The heart of We Made This is the team that supports the mission. Get to know our program staff:
Tin Tin Pyone- We Made This Lead Sewing Instructor
Tin Tin Pyone is the lead sewing teacher for ACC’s We Made This sewing training program. Tin Tin came to the United states after fleeing her home country of Burma in 1993, living with her family in Thailand until 2006, and living in a refugee camp until 2008. Tin Tin is incredibly driven, passionate, and patient. She has been a teacher for the program since 2012 and has trained hundreds of refugee women to sew. Many of her students have gone on to be We Made This artisans, find employment in the sewing industry, start their own businesses, and gain confidence.
Sweeta Afrooz- We Made This Sewing Instructor
Sweeta arrived in the United States in October of 2014. Originally from Afghanistan, Sweeta worked as a teacher and taught writing, reading and sewing. In addition to teaching, Sweeta sewed items at home to sell. Sweeta began attending the “We Made This” sewing program at the African Community Center in 2015. Here, she refined her skills in sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet. She is an important member of the WMT sewing team and supports women in their journey of integration in the United States. In addition to being a sewing teacher, Sweeta also helps ACC with home visits to women in the Afghan community.
Hannah McMillen, We Made This Lead
Hannah joined WMT in 2017 to use her training as an ESL instructor to build out the program's English and civics curricula. She learned to sew alongside program participants, and since becoming the We Made This Lead, has contributed to new product design and development. Hannah volunteered with ACC in high school & worked with refugees throughout college, eventually obtaining masters' degrees in Peace and Conflict Studies and working in refugee advocacy in 5 countries throughout Europe & the Middle East. Since returning to the States she has pursued her interest in refugee law with the support of ACC, and loves helping the women of We Made This nurture their creativity through intercultural celebrations and therapeutic art.
Tarsha Miller, AmeriCorps Business Development VISTA
Tarsha joined the We Made This team in July 2018 as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and is serving in this capacity for one year. She coordinates business development for WMT, with a focus on branding, online sales/marketing, and product development. After recently transitioning from a 14-year teaching career, she shifted her professional focus to community-building through microbusiness, and runs her own small handmade jewelry business on Etsy. Tarsha is privileged to serve the Denver refugee community through WMT and is excited to delve into the world of social enterprise as she supports this important, impactful work.
Grace Wright, Innovation Manager
Grace joined We Made This in 2017 as the Innovation Manager for the African Community Center. She oversees business development for We Made This and the shift towards a more sustainable business model, product line development, and brand development. Grace also teaches social and sustainable enterprise at Colorado State University. Before coming to WMT, Grace co-founded a social enterprise, founded a small business, and worked for Whole Foods Market, the University of Colorado Health, and Free the Children.