Patrick Mahoney '83 - Helping children in Rwanda learn to love to read
Eaglebrook School’s third Hilly Chase of the Centennial year featured Patrick Mahoney, trustee, member of the Eaglebrook class of 1983, and parent of Rufus ’20. Patrick attended Tabor Academy and then St. John’s College after graduating from Eaglebrook. Once he graduated from college, Patrick created and invested in several startups in the dot com world. That said, a few years ago, he switched his focus to working full-time in the nonprofit world. Patrick shared the ins and outs of his latest venture, the Rwanda Bookmobile. The Rwanda Bookmobile seeks to promote reading culture in children by providing access to a variety of books and teachers and storytellers that capture a child’s imagination and creates the opportunity for them to acquire not only a skill but to also start a reading culture.
This non-profit venture began when Patrick visited his sister who lives in Rwanda. The organization quickly grew from a bicycle to a library to a media company. The goal is to help children in Rwanda “learn to love to read.” Patrick felt a need to do more and give these children in Rwanda access to all the great books published for children. Whether it's bringing suitcases filled with books to kids in a classroom, or taking books across the country so they can be read to kids, or most recently outfitting bikes with baskets so librarians can bike with books and read to kids – the mission has remained. During the pandemic, the group started a radio show aimed at telling stories to children, and they have even dabbled in television.
The most inspiring moment of the evening came when Patrick discussed the power of giving and service. As Patrick mentioned, “besides being with my family, this is the only way I want to invest my time moving forward.” Patrick continued, “I’ve chased fame and fortune, and I’ve made and I’ve lost, and I’ve made piles of money, I’ve been in magazines and I’ve had fancy titles and none of it even comes close to the joy of working for these kids in Rwanda.” He finished by saying, “I found it. I found what I was looking for – which is to give instead of to take. It came full circle to my days at Eaglebrook where patient teachers gave me lessons, gave me encouragement, gave me a sense of how to navigate this world. So, the mission I am on is a chance to pay all that forward - give back without expectations.”
Watch his presentation here. Following his presentation, Patrick joined members of the Library Committee Charles C. ‘22 and Kaden S. ‘22 for the third episode of Eaglebrook’s podcast, “A View From the Hill.” Click here to listen. Thank you to Patrick for providing another interesting presentation to our community. If you are interested in continuing to follow the story, please visit www.read.rw