My first experience in Africa was as a student in 2007 in Cameroon. I was fascinated by the vibrance of the culture, the beautiful landscape, and especially the people I met. I completed a study on how young people were using the internet for Cameroonian development, and was hooked. After continuing with a similar study on organizational email use in Yaounde in 2008, I was convinced of the possibilities to make real progress towards development through education.
Upon graduating with my Bachelor’s in Communications and International Studies from Northwestern University in 2009, I moved to Dakar, Senegal to teach 7th, 8th, and 11th grade English in an International Baccalaureate high school. It was during these three years that I began to see the intersection between appropriate communications strategies and education.
In 2012, I left Dakar for Cambridge, Massachusetts to get my Masters in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, graduating May 2013. Here, I took courses in Social Entrepreneurship, Comparative Education Policy, Management in Crisis Response and more, and I also planned the Harvard African Development Conference, featuring his Excellency President Macky Sall of Senegal. I also began to develop a business plan for my own educational organization which will teach students in Senegal how to use the internet to improve their 21st Century Skills. This experience helped me to gain a new perspective on the educational value in communications technology, particularly in the African context.
In November 2013, I went back to Dakar to test some ideas on internet education, presenting at Google Senegal’s Gdays conference, while doing some short-term consulting for UNESCO. I have worked with the Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education on the launch of the Virtual University of Senegal. I began working for Tostan in January 2014, beginning in the communications department, and moving to the Tostan Training Center to develop a revenue generating social enterprise to deliver human rights education training to people all over Africa.
I am currently based in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, NY. I am Founding Manager of Baobab Consulting, seeking to promote mutual understanding and equitable collaboration between the US and Africa. I am a Community Lead at the Impact Hub in Tribeca, and I am interested in opportunities to collaborate with NGOs, businesses, schools, and other like minded individuals and organizations. Please feel free to contact me and see how we can work together!