Becoming an Influence for Good

PROVO, Utah – Sep 04, 2020 – When she was three years old, Lillian Bradley was adopted from Ghana, a country then stricken with poverty. Her adoption by a family from Heber City, Utah opened doors of limitless possibilities for her future. Now as a second-year BYU Marriott MPA student, Bradley is intent on acquiring skills that enable her to help citizens of similarly impoverished countries find opportunities for success.  

Even at a young age, Bradley was passionate about giving back to her home country. In 2014 when she was in high school, she started her own nonprofit called Fahodie for Friends. The nonprofit focused on raising awareness of and combating human trafficking in African countries. While most of her advocacy efforts took place in the United States, Bradley did have the opportunity to travel to West Africa, where she spoke in three different countries about human trafficking.  

“I’ve always felt a deep-seated desire to give back and return the opportunities I have been given,” Bradley says. “I know many people in the world who don’t have the resources they need to be successful. I was given that chance, and I want to give others those same chances.”  

Bradley continued to pursue nonprofit work in her college years. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in international cultural studies with a certificate in intercultural peacebuilding from BYU–Hawaii in 2016, she wasn’t sure what her next step would be. However, when she heard about BYU Marriott’s MPA program, she knew heading to Provo was the right direction to go.  

“What drew me to the MPA program at BYU Marriott was the specialization in nonprofit management, which is a unique component in comparison to other MPA programs,” Bradley says. “I also loved the program’s mission statement of creating global impact and emphasizing a service-based career. I knew the program’s goals would align with my personal aspirations.” 

While Fahodie for Friends is no longer operating, Bradley has plans for another nonprofit. Her time spent in the MPA program has given her additional tools to succeed in the nonprofit sector. “My vision for combating trafficking has expanded,” she says. “I previously focused on two main components—advocacy and housing survivors—but I now realize that there are other important aspects as well. Developing a multidimensional approach is crucial.” 

One key element of nonprofit work that Bradley has learned about is policy change. “During my time in the program, I’ve come to understand the importance of policy changes, and now I’m passionate about that,” Bradley says. “In my future career, I would love to be in a position where I have the opportunity to influence or create policies that facilitate change that is needed in the world.”  

Bradley’s service-based mindset also translates into her family life. Bradley and her husband, Gerritt, have two children and one on the way. “Family is number one for me,” she says. “We always spend time together, whether we are watching movies, going on walks, or jamming out as my husband plays guitar. As a mom and a wife, I express my love for my family through serving and spending time with them. In all aspects of life, I love service. Serving others is at the heart of my passion for nonprofit work.” 

Bradley asserts that by cultivating the skills and values taught in the MPA program, she feels empowered to change the world. "As far as global impact goes, I have an incredible opportunity to be a leader and influence other people to have better lives,” she says. “The world contains an abundance of goodness, but you can also find plenty of bad. However, I believe if you become an influential person for good, your influence will be contagious and inspire others around you to do the same.” 

MPA student Lillian Bradley. Photo courtesy of Lillian Bradley.
MPA student Lillian Bradley. Photo courtesy of Lillian Bradley.
Bradley and her husband, Gerritt, with their two children. Photo courtesy of Lillian Bradley.
Bradley and her husband, Gerritt, with their two children. Photo courtesy of Lillian Bradley.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sarah Calvert