees in him a man who loves unconditionally, strives for high ideals and is full of heroism. Along with her parents and mentors, he is her hero.
iMentor As a part of this program, Winstina was placed with a high school student who immigrated from Haiti to NYC. In order to be a mentor she pulled from her experiences of being mentored in high school by her advisor Jon and in college by her mentors Deepak, Benjamin, and Kate. She fundraised on behalf of iMentor for its programing.
WordPress NYC Meetup & WordCamp NYC 2016, 2017 and 2018 She is a co-organizer of WPNYC Meetups. Her events are sponsored by A2 Hosting and are tailored to content creators and WordPress.com users. She’s taught sessions on how to develop a niche blog and theme selection. As co-organizer for WordCamp NYC (WCNYC) at the United Nations in 2016, she sought a strong representation of women speakers taking the lead on speaker selections. In 2017 she was one of 3 WCNYC Sponsor Wranglers. In 2018, Winstina took on the role as the Lead of WCNYC working alongside an exceptional team. It was a wonderful experience!
Guided by her knowledge of the open source software WordPress, and planning and public policy, she was a Lightning Talk Speaker at the inaugural WordCamp US (WCUS) in 2015, as well as in 2016, and 2017.