Mission: Akilah is a college that offers a unique model of market relevant education empowering graduates for success in careers and leadership roles. Akilah aims to build future generations of women leaders and professionals in east africa through the development of a network of campuses. Akilah will graduate 1,000 students by the year 2020.
Programs: Opened in 2010 in rwanda, akilah is an accredited college that offers diplomas in entrepreneurship, hospitality management, and information systems-the three highest-growth sectors of the east african economy. Akilah's market-relevant curriculum, developed in partnership with the private sector, transforms the lives of young women by empowering them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to find meaningful employment and to serve as leaders in their communities. From its initial program in hospitality management, akilah has expanded to include majors in entrepreneurship and information systems, the latter launching in 2013 with a commitment from the clinton global initiative. Growing from an inaugural class of 50 students, akilah has graduated 95 alumnae in two graduating classes and currently serves 355 students across two campuses in east africa. The second campus was opened in neighboring bujumbura, burundi in january 2014 with the help of a clinton global initiative commitment from the segal family foundation. Sixty-eight percent of akilah students are the first women in their families to attend college. Most enter timid and unsure of themselves, but graduate as determined, empowered, confident young women, ready to launch their careers and reinvest in their families and their country. Ninety percent of alumnae find jobs within six months of graduation, where they earn incomes that are five times more than the national average.
I was able to use what little talent I have to fund raise for Akilah. On Feb 9th, 2011, the Tampa Improv provided a wonderful venue where I, and fellow comedians, could tell jokes for an hour and a half. We kept the ticket price low ($10) in the hopes of gaining a bigger audience. The bigger the audience, the more ears that get to hear about this great charity. We were able to raise a little over a grand, but the awareness factor of the show may bring in greater returns for Akilah. The Akilah staff was very helpful and didn't have any directives - they just let us do our thing.