Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Miguel Reabold

Miguel Reabold was a Toms River High School South graduate in the class of 1971. He was a hardworking student who was influenced profoundly by his senior English teacher Mrs. Martin. He says of her, "She taught me that enthusiasm, creativity, and working at things that you are passionate about will invariably inspire and encourage those around you." Miguel took this to heart and used the lesson throughout his career.

Miguel next went to Rutgers University and earned a degree in Animal Science, graduating in 1977. His spirit of giving back to the world drove him to become a Peace Corps Volunteer. He shared an experience of being a young Catholic school lad in England early in his life and having drummed into his head the need to help save children in Africa. Little did he know then that he would serve in his adult life doing exactly that and much more.

The call of the Peace Corps as a volunteer captured Miguel, and off to Brazil he went to serve as an Animal Husbandry Technician from January 1977 to 1979. His duties included swine, poultry, and vegetable production. It was during this time that he met in 1977 and married in 1979 his wife Sandra Wilson Reabold. From Brazil, he moved on and became a District Health Supervisor in Malawi, helping create access to clean water, something we in the United States take for granted. He worked from January 1983 to August 1987 for Generra Sportswear in Seattle, Washington. He then worked academically at California Polytechnic State University and earned an M.S. in International Agricultural Development, graduating in 1989. Upon graduation, Miguel returned to the vocation he seemed destined for, helping those in the world who are less fortunate, this time in Malawi. He worked for the International Rescue Committee dealing with a large refugee health and sanitation program supervising a staff of 30. By 1992, Miguel was working for the A.I.C.F./USA in Northeast Somalia and then in 1993 for Africare still in Northeast Somalia. That is the same Somalia depicted in the movie "Black Hawk Down." He worked to help women and children in an emergency health project focused on water catchment and livestock watering.

Africa had become the focal point of his work. During periods from 1990 to 1993, he worked as the Country Representative for Africare in Angola. He was responsible for organizational set-up in the capital as well as in two rural sub-offices. He worked with project development, proposal writing, management and numerous project evaluations.

A few of the many projects were Post-War Reconstruction, Resettlement of Internally Displaced People, Assistance of War Orphans, as well as facilitating conflict resolutions between UNlTA and the Angolan government at the local level.

Miguel moved to Winrock International, a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to help the poor and disadvantaged, which involved him with USAlD from May 1993 to December of 1996. He acted as a Team Leader in Malawi from May 1993 to May 1995, Proposal Development Specialist at Headquarters in Arkansas, USA from June 1995 to January 1996 and as Country Representative in Mozambique from February 1996 to December 1996. His work directly affected the people of the region in agriculture, livestock, conservation and HIV-AIDS prevention.

In January of 1997, Miguel found himself with the Peace Corps as Country Director in Cape Verde. This was a position he held until June of 1999. He was responsible for the management and leadership of a program consisting of 50 Peace Corps Volunteers and 20 staff members. Information technology was incorporated as a component of all projects. Projects supported were Teaching English as a Second Language, Teacher Training, and Municipal Government Strengthening.

Representation and liaison with the U.S. Embassy was carried out as a member of the Country Team, host country government, local and international NGOs and bilateral and multi-lateral organizations.

The position of Country Director of Togo with the Peace Corps was the job Miguel held from June 1999 to January 2002. Responsibilities were magnified in this position as he became responsible for 80 Peace Corps Volunteers and 40 staff members. He added a focus in the country on HIV-AIDS education and training and NGO capacity building as a component of major projects. Technical and management support was provided to projects such as Environmental Protection and Agroforestry, Small Business Development, Community Health and Aids Prevention and Girls' Education and Empowerment.

Currently, Miguel Reabold is in the midst of a massive job to aid the rebuilding in Afghanistan. He is the Country Representative in Afghanistan for the Ofice of Transition Initiatives and has been there since June of 2002. His responsibilities today call for management and leadership of the USAIDIOTI small grants program whose primary goal is to support the process of recovery, rehabilitation, and political development in post-conflict Afghanistan. He was responsible for a 2002 budget of 28 million dollars. Facilitation of a media strategy that supports the political transition process has been a goal. He has helped guide ongoing conceptualizing of the program and updating of the strategic plan to take advantage of the changing political landscape. His duties also include liaison with the Afghan government, representatives of other governments, international organizations and the U.S. Embassy.

Miguel Reabold has spent his life in places around the world that needed help in the most basic ways. In his chosen vocation, he has helped innumerable individuals from Latin America to Africa and Afghanistan in Asia. Miguel's contributions are extraordinary, and he deserves recognition for his service and sacrifice for others.

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