A loan of $500 helped to purchase a laptop for his studies.


Ghassane's story

Ghassane is an 18-year-old full-time student at African Leadership Academy (ALA), a two-year pre-university program in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a mission to identify, develop, and connect Africa’s future leaders.

He was selected as one of 95 ALA students out of a pool of over 3,000 applicants from across the continent for his passion for public service, his commitment to Africa, and his demonstrated leadership potential to lead change in Africa and beyond.

Ghassane is applying for a loan of $500, which will enable him to purchase a laptop to conduct assignments and research, to run his community service project and/or student run business which forms part of the ALA curriculum, and to participate fully in the world-class program offered by ALA.

Ghassane comes from Casablanca, Morocco, where he lives with his parents and two siblings.

With an insatiable quest for knowledge, Ghassane is passionate about reading. “What I am most passionate about is reading,” he says. “For every book I read, for every story I finish, it is as though I am dreaming; the birth of another me who knows more than the old me; it is the greatest gift that the universe can offer humans,” he explains.

Recognizing the enormous benefit that a love of books can have on youth development, Ghassane decided to imbue his passion for reading onto his classmates and founded a reading club at school. The reading club allowed students to trade books with one another. Over and above the educational value of being a part of the reading club, Ghassane realized that the reading club provided a place of safety for certain students after school. Ghassane has always been incredibly community oriented and is passionate about making a difference.

In response to the high rate of road deaths in Morocco, a new road code of conduct was released. Ghassane made it a personal mission to raise awareness about the code. With the help of his father, who is a driving school instructor, Ghassane designed flyers to explain the new laws and convinced his friends to help him distribute them in the city.

Ghassane is particularly sensitive towards others and displayed great courage when he decided to interview prostitutes in Morocco for a research assignment to investigate their reasons for being in the profession. Despite the fact that this topic was considered taboo, Ghassane recognised the importance of considering the perspectives of people from different walks of society and trying to understand what circumstances led them to select their profession, in the hope of someday being able to address the root cause of the problem. Ghassane is also passionate about music which he says “permits the musician to share what is within them with the audience.”



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