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Meet the Founder

Evelyn Kessler Headshot

ICA Founder


Evelyn Kessler's family is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); she was born in Amherst, NY. Her family left Western, NY in 1986 to return to the DRC where she lived for eight years. In 1994, when the Genocide turmoil in neighboring Rwanda began to trickle into the Congo, Evelyn moved to Paris, France where she attended High School before moving back to Buffalo IN 1997 to continue her education.


After completing her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Medaille College, Evelyn entered the banking industry serving in various leadership roles from Servicing Proficiency Coach at Bank of America to her current role as VP - Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) Communications Manager, at M&T Bank.


Evelyn is a Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) advocate; She served as Chair for M&T Bank Credit Department’s DEI Committee where she created a space for Credit employees to learn and be engaged in DEI related topics and activities, she bridges the gap between BIPOC communities and financial services and resources, improving their access to capital as well as professional growth opportunities. Evelyn has initiated community conversations regarding DEI related topics.


In 2016, Evelyn founded International Child Advancement (ICA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to empower underprivileged children to become self-sufficient through education, vocational training, livelihood provision, and mentoring. ICA was birthed out of what Evelyn calls her God-given purpose: to provide advancement opportunities to children who did not have the same educational and career opportunities that she had. She was awarded the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award in December 2021.


"We have all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, my goal is to help people see that we live in a global village therefore when we help these disadvantaged children get educated and become self-sufficient, it benefits them and all of us in the long run."

Evelyn asks you to join her in giving a Hand Up (not a Hand Out) to the children International Child Advancement supports. 

If you would like to make a donation to ICA, please do so here: Click to Donate!


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