Lao Tzu said that “great acts are made up of small deeds”. MacDella Cooper has achieved greatness through the many works and deeds, large and small, that she has done and continues to be engaged in.
MacDella Mackie Cooper – also known to many as “Liberia’s Angel” – was born in Monrovia, Liberia, in the mid-1970s. She had a happy childhood until her life was deeply affected by the Liberian Civil War in the 1990s. After enduring, first-hand, some unthinkable and unspeakable atrocities during the war, she sought refuge in Côte d’Ivoire as one of thousands who fled the conflict that killed more than 200,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more.
In 1993, MacDella migrated to the United States and was reunited with her family in Newark, New Jersey. She attended Barringer High School in Newark, New Jersey, where she ranked third in her class of 1,200 students and was awarded a full academic scholarship to the College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey, where she subsequently earned a degree in Electronic Communications.
Following her graduation from college, Cooper moved to New York City to pursue a career in fashion marketing and public relations. She later branched out into corporate planning, consulting for organizations like Citi Group, Eredi Pesano, Duca Sartoria and Starwood amongst others. In the midst of this successful career in fashion and corporate planning, MacDella began the admirable work of donating funds and resources to women’s and children’s causes in Liberia and internationally. That small act of charity, supporting worthy causes, was the cornerstone of the founding of the MacDella Cooper Foundation (MCF), whose mission is to EDUCATE, TRAIN and MOTIVATE Africa’s most vulnerable children, disadvantaged youth and marginalized women to become productive contributors to their nations’ economic, social and political development.
Establishing MCF in 2003 , provided the fundamental building block for raising millions of dollars to support national development projects in Liberia. Cooper used her philanthropic platform to advocate for and fund promotion of human rights and women and child protection, as well as access to education, healthcare affordable housing and employment..
In 2010, Cooper launched the MCF Academy, a tuition-free boarding school for vulnerable and “at risk” children, and was the first of its kind in Liberia. The Academy’s mission is to provide quality education and life skills for disadvantaged children in an environment that is conducive to learning. At the MCF School, students get three meals a day consisting of healthy, locally-grown ingredients.
Cooper hopes the Academy will foster future leaders who take pride in themselves and their country.