Samya Stumo arrived at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the morning of March 10, 2019, after a long flight from Washington, D.C.
The 24-year-old, who had been raised on a Massachusetts farm, was on her first overseas assignment for the global health care group, Thinkwell. After a two-hour layover, Stumo was scheduled to move on to Nairobi, Kenya, on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
Along with her were 148 other passengers from 35 different countries. Many were on missions of goodwill. Some were heading to Nairobi for a United Nations conference, according to Ethiopian journalist Hadra Ahmed. Others, she said, “were going to volunteer and do good for the world.”
Just six minutes after takeoff, ETH302 dove at full speed into a field 30 miles away from Bole International, near the town of Bishoftu. Everyone on board, including Stumo, was dead.
“On the BBC at 3:00 in the morning, it said that a plane, Ethiopian Airlines taking off from Addis Ababa, had crashed,” said Stumo’s mother Nadia Milleron. “I remember I couldn’t breathe.”