DENVER (KDVR) — March is Women’s History Month and we’re taking the whole month to honor remarkable women right here in Denver.
It’s part of a nationwide company initiative shining light on the impact women make and have on our communities. We’ve been working on this project for weeks now and are very excited to introduce you to our first finalist.
Angel Mollel — a name almost too fitting for this remarkable woman.
Angel grew up worlds away, in the poverty stricken Maasai Village just outside of Tanzania.
“We had to fight for everything that we got. Food. Water. You literally didn’t know when you were going to get your next meal,” Mollel said.
Angel lived in mud huts with 16 brothers and sisters; two Moms and one Dad. Each day, there was just one task: Survival.
In 2012, at the age of 11, Angel captured the heart of one very special stranger.
“I knew I wanted her to have a better life so she could help herself and help her family and help her village. And I eventually knew I wanted to adopt her so I could give her everything I possibly could,” Tony Matteroli, Angel’s Adoptive Dad.
So that’s what he did. Matteroli adopted Angel and brought her back to Colorado and it didn’t take long for everyone else to see just how remarkable Angel was. She quickly learned the language and made new friends. She graduated from Brighton High School, being voted “Most Outstanding Senior,” she played tennis and softball and now she is enrolled at CU Boulder.
Things were looking up, but Angel always found herself looking back on the life she left behind. Hoping to one day find a way, she too, could pay it forward.
“Well my friends and I came up with the idea of starting a nonprofit. I love reggae. So I was listening to Bob Marley, that song 1Love and I was like wait a second. That’s a good name for my nonprofit,” Angel added.
Just like that, her non-profit 1Love came to life.
Over the years, Angel’s raised thousands of dollars to help the Maasai people of Tanzania. Every summer she returns home to see it all go to good use.
“We were able to do so much to help the children. Build better houses.. and the big one, to bring clean water and build shops so the women can get the necessities that they need,” Angel said.
She’s increased the areas life expectancy and sponsored children, helping them pursue higher education and give them hope of a brighter future.
And of course, as an Angel would, she doesn’t like taking all the credit because after all, it takes village to help a village. She is happy to share her namesake with the man who gave her a chance to touch the world.
“I don’t know how to describe him. He’s an angel. He’s my best friend. Sometimes I’m so thankful that he’s my dad. But I just think I met my number one best friend in the whole wide world.,” Angel said.
It’s a bond that moves them both to tears.
“To me she’s the most incredible person on the planet. She’s so selfless. Everything she does is for someone else,” Matteroli added.
If you’d like to learn more about 1Love, click here.
Every Tuesday this month we will feature one of Denver’s Most Remarkable Women, you can catch those stories at 8 a.m.