What inspired you to start Nomi Network?
Diana Mao: I started Nomi Network in 2009 after my experiences in Cambodia. I got a fellowship with a micro-finance institution and spent time with the people there. I had an experience where a father offered my colleague and I his child. He didn’t want to give her up but his circumstances made it so he couldn’t provide for his children. That first encounter really hit me and made me want to push this issue further.
What are your goals for Nomi Network?
DM: We hope to create about 100,000 jobs for women who have survived sex trafficking by 2025. We want to keep expanding so
we’ll always be able to help a victim in need.
Those are big goals. What gives you hope these things can be accomplished?
DM: The organizations we’ve worked with have helped employ dozens of women; they’ve helped create demand for our products, and are changing the lives of women subjected to sex trafficking. Professionals of all backgrounds have donated their time and are committed to seeing this problem eradicated. With so many committed people behind us, I know we won’t let these women down.
What does a world-saving, Twenty Something like you do for fun?
DM: I’m really busy so when I have time to myself I love to bike, run, have a drink, and dance. I also love to travel!
What would you say to someone who wants to change something but thinks they’re too young to do it?
DM: Commitment and passion prevail over age. You need people to back you and you must partner with people with skills you lack. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and share your vision. And you need mentors! Go out and find advisers who can help nurture your vision.
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