Our Founder and CEO Atti Worku is passionate about empowering youth through education, and her dedication to this mission extends beyond the walls of the Seeds of Africa school campuses. In the first quarter of 2019, Atti has spent time using her platform to engage with the young leaders of the next generation of social entrepreneurship. “Finding my purpose has made my life richer and more fulfilling, and it is important for me to encourage young people to consider following career paths of social impact too,” she says.
As Women’s Month comes to an end, we reflect on Atti’s actions in empowering young leaders to change the world:
FAF’s The Youth Assembly: Africa on the Move
The Friendship Ambassador Foundation’s annual Youth Assembly is a global youth empowerment conference which connects the world’s foremost young social entrepreneurship talent with leading professionals and practitioners. Youth delegates gain the relevant knowledge, resources, and opportunities they need to take action towards building solutions to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
On the 16th of February, 2019, Atti joined a panel of distinguished speakers at the 23rd annual assembly for a discussion on Africa: A Continent on the Move. Speaking to a group of over 200 youth leaders from all over the African continent, Atti offered advice about getting started in establishing an African nonprofit, finding funding, and navigating the complexities of the philanthropic field as an African woman entrepreneur. “It was really powerful to see over 200 young African delegates in the room who are focused and passionate about regional issues,” says Atti.
Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leaders: The Magic of Mentorship
A global initiative of the We Are Family Foundation, Three Dot Dash amplifies the world’s top young influencers who are making an impact. Each year, Three Dot Dash selects 30 teen change makers from around the world, from founders of nonprofits to inventors of innovative technology, and brings them to NYC for a weeklong leadership development summit. Their renowned mentorship program matches the teen leaders to a network of high-profile mentors from all over the world, and Atti joined the program as a mentor on March 13th, 2019. Atti was matched to mentor 17 year old Melissa Khasbagan. She is the founder of 1000 Books, a nonprofit which sends books and entrepreneurship materials to rural areas across the world. Melissa’s work has already impacted over 35,000 students and 400 teachers, and she plans to expand to include nine countries in Africa.
The mentorship day was intense and inspiring, says Atti. “The mentor matches were so thoughtful and meaningful, and the experience was as valuable for us mentors as it was for the teen leaders. I left feeling so energized to continue my work of unlocking the potential of young change agents and the world’s future leaders.”
The Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship: Complexities of Change
The Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship identifies, cultivates, and nurtures a cohort of diverse youth committed to addressing the most compelling social, political, and scientific issues facing their communities. The multi-site fellowship is designed to connect talented youth to opportunity, develop passions into purpose, and transform vision into action. On March 17th, 2019, The Newark Chapter of AYLF visited the new Seeds of Africa office at NeueHouse for a conversation with Atti about the complexities of change.
A spirited dialogue occurred with the group of youth leaders, who were interested in learning practical tools for creating positive social change in their communities. “The cohort is made up of people of color and children of immigrants, and some of them are the first in their families to go to college. As an immigrant myself, it was a pleasure to share my experiences and be part of exposing them to different ways to solve the socio-economic problems they experience every day and have an impact on their communities.”
We are excited to see what other moves Atti will make as she continues her efforts of advocating for educational equity and youth mentorship in 2019!