YALI Fellows Return to East Austin College Prep to Work With Students
On July 18, 2015, East Austin College Prep enjoyed another warm visit from the Young African Leaders Initiative. A group from across Sub-Saharan Africa visited East Austin College Prep to engage with EAPrep's summer programming students.
These YALI fellows are part of an initiative launched by President Barack Obama to help foster entrepreneurial growth of young African leaders so they can strengthen democracy prosperity and peace across Africa.
Southwest Key and partner school EAPrep were approached to partner with YALI this year after a successful visit last summer from YALI participants who spent the day passing out food at Southwest Key's monthly mobile food bank.
This year, the YALI fellows split into two groups. One group went to EAPrep's MLK Campus to work with older students while the other group stayed at the Jain Lane campus to interact with elementary aged campers.
The YALI fellows made arts and crafts with the students and participated in a Q & A session with the kids.
"We wanted the fellows to see that their work is work shared across the globe and to help them realize that they are not alone in the fight to improve the quality of life. It was an opportunity to share success stories and learn lessons from them," says Corin Caridine, Youth Services Coordinator.
"I hope that YALI fellows felt welcomed, felt the joy of working with youth in our community and took away a vivid picture of how a community comes together around young people," says Joycelyn Jurado, Director of Children's Promise at Southwest Key. "I was at the MLK campus and three of our students gave a personal testimony that the YALI cohort inspired them to work hard, to preserve to their goals. I think that's a powerful take-away for our students."
Meet some of the YALI Fellows below and for more photos, check out our Facebook Album.
Occupation: Small Business Owner & Lawyer
“I joined YALI so I can develop myself and expand my network here while experiencing a different culture. I want to learn how to incorporate technology back home for my business because I can see technology and innovation everywhere in the U.S. I think it will give us an advantage back home.”
Country: Central African Republic Gougou
Occupation: Network Engineer
“The most beautiful thing about this experience is that we get to learn how American businesses work and we can take what we learn back home. What amazes me about East Austin College Prep are the volunteers here. Back home, people do not volunteer, people only do things to get paid and I want to encourage people to volunteer because it is important to give back to the community.”
Country: Botswana/South Africa
Occupation: Medical Scientist/Inventor
“About 3.9 million people are currently living with asthma in South Africa and 58,500 die yearly from asthma attacks according to World Health Organization and these deaths are preventable. I am working on a medical instrument to detect an asthma attack before it happens. This is my passion, to come up with solutions to prevent deaths in Africa. East Austin College Prep talks a lot about “familia”, I actually see it just from my short visit here. I see how everyone here is connected and so warm.”
“It is really heartwarming to see what East Austin College Prep is doing here with the young people. They are able to see the need for children that could prevent them from being at risk and dropping out of the school system. It is very motivating to see and I hope I can learn something and bring it back home.”
Occupation: Tech Entrepreneur
“I really like the energy of all these Africans from across Africa meeting up at one place to network. I am hoping to learn how things are done in the developed countries so that I can learn to create solutions for my community back home. I am glad to see East Austin College Prep invest in young kids and I see that they are really creative.”
Occupation: Film Director
“I use film as a medium to communicate. I want to change the perception of how Africa is branded; there are actually a lot of beautiful stories in Africa that a lot of people do not see, tenacity, resilience and passion. I joined YALI because I see this as a big networking opportunity for me. I get to learn about other African countries and be inspired for them. Film is a tool to create change. This experience at East Austin College Prep was overwhelming for me because it was eye opening to see the education system that Africa is lacking.”
Occupation: Rural Health and Education Social Enterprise
“There is a huge divide back home between children who have access to education and children who do not. I want to bridge that gap and equip rural schools with the same technology, books and infrastructure that an urban school has. In the YALI program, I can meet people from across Africa that are pushing the barriers in their country. Maybe I can learn something that I can bring back home. I love how people can be themselves here and I urge people back home to have a global view. “