Young Professionals Panel
Born in Monrovia, Liberia in the late 1970s, MacDella Cooper was one of the thousands of refugees who fled Liberia after the eruption of a civil war in 1990. After leaving the war-torn Liberia and residing in Ivory Coast, at the age of 16, Ms. Cooper landed in the embattled streets of Newark, New Jersey where Cooper attended Barringer High School. Graduating 3rd in a class of 1,200 students, Ms. Cooper received a full academic scholarship to The College of New Jersey, despite her rough past and hard road.Prior to founding MCF in 2004, Ms. Cooper was the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Jones Apparel Group, where she alongside the Creative Services team developed comprehensive marketing strategies for the Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, Jones New York and several other fashion brands including Eredi Pisano and Duca Sartoria. She also directed the marketing and event planning initiatives for the New York Independent Film and Music Festival.Today MacDella Cooper is known as Liberia’s Angel for starting the MacDella Cooper Foundation, a non-for-profit charity that provides educational opportunities and basic necessities for abandoned children in Liberia.
In 2010, Cooper opened the MCF Academy, a boarding school for orphans in Liberia. The MCF Academy is the first tuition-free boarding school that houses up to 200 students. The Academy provides a better quality of living in an environment that is safe, secure and conductive for learning. Ms. Cooper hopes the Academy will raise future leaders who take pride in their nation and themselves.Thanks to her extensive business, political and diplomatic relationships all over the world, Ms. Cooper sits on the Board of Directors for several boards including the Segal Family Foundation, Red Cross Tiffany Circle, the American International School in Monrovia, and AAW Peace. She has received several awards for her philanthropic efforts including The American Red Cross Humanitarian Award, The College of New Jersey Humanitarian Award, The Victor E. Ward Community Service Award, The Momentum Women Award, The Spirit of Friskies Award, and The Archbishop of Michael K. Francis Achievement Awards.Ms. Cooper currently lives in Manhattan with her two children, Ella and Mateo. In addition to founding the MCF Academy and the Agency for Youth Development (including the Teens & Youth Volunteer Club, Victoria’s Vocational Training for young illiterate females), Ms. Cooper is partaking in multiple motivational speaking appearances to share her story and influence people who are going through a hard time in life to turn around and shape it into something meaningful.