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

Fatou's story

Fatou 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.

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

Fatou is applying for a loan of $500, which will enable her to purchase a laptop to conduct assignments and research, to run her 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.

Fatou was born in Thies, Senegal, and is one of a family of five.

Fatou is passionate about youth and feels strongly that the development of our continent lies with a group of committed and ambitious young leaders. “I hope to be a role model to African youth and motivate them to accelerate the continent’s development,” she says.

Fatou has excelled academically and received numerous prizes in math, English, and design. Fatou’s affinity for both math and design has inspired her to pursue a career in engineering once she graduates from ALA.

Fatou displays a deep-set passion for community service. When she noticed that her fellow students did not have anything to do during the holidays, she organized a day of fun activities for youth in her community. A founding member of a community youth association, Fatou approached parents in the community to urge them to join as members. The mission of this club was “the promotion and development of her neighbourhood through solidarity.”

Fatou was selected by her school’s excellence club to assist with planning a day of celebrating female role models in Thies, where she was able to meet and interact with local women leaders. This was a defining moment for Fatou, as she realized the significance that strong role models have on African youth.

Fatou is also very interested in art and organized an evening of dance in her community to bring together the adults and youth. “Man does not live by bread alone but he must also live for art which beautifies his life,” she says.

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