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Nonprofit work by Norcross native goes on in wake of Nairobi attack | News

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Nonprofit work by Norcross native goes on in wake of Nairobi attack

NORCROSS, Ga. -- Katie Wood is a Norcross native who's determined to continue her nonprofit work in Kenya in the wake the four-day takeover of a Nairobi mall by terrorists.

Wood is staying at a hotel about five miles from the Westgate Mall, where 61 people were killed in the siege.

She's in Nairobi to develop a nonprofit called "Watch Me Go" that provides scholarships to high school girls who wouldn't be able to afford to go to school on their own.

"We've been a little cautious about residual violence," Wood told 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie via Skype. "So we've been taking a taxi or bus to work instead of walking and just sticking close to the hotel as much as possible."

Wood graduated from Norcross High School and UGA. She said she checked in with the U.S. State Department and registered for any travel alerts after learning of the terrorist attack.

"I have looked into coming home early when I wasn't sure exactly what was going on," Wood said. "Now I have more information. I went into work today, and where I'm working, everyone has assured me that it was safe there."

Wood said the young girls she works with don't really know about the terrorist attack, but everyone else has shown a great deal of compassion for the victims.

She's very familiar with West Gate. She stayed a few blocks from there during a visit last year.

Wood said it's an upscale mall comparable to Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, only smaller.

Wood will be in Nairobi for about two more weeks and says she's as committed to her work there as ever.

Watch Me Go is an innovative new crowdfunding platform that gives top-performing girls from urban slums of Nairobi the opportunity of a lifetime--to get out of the slum and go to high school where they can pursue their dreams of a better future


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