Vienna Mbagaya

Vienna Mbagaya


Invisible Neighbors

Washington, DC USA

When you're struggling you feel isolated, because we're ashamed to share when we're struggling. But you're not the only one. We're all connected in this. I like the struggle because I think where I'm going is bigger than me and it forces me to get over myself.


By Roadtrip Nation

Vienna Mbagaya


My road in life has been direct.
Came to the US from Kenya in high school; says the change was "more than a culture shock; it was a smack in the face."
Unfamiliar with US vernacular and cultural norms, she was placed in special ed despite protests and fell into isolation.
Feeling alienated eroded her self-esteem; so much so that she avoided mirrors in fear of facing how different she was.
Decided to share her immigrant story in a blog post and received an outpouring of support from people all over the world.
Realized she had tapped into a common human experience everyone could relate to: feeling alone.
Recognizing the power of community to tackle isolation, she founded Invisible Neighbors, an organization that gives voice to immigrants.
Today, as a consultant and entrepreneur, she's on a mission foster global inclusion and empower those who feel invisible.



I run a consulting firm centered on public health research, tech PR & marketing, and diaspora engagement.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Communicating / Sharing Stories


Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant

Interviewed By

Why Not Us

Why Not Us

Being the first in your family to attend college is daunting, but rewarding.

Follow the journeys of four young people-all first in their families to go to college-as they road-trip across the country to interview inspiring individuals who were also first in their families to pursue higher education.

After gaining wisdom and guidance from trail-blazing leaders-including Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Grammy Award-winner John Legend, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz-the Roadtrippers are emboldened to embrace the opportunities ahead and ask "why shouldn't I succeed?"