Rebecca Basena Kampi—a beloved member of the American Progress family —passed away September 22, 2018. Rebecca joined American Progress in 2018 as the organization’s recruitment and internship coordinator, working tirelessly to ensure each American Progress intern class had both a professionally and personally fulfilling experience. Rebecca, renowned for her warm smile and infectious laugh, mastered the art of organizing and bringing people together.
Prior to joining American Progress, Rebecca worked as a human resources coordinator at The Climate Reality Project in Washington, D.C.
Rebecca had a relentless passion for music and a true talent for discovering the latest up-and-coming artists. When Rebecca wasn’t working, she found joy going to concerts, participating in local community 5K and 10K races, volunteering in the community, or simply staying at home listening to music—particularly ‘90s R&B. She also explored new restaurants with friends and family, and traveled to new destinations around the world—all while effortlessly rocking perfectly manicured nails and a new hairstyle almost every week. She snorkeled with sharks in the Bahamas, parasailed over the Caribbean Sea in Mexico, and scaled Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Rainforest during a torrential downpour. Through it all, Rebecca wanted everyone to know she was “living her best life” and encouraged everyone around her to do the same.
Raised in Columbia, Maryland, Rebecca was adventurous, curious in nature, and spontaneous with everything she did. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015. During her four years on campus, she was actively involved in the College Park Scholars Public Leadership program, the Department of Resident Life, Campus Recreation Services, Student Entertainment Events, as well as numerous internships. Rebecca is survived by her parents, David and Monica Basena; brothers Isaac Aziramubera and Julian Basena; a big family; and a long list of friends whom she touched and cared for deeply.