Camelia's Life

Romania

Born

02/03/1962

Camelia Neacsu was born to Petru and Ana Neacsu in Sibiu, where her family owned and operated a machine components manufacturing plant, Arstil Corporation. She has three brothers, and is the youngest. In order of age, her brothers are Vasile, Stefan, and Mihail. Stefan was killed during the war while Vasile joined the military. Vasile doesn't talk to his sister after her defection. Mihail took over the family business and revived it to its previous glory after the fall of communism. He is still close to Camelia.

Goes to the University of Iasi

09/08/1980

She began studying social work and soon met Anton, they started dating soon after.

Married Anton

07/17/1982

After their marriage, he began working with the Securitate while she finished school.

Graduated from university

06/17/1984

She graduated with a BA in Social Work. Shortly after she became pregnant.

Gave birth to Andrei

05/10/1985

Andrei Ion Lacustra was born in Bucharest, he would be their only child.

Defects to U.S

11/22/1987

Due to the increasing tension within the country, Anton took his family to America, alienating them from their families. Camelia was skeptical but supportive during this period.

Fairfax, Virginia

Camelia adjusts to U.S. life

11/22/1987 - 12/22/1988

While Anton thawed attempts at his life and aided the US against Communist Romania, Camelia adjusted to US life, building a home for her family and taking care of Andrei.

The Lacustra family becomes US citizens

12/22/1988

Charlottesville, Virginia

Camelia works as a counselor

3/03/1989 - 03/18/1991

While Anton worked towards his MBA, Camelia worked with a local organization as a counselor, aiding immigrants new to the US. She was very passionate about her work. Also, during this time, she took care of Andrei.

New York

Camelia devotes herself to charity and community service

04/25/1991 - 05/1/2001

During the ten year period while Anton worked for JP Morgan, Camelia spent the majority of her time taking care of Andrei while working with various organizations for immigrants, children, and other causes.

Camelia starts Ana's Foundation

08/15/2001

She devoted herself towards philanthropic endeavors, going as far as starting up her own foundation, Ana's Foundation, named after her mother and devoted to funding educational resources in deprived areas of the world.

Named board member for the New York Philharmonic

03/8/2003

Ana's Foundation raises $1million

7/13/2003

Camelia worked daily to raise funds for her foundation, and upon hitting the $1 million dollar mark, she built schools in Romania, Congo, and Burundi. She traveled extensively, working with other foundations and organizations to aid the poor and the uneducated.

Cameila becomes a UN ambassador

08/09/2004

One of Camelia's proudest moments was when she became a Goodwill ambassador. To date, she has been on over 60 field visits around the world. She stresses the importance of education, and birth control.

Camelia continues her humanitarian efforts

09/10/2004 - Present

To this day, Cameila strives to better her native Romania and other countries that face hardships. To this day she has built numerous hospitals, schools, and houses in Romania and abroad.

Named board member for the MET

07/12/2005

Was awarded the Order of Faithful service by Romania

04/11/2006

Due to her humanitarian efforts, she was awarded the honor.

Started Ana scholarship

05/1/2007

Through her foundation, Camelia set up a scholarship fund to allow children of immigrants to seek high education at leading universities.

Started working with the New York Presbyterian children's hospital

01/14/2008

After donating money towards treatment and research, as well as starting a grant that would allow children services without health insurance, she also headed a campaign to raise even more money for children's services.

Named one of Time's Most Influential people

12/1/2009