Outliers International started as a graduate social work project by former Executive Director Tony Oh. While completing his graduate studies in social work at San Francisco State University in 2009, he saw the need to get working professionals involved in the International development sector. While desiring to combine a grassroots approach to community development using a “bottom up,” approach of empowerment to community development and envisioning a way where persons of varying professions could use their skills to empower others, the idea of Outliers International was born.
During this time, Country Program Director Helen Nam was traveling the world and was inspired to start a girls middle school in the village of Minawar, Pakistan when she recognized the need for access to post-primary education for girls in this area where none had previously existed. Helen boldly took action and established the Community Girls Middle School Project in 2010 and discovered her passion for creating educational opportunities for girls in Pakistan. Tony and Helen met in late 2010 and decided to partner together with Field Director, Mumtaz Alam, to continue the vision of empowering girls through education in Pakistan. As the Outliers team grows, our history is based on a primary emphasis of teamwork and relationships and we hope to continue that in the present and throughout the future of Outliers International.