Step Up Now Brings Leadership Wisdom to Rwandan Women

Susan S Freeman Blog

I am so excited to tell you that I have donated copies of my book, “Step Up Now:  21 Powerful Principles for People Who Influence Others” to 130 students at the Akilah Institute in Rwanda.  I met the founder, Elizabeth Dearborn Davis, who is from Tampa, three years ago, when she spoke to a group of professional women about her mission.

AkilahAkilah “empowers young women in East Africa to transform their lives by equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to find meaningful employment and launch ventures in the fastest growing sectors of the economy.”

I clearly remember being “inspired beyond words” so I’ve been contributing to the school since its founding.

The long term vision is to develop a model of transformational business education and career development for young women that will be replicated through a network of campuses across Africa.

Leadership programI had the opportunity to visit Africa last fall where I fell in love with the people and possibilities, and vowed to return there to work.  Upon publication of my book, I contacted Ms. Davis and offered to send the books to Akilah’s budding young leaders.

Apparently, Akilah students are already taking their place as future leaders of their country.  Three young women have been elected to public office, one is a Human Rights Advocate and will work with the U.N., several others are entrepreneurs.

Akilah has been recognized recently with a $120,000 grant from the Packard Foundation as the winner from Rwanda; one is awarded in each East African Country

My hope is to use my experience to co-create a model leadership development curriculum to build upon what the students have learned and add my own unique expertise by delivering it personally.

For more information on how you can help, the link is


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