We’d like to introduce you to our organization by profiling a few individual BoldLeaders as well as several group projects we have undertaken. The six young people profiled below have participated in at least one of our programs and have gone on to develop outstanding projects in their own communities with impressive results. We encourage you to read their stories and learn more about their current activities.
BoldLeader, 2009: Sub-Saharan Africa Young Leaders Project
BoldLeader, 2010: Follow On Summit
Mustapha participated in the 2009 December BoldLeaders/Sub-Saharan Africa Young Leaders Project funded by the ECA Division of the U.S. Department of State. Mustapha comes from a small village and Peace Corps volunteers recommended him to the program.
Mustapha returned to Tanzania a determined young man. He would later be selected to represent Tanzania at the BoldLeaders Follow On Summit, held during the fall of 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya. His selection to the Summit was generated by his active engagement in his community upon his return to Tanzania in 2009. Today, Mustapha is the Vice President of Student Government at the Ndanda High School. The school has a student body of more than 1,000, most of them age 18 to 26. He is also very involved in enrolling people to be tested for the HIV virus and he has acted as a peer trainer and mediator, working alongside Peace Corps volunteers to provide basic education in nine villages in his surrounding area and train local teachers.
Mustapha started a leadership club in his new school, introducing many of the leadership practices he created at BoldLeaders programs in Colorado and Washington D.C. He was recently named the President of a prestigious leadership club called Ndabo Fema after participating in their national conference. Yet Mustapha's biggest challenge is a project he calls Rabbits For Change. This is a business he designed to use rabbits to provide employment in his community and to upgrade nutrition. This is a cradle-to cradle-project using 100% of the rabbit, including manure for fertilizing community gardens. A portion of the proceeds will be used to pay for school fees and supplies for children, particularly girls, who cannot afford school. The project has been reviewed by the Ashoka Foundation Youth Ventures.
Visit MetroAfrican to read what Muspapha has to say about BoldLeaders.
Nikolas is a BoldLeader member by virtue of his participation in BoldLeaders' Emerging Youth Leaders program which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The program brought together Roma young people and educators from three Central European countries: Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Roma is a synonym for the Romani people, also known as Gypsies, who live primarily in Central and Eastern Europe.
Nikolas lives along the Hungarian/Slovakian border and speaks three languages. He created an English instruction class for young Roma children. He is pictured on our home page with some of his students. Nikolas plans to become a doctor, to dispel myths about Roma society and serve his community.
About his experience with BoldLeaders, Nikolas said, "The BL program made a difference for me in serving and facing problems. I take every challenge and solve it more easily than before… my self confidence grew massively :-) Michael and Brady help make teens look at themselves and they are making a huge change… step by step… teen by teen."
Read a PBS interview about the plight of the Roma people in the European Union, where Nikolas is featured.
BoldLeader, 2007: Cyprus American Scholarship Project
Today, Anna is a student at King's College in London where she is studying the law. In 2007, she participated in the Cyprus American Scholarship Project sponsored by the Cyprus Fulbright Commission. Since that time Anna has become a trusted youth facilitator for a Cyprus youth group, Soma Akriton, and has enrolled in two teen exchange programs with youth groups in Northern Ireland, first as a participant and the second time as an escort. Anna is a member of the Cyprus Network for Youth Development. She is the Secretary of the Cyprus Youth Committee and an organizing member of the Annual bi-communal event, Earth Dance.
Anna is also a contributing writer for the Butterfly Effect, a bi-communal youth magazine, and a frequent panelist on Radio Mayis. Anna has also participated in many programs to support reconciliation in Cyprus including Exploring Old Nicosia, History in Action and Women of Cyprus. When she is not working on building bridges between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish occupied area to the north, known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, you will find Anna volunteering at Cans for Kids, a local recycling effort, or at a nearby day care center.
BoldLeader, 2008: Cyprus Bi-communal Support Project (BSP)
Eunice is a leading youth expert on the European Union and a passionate social entrepreneur. She spent the summer of 2008 being bold with BoldLeaders from Cyprus, Germany and Turkey. Eunice is earning her BA in International Relations at Stanford University and has studied The Politics and Economics of the European Union at Oxford University. Eunice is writing a thesis on the transformative powers of the European Union on Human Rights law. In the wake of September 11th at age twelve, Buhler founded a nonprofit organization called Cultures for Youth (CFY) to teach young people about different cultures and promote cultural acceptance. CFY has impacted over 5,000 young people on three continents.
In 2004, she spearheaded the Culture Exchange Campaign at the Athens Olympics. Today Eunice is working with a corporate sponsor to build a library in Uganda. She is Vice President of the Nestle Very Best in Youth Foundation, and is a youth mentor and motivational speaker on volunteerism and social entrepreneurship. Buhler has served on the boards of numerous foundations and organizations and has worked to provide grants and support to young people active in their communities. She is the winner of awards including the Princeton Prize for Race Relations and the AT&T Cares Youth Service Award.
Eunice describes her experience with BoldLeaders as "a truly moving and remarkable experience. The growth and development of acceptance was an inspiration."
Tabitha is a member of the 2007 Kenya BoldLeaders program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Tabby is from Kisumu, Kenya and in 2008, shortly after the end of violence, she and several of her classmates at Kisumu Girl's School created a project to beautify Kisumu and provide recycling efforts. This project continues to this day and includes the planting of trees. Tabby left Kisumu after being selected to represent Kenya in the inaugural class of the African Leadership Academy (ALA) located in Johannesburg, South Africa. With only 100 selected and 2500 applications, this was a huge honor and a remarkable achievement.
To complete her education at ALA, Tabby helped create the Hioma Entrepreneurial Challenge. Hioma is a village in Uganda where Tabby was part of a student team and that provided entrepreneurial skills training. The team also spent time on several service projects in the Cheangwale refugee camp. Today, Tabby is a freshman at Tufts University near Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Tyler is a BoldLeader from his participation in the 2008 Young Leaders program that included teens from Chicago, Denver, Turkey and Germany. He is a member of the Student Board of Education for Denver Public Schools, the Mayor's Youth Commission and plenty of other local organizations. Tyler is dedicated to making a difference in his community.
Tyler has been recognized for his efforts to send aid to Sierra Leone and Darfur. He understands the importance and the power of allowing student voices to be heard and he always makes sure that the voices of other teenagers are heard through him.
Tyler is a senior at the Denver Center for International Studies and has won many awards, including the NBC, Channel 9's Kids Who Care award. Here are links to information about just a few of his many efforts:
During the spring of 2009, eighteen US teens and three educators traveled to Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), as part of a U.S. State Department program. During their month long work and immersion into the Roma issue, they visited a Roma housing project, observing what was missing, and then took an empty lot near a housing project in Bratislava, Slovakia, (the housing project was located up against the old wall separating the “West” from the then Communist East.), and transformed it into a play area for the children who lived in the projects. Above are several photos of the day. Upon their return to the U.S. the teens created a project to create a documentary of the their experience, and are currently working with Open Media Foundation to complete the project. Click to learn more »
This project was a dynamic week long affair with hundreds of past program participants from bi-communal BoldLeader projects stretching as far back as 2003 and supported by The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, the ECA Division of the U.S. State Department, AMIDEAST and the Cyprus Fulbright Commission. The on island project that took place in February of 2009, was underwritten by a grant from the Small Grants program of the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia as part of their on-going support of bi-communal projects on the island.
During the summer of 2007 and 2008 U.S. Embassy/AMIDEAST BSP project and the summer of 2007 and 2008 Cyprus Fulbright Commission projects, 140 total participants created individual ceramic tiles that they then carried back to their island. In February, a group of 25 teens from the 07/08 projects gathered the individual tiles from their peers and developed a program plan that included bi-communal conflict resolution and art workshops during the first weekend and service learning/community service projects for the second weekend, ending in a celebration and unveiling of the mural that was attended by 150 past Cyprus BoldLeaders and many of their friends—one of the largest bi-communal gatherings on the island! Staged at the Fulbright Center located in the U.N. mandated buffer zone, the Mural now proudly hangs in the center representing the work of Cyprus BoldLeaders from 2003 and 2009.
Five facilitators and artists from the U.S. BoldLeader team traveled to Cyprus to deliver several workshops as well as connect the pieces and mount the artwork. During the first weekend, 60+ BoldLeaders brought friends to a bi-communal gathering at the Highbrow School in the south of Nicosia and another 45 would gather the following day at a university in the north of Nicosia. During the week BoldLeader facilitators would deliver programming to 250 form 3 students at the English school and do an after-school workshop with 30 + of the schools leadership. A group of students from the Falcon School would work on their perspectives for the future and another group of 40 plus students from the American Academy in Larnaca would be introduced to some of the practices of the Bold Leaders project led by eight bold Leaders attending the school.
During the second weekend, and prior to the mural unveiling and celebration, forty teens and former escorts, in a show of bi-communal unity, cleaned the roadside of trash and planted several dozen trees. This project was featured on television in North Cyprus and included English, Greek and Turkish. The team would then travel to the SOS Village, a home for orphans, where they would play games they learned in the USA and spent time sharing with the orphan children.
In the summer of 2008, in a bi-communal effort, and with support from the Small Grants Funds of the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, the 2006, 2007 and 2008 BoldLeaders formed a committee of over 30 dedicated Cyprus Bold Leaders from both teen bi-communal programs (U.S. Embassy, AMIDEAST, Cyprus Fulbright Commission). Together they designed, managed, created, and delivered a free rock concert in Eleftheria Square for hundreds of young people from the last divided capital city in the world. Six local Cypriot rock bands volunteered to perform and three of the bands contained members who had completed the BoldLeaders program in the U.S. A joint statement of solidarity and a desire for continued dialogue between the two communities was publicly read prior to the event and acknowledged the support of the sponsoring organizations.
In February of 2009 German artist Rose Marie Gnausch met with some of the Cyprus BoldLeaders from past U.S. Embassy AMIDEAST Bi-communal Support Projecs and Cyprus Fulbright Commission, Cyprus American Support Projects, promoting her Elephants for Peace (Go Ganesha Go) Street Art project that was to take place on May 9 and 10 of May 2009 along the famous Ledra Street.
Of all the art submitted, only one was an actual bi-communal cooperative project. Pictured above, posing with their painting is Sveta, (Greek Speaking Cypriot) and Sila, (Turkish Speaking Cypriot) who were participants in 2007 and program Peer Leaders in 2008. Posing with them are 2008 BoldLeaders, (CASP program), Andreas and Costas who supported the event. Click to learn more »
Five young women from Moyale, Kenya—BoldLeaders all—and their best BoldLeader Principal, Ms. Marta Guyo, created three projects to impact their school and community that sits astride the Ethiopian and Kenyan boarder in the far north of Kenya. All three of the projects enlisted the school’s entire population.
Project number one required Joyce, Fozia, Shinde, Fatuma and Amina to request support from the local government to plant 150 small trees with the intention to provide shade for the community in the future. This project had a strong learning component to it, and not until the follow up workshops in Nairobi was the team introduced to methods, using resources at hand they had not considered, that allowed them the confidence to complete this project.
Project number two required the girls to present an idea to the school population regarding the value for them to keep the school clean. Up to that point, most trash was discarded by simply dropping it on the ground. The team took old “jerry cans” with holes in them, (large buckets to carry water in the desert climate), and the team cut them to create “dust bins” (trash receptacles), for each classroom to use to keep the school grounds clean. After the conference in Nairobi, the girls also became aware of what they could compost to support the growth of their trees.
Project number three (pictured above), had the girls from the school cleaning and beautifying the central market street of Moyale. Once again, after the Nairobi conference, the young women became aware of potential assets that could help with the clean up including water bottles to help establish a slow water system for the trees and plastic to capture moisture. This project also inspired the municipality government to agree to spend more effort on keeping the market clean.
Four young ladies, Lynn Kemunto, Christine Odegi, Hafsa Mahboub, and Sharon Cherop, and the principal of Precious Blood Secondary Girls School in Nairobi, Ms. Jacinta Akatsa, joined the BoldLeader team as part of a U.S. State Department funded project during the winter of 2007.
Upon their return to Nairobi, the team set out to transform the culture of the school by impacting the Prefects, the group of students that maintain order at their boarding school of over 600 female students. Odegi and Lynn, both Prefects at the time, were the immediate conduit to the Prefect team of 40 girls. They started by introducing the practices and concepts of the BoldLeaders program, along with creating workshops to be delivered to all in-coming students. Hafsa, as a 3rd Form student and Sharon, as a 1st Form, participated in the design and delivery of the workshops. The girls, along with a teacher at the school, created a book of their experiences and lessons learned while in Denver. The book is now used as a resource for incoming students. The practice of doing workshops for incoming students has been passed down to this day. For the first time in 2011, the workshops will be led by students that have not done the BoldLeaders program, but have been trained by others: a legacy passed on.
Sharon, who would become the 2009-10 Head Girl of the school, has now just graduated as one of the top students. Ms. Odegi is a student at the United World College In Singapore. Lynn is a university student in Kenya and does radio broadcasts, and Hafsa is a first year university student in England. This is a great example of the multiplier effect of the BoldLeaders program. Since 2007, Precious Blood Girls School has become one of the top schools in Kenya.
In December of 2010, five teens from the Pastoralist Samburu tribe of North Central Kenya arrived in Denver as part of the BoldLeader project. Coming from an area of the world with no electricity, a culture that moves constantly, and where women are rarely formally educated, the program has had a profound effect on them. By the end of three weeks, the teens, along with their girl's school principal, had designed a project to use, test, and measure success around a sustainable funding program for school fees, supplies and increased study time.
Mr. Stephen Katsaros, inventor of the Nokero solar light bulb (www.nokero.com), presented the team with 48 Nokero N100 solar lights. The teens used the lights to expand the production time of the community's jewelry and clothing businesses, as well as extend study time for the boys and girls schools. Proceeds from the business will be used to pay school fees for both schools.
Above, the team presents their plan to the Youth Ventures Program (www.genv.net), Young Global Change Makers of the Ashoka Foundation (www.ashoka.org/). The Samburu team would be selected by the committee and recommended for funding after implementing several of their recommendations.
There are a lot of ways you can get involved and stay in touch with BoldLeaders. Take a bold step by volunteering, joining the conversation, or applying for a project.