April Riegler is the founder and former Executive Director of Hope Shines. After traveling to Rwanda in 2007 for a work trip, she was inspired to start an educational program that would dynamically support the needs of orphaned children—many of whom had been directly impacted by the Genocide. With the mantra of “keep your word,” she gathered funds and volunteers, and traveled back to Rwanda in 2008 to launch the very first Hope Shines summer camp.
Under her leadership and vision, Hope Shines grew from a one-week program at one orphan center to multiple summer camps at multiple locations. April recruited and managed the Board of Directors, focused on fundraising, and successfully gained the organization’s 501(C)3 status recognized by the US Department of Revenue While leading and managing Hope Shines she frequently traveled between her home in New York City and Rwanda. She stepped out of the Executive Director role in 2011, and remained on the Board of Directors until 2017. She now acts as an Adviser. April’s vision has been successfully carried on by Hope Shines leadership with a holistic child development approach as the core principle.
April is currently the Director of Communications for Food Story Brands, in Arizona, where she now resides. Before making the career shift to Public Relations, April was a corporate retail buyer for both national department stores and off-price chains. She holds a B.S. from Virginia Tech and a Masters from Parsons, The New School.