Jamie O'Brien: Cultivating Children

By Sally Anne Flecker | Fall 2014

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Jamie O’Brien has never set foot in Honduras. Still, that’s where his heart is—specifically, with Finca del Nino, or Farm of the Child, and the children who reside there. Farm of the Child is on the Honduran northern coast. Missionaries there care for children who have been orphaned or abandoned, providing for their physical, medical, educational and spiritual needs. “It’s an island of safety for about 40 children,” says O’Brien (BBA ’88, Law ’93), s
Mendoza accountancy professor. Honduras, with the world’s highest murder rate, is beset by poverty, malnutrition, lawlessness and violence. “Honduras is not a safe place,” says O’Brien. “But Farm of the Child is.”

O’Brien’s initial involvement with Farm of the Child began when he taught a class for the Master of Nonprofit Administration program on the nonprofit legal environment. “During and after the class, situations arise, and students often bounce questions off me,” says O’Brien. “To the extent that I have time to assist, I do.” Farm of the Child Executive Director Andrea McMerty-Brummer (MNA ’10, ’01) was one such student. “I found myself assisting with more and more matters for the Finca,” O’Brien says. “About three years ago, Andrea asked if I would be interested in playing a bigger role by joining the board.”

Recently, O’Brien became chair of development for Farm of the Child.
He’s hoping to bring some extra energy to bear on fundraising. “I am a very enthusiastic pro-life advocate,” he says. “I really like the idea of helping the
folks who are helping these children whose parents aren’t able to raise them.”