header_our_staff.jpg

Our Staff

Andrew Luhrs graduated in 2007 with a B.S. in chemistry from Gordon College and began Medical School in the fall of 2009. He first traveled to India during the summer of 2007 and has gone back twice. Initially he went to India to shadow the doctors working in the BIRDS community clinic; however, when he arrived he quickly fell in love with the 40 or so children staying at the hostel nearby.  It was during that first trip to BIRDS-India that he was asked to start a sponsorship program for the hostel children.  Since then he has founded BIRDS International and the BIRDS International sponsorship program.  Since founding sponsorship program, it has grown from around 40 to well over 200 sponsored children and is looking to grow to around 1000 in the next year. Andrew currently serves as the Executive president of BIRDS International.
.
Kandyce Pinckney is the Vice-President of BIRDS and the Director of Child Sponsorship. Kandyce first traveled to BIRDS as a student at Gordon College in the summer of 2005, an experience which radically changed the course of her life and gave her a life-long love for the people and especially the children of India. She has visited BIRDS several times in the intervening years, and assisted in a number of projects for BIRDS International. After graduating from Gordon College in 2006 Kandyce left friends and family behind and drove halfway across the country to work, first as an unpaid intern, for the Dalit Freedom Network, an organization which seeks to advocate for the Dalit (Untouchable) people of India through education and economic development. Kandyce eventually rose to become their Director of Child Sponsorship, heading sponsorship efforts involving nearly 16,000 Indian children and 4,000 sponsors. She left DFN in May of this year after their office was re-located to Washington DC, works full-time as an employment specialist for a refugee resettlement organization in Denver, CO, and will be using her extensive experience in child sponsorship to run the BIRDS child sponsorship program.
.
Jonathan Pinckney is the Director of Operations for BIRDS International. Jonathan first traveled to BIRDS immediately after graduating from Gordon College in 2008, and, like all who visit there, the experience left him with no choice but to get involved. Throughout the following months he volunteered with BIRDS International in Massachusetts, as well as becoming a child sponsor himself. Since then Jonathan has worked in a variety of fields, as a home counselor for troubled children, a residence life coordinator for a study abroad program in Egypt, and currently a Legal Assistant at a law firm in Denver, CO. He visited BIRDS again in 2009. In his position as Director of Operations he will be responsible for ensuring the logistical soundness and security of BIRDS as an organization and coordinating BIRDS International’s continuing efforts to support the mission of BIRDS India.