Meet Our Board

Angelo Maker, Abukloi, South Sudan, school, education
Angelo Maker

Angelo Maker is among the 3,000 orphans called The Lost Boys of Sudan who were brought to this country by the United States government in 2001. His village in Rumbek was attacked during the civil war that escalated in Southern Sudan in 1983, a war that claimed over two million lives. Only seven years old at the time, Angelo watched helplessly as his mother and two brothers were brutally murdered. Desperately trying to survive, he joined a large group of boys who were also displaced, and they began their long, hazardous journey across Sudan into neighboring Ethiopia. Many died along the way because of a lack of food, water, exposure to the elements, and attacks from wild animals and the government helicopters that had bombed their villages. By the grace of God, Angelo did not.


After living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for three years, the Lost Boys were forced to move back to Sudan when the Ethiopian government was overthrown. They were attacked by Ethiopian rebels and the Sudanese government before they could even leave the country. Some fled across the river separating Sudan and Ethiopia, but many perished because they did not know how to swim or were attacked by alligators. Once again, Angelo managed to survive. He and the remaining boys spent another harrowing year trying to stay alive in Sudan while fighting off starvation and the government that still wanted them dead so that they would not grow to adults and seek revenge.


The United Nations took notice of the situation and removed the boys from Sudan, placing them in refugee camps in Kenya. They lived there for nine years and received some education. In 1999, the United States began a program that focused on bringing these Lost Boys to America so that they would have a chance to educate themselves and return to Sudan to build a better future for their people. This program continued until heightened security after the 9/11 bombings forced the program to shut down.


Angelo now resides in Newport News, VA with his wife, Stephanie, and their three young children. He has a double Bachelor's in International Relations and Political Science from Old Dominion University and Masters from Regent University. He remains very active in numerous efforts to foster awareness for the plight of the South Sudanese people, working to create a better future for his friends and family in South Sudan. Angelo’s homeland and hometown, Rumbek, remains dear to his heart, and he and his family are making preparations to move back to South Sudan to oversee Abukloi on the ground.

Justin de Mathok

Rumbek Director

Justin, a native of Rumbek, Lakes State, became director of Abukloi last year. He has an advanced diploma from a Lakes secondary school. In his time as director, he has seen the impact Abukloi has had on this Lakes State community.

"Our partnership with the Lakes State government allows us to provide a free and quality education to young South Sudanese who could have dropped out due to lack of school fees and other learning materials. We also employ local citizens in an economy that has virtually no jobs for the average person."

Despite concerns about national security and lack of infrastructure, Justin is looking forward to implementing Abukloi's future plans in relatively stable Lakes State.  "The creation of an experimental farm will help students and the community by giving vivid examples of agricultural produce and how well it can be promoted."  Abukloi is receiving assistance from Virginia State University with this project. A primary health care program is also being developed through a partnership with Old Dominion University.

Things are progressing quickly at Abukloi. With the leadership of our director, dedicated teachers, local advisory committees and a committed board in Virginia, we will realize the our vision of building a better South Sudan.

Kimberly Rodriguez

Executive Director

Kimberly has a passion to serve and help those in need. Her career path includes extensive history with non-profits, Social Services and partnering organization with a focus on Community Resources, Outreach, Senior Services, Homelessness, Counseling, and Re-entry. She has been connected to the Williamsburg community for many years and has a desire to do more beyond the community by teaming up with Abukloi. Kimberly received her associate's degree from Richard Bland of the College of William and Mary and furthered her studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She later received a Bachelors in Psychology from Liberty University.

Rev. Margaret Kutz


Born in Pennsylvania to family of seven children, Marg received a degree in Elementary Education from Clarion University in 1971.  Following the call to ministry, she was ordained a deacon in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1974.  She soon earned a Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary and became a fully ordained minister in 1977.  Marg served as pastor of six Virginia churches in 40 years of ministry.  In 2007, she received a Doctor of Ministry from the Virginia Union University, School of Theology.  Married for 40 years with two children and three grandchildren, her hobbies include gardening, bird watching, sewing and creating pastel portraits.  For years, Marg has been a vital support to the Lost Boys and Girls community in Virginia.Dr. Rev. Kutz opened the Abukloi school for its first semester in the Fall of 2013 and returns annually to help manage operations.

Beverly Nelan


Bev Nelan has earned a B.S. in Special Education and a M.A. in Education. In addition she has earned an additional 35 hours of graduate work in Administration and Management, a Reading Specialist certification and a Course of Study certificate in Theology from Duke University.  Her 48 years of expericane have take her to many U.S. states and other countries in the fields of education, training soldiers with the Department of Defense, and as a local pastor for the United Methodist Church.  She has served as an elementary and middle school teacher, special education teacher with the learning disabled and emotional distrubed, English as a Second Language teacher and a reading specialist.  She has been the Reading Director for Eighth Army, Korea; Deputy Directory of Trailing for Combat Serivce Support, Army; Principal of Seoul International School, Korea; and pastor of three local churches in Virginia.  Bev believes she has been called by God to begin a secondary schoool in Rumbek, South Sudan. "After hearing Angelo Maker's story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, I felt the call to go to South Sudan and with God leanding the way, to make a difference in Rumbek."Bev went to Rumbek to prepare the school for its Fall of 2013 opening.

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