VOTING PERIOD (24 HOUR PERIOD): THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 STARTING AT 7:00 A.M. CST TO FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 @ 7:00 A.M. CST
Community Leadership Finalists
Rosemond Sarpong Owens
Nominated by Patrick Plonski
To Vote for Rosemond Owens: Text “Serengeti” to 24587READ MORE
I am honored to nominate Rosie Owens for the Community Leadership Award as part of The African Awards program. This nomination is made in recognition of Rosie’s work for Books For Africa. Books For Africa is the world’s largest shipper of donated books to the Africa continent. Since 1988 we have shipped over 39 million books to 49 Africa countries. We are based in St. Paul, Minnesota with a large warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia. Last year alone we shipped 2.4 million books and 1.5 million digital books valued at $33 million to 21 countries. Our goal is to end the book famine in Africa. We collect donated books from across the world in our warehouses in St. Paul and Atlanta, where these books are sorted by volunteers. Books are then sent to partners in Africa, often organized by African diaspora members and groups, where they are distributed to schools, universities, and libraries.
Rosie Owens has served for six years as President of our board of directors from 2014-2015. She has also served as our Master of Ceremonies at our annual fundraising luncheon in St. Paul for several years. In this capacity, she has managed the fundraising luncheon and conducted the request for donations. Several weeks ago, with the Mozambique Ambassador to the U.S. as the keynote speaker, Rosie’s ask for donations resulted in a grand total of $100,000 in sponsorships, cash donations, and pledges being raised at this event. Rosie has also hosted an annual Ghanaian dinner fundraiser in St. Cloud, Minnesota that has resulted in funds being raised to ship containers of books to Ghana. Rosie is a dynamic presence at our fundraising events, and a real crowd pleaser!
I am nominating Rosie Owens for this award because I believe that she demonstrates so well how a member of the African diaspora living in the United States can positively affect change in her home country of Africa. Rosie has been a tremendous leader for Books For Africa — leading our board, leading our fundraising events, and showing the way for other members of the African diaspora how to be a positive force. Rosie also gives tremendous credibility to Books For Africa. As an African woman, when she indicates that our mission of getting books to schools, universities, and libraries across Africa is adding value, it has credibility. She has also given solid advice serving on our board of directors regarding how Books For Africa can better serve our recipients in Africa. I believe that she has inspired other Books For Africa board members and other members of the African diaspora through her example. Others have seen how she has performed, and been inspired to do similar work. It is my honor to nominate Rosemond Owens for the Community Leadership Award. I have enjoyed working with her over the past six years and I recommend and nominate her without reservation.
Lyna Mokeira Nyamwaya
Nominated by Jackie Ongechi, Self & Others
To Vote for Lyna Mokeira Nyamwaya: Text “Lalibela” to 24587READ MORE
I am nominating myself because I fit the description of this category. I am a mother who wants to provide the best opportunities for my kids. I have served in many committees from schools, to counties to advisory teams. I love reading and learning new information. I love sharing information especially with my fellow immigrants. I believe when you know better you do better. Most of us didn’t have the tools to maneuver the system when we came to the USA. Therefore, we struggled through education etc. Now that we know better, through mentoring others, they will find it easier to navigate the system and come out better. That is why I founded the African Nurses Network, whose mission is to empower professionals to do provide resources for underserved populations. I would be honored to receive this award in order to use it as an inspiration tool to motivate and give hope to others.
Lyna is a Kenyan-American registered nurse who is a superb leader. She has led community public health education forums from churches to community centers. Lyna is a mentor of the youth, an inspirational preceptor of her peers, and loves partnering with different corporations to bring about positive change. Lyna is the founder and president of The African Nurses Network(TANN), whose goal is to empower nurses and other professionals to create and provide resources to the underserved populations. As an immigrant, Lyna is resilient in her superb leadership, and for the first time just led a very successful gala with 200 attendees from very diverse backgrounds. Lyna emphasizes unity is power and this has been demonstrated in her leadership. Lyna’s actions deserve this award.
Nominated by Mr. Disrh
To Vote for Isaak Rooble: Text “Griot” to 24587READ MORE
I am nominating Mr. Isaak Rooble. The Executive Director of the Somali American National Institute and chair of the Somali American Annual Community dinner. Mr. Rooble is a well-respected visionary leader who works hard to uplift his community and the people of color at large. The last five years I have known Mr. Rooble, I witnessed firsthand his dedication and resourceful to fight against racial disparity in many areas including health, socio-economic, employment, and housing.
Throw out his career, Mr. Rooble served on various boards and committees to promote and advocate for the interest of the Somali American community and the African community at large. He is a role model, tireless leader, selflessness friend, and passionate community advocate. I hope you will honor and recognize his work as he does for many every year.
Business of the Year Finalists
Nominated by Caroline Wanga
To Vote for Asiya: Text “Giza” to 24587READ MORE
Today, it is estimated that Muslim girls are participating in sports at half the rate of their peers. Research has shown that one of the major barriers to participation is a lack of clothing and sports uniform options that allow Muslim girls to participate in sports while upholding their religious and cultural beliefs.
Fatimah Hussein and Jamie Glover are no strangers to the positive impacts of sports. They saw this limited participation as a missed opportunity for valuable personal development and leadership experience.
The story starts in the Brian Coyle Community Center gym in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis where founder Fatimah Hussein has been helping young Muslim girls gain access to sports and physical activity for the past decade. She founded a non-profit program – G.I.R.L.S. (Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports) – to create girls-only gym time several nights a week.
As the girls gained self-confidence and a love of sports, they wanted athletic uniforms and apparel that let them compete in public while upholding their religious and cultural beliefs.
In 2015, Fatimah collaborated with the Cedar-Riverside community and the University of Minnesota to develop prototype basketball uniforms. It was soon realized that a line of sports hijabs would create many more opportunities for girls to participate and grow through team play.
In response, Fatima and Jamie launched ASIYA, a company with the mission of creating innovative active wear that is easy to move in, to play in, to compete in, and honors and encourages Muslim women of all ages to experience a new level of confidence, cultural integrity, comfort, and health.
While the fashion industry has begun to develop apparel for the nearly 900m Muslim girls and women around the world, active wear has largely gone unaddressed. A fact that is highlighted in the response to ASIYA’s products.
Since launch, ASIYA has seen success on and off the field. They received $65k in awards from the MN Cup 2016 competition and raised over $38k on Kickstarter. In March 2017 they launched an eCommerce store which saw over $10k in sales in the first month. However, the real community impact is seen in the realization of the inspiration that started it all. Today, two high schools have ordered custom products for their athletic programs and over 500 girls and women worldwide are playing sports and staying healthy in ASIYA sports hijabs.
As a participant in the Target Takeoff program, we have been inspired by Asiya’s story and commitment to providing access to an under-served population. Target Takeoff is a three month retail accelerator, starting with a mini retail boot camp week at Target headquarters in Minneapolis. The focus of our first Target Takeoff program supported emerging businesses creating inclusive, sustainable products and solutions that help consumers live better.
Not only is ASIYA creating an incredible product they are uniting their community through accessibility to sports and empowering Muslim girls and women to experience positive personal development and leadership opportunities.
Others are taking notice. Companies such as American Eagle and Nike are entering the market. In March 2017, Nike announced they will be releasing a sport hijab in 2018. However, with ASIYA’s product already on the field, many are supporting the brand for its authenticity: By Muslim Women for Muslim Women and made in the USA.
There are many more wins ahead for the ASIYA team. It is clear that their grit and determination to create a product with truly positive impact on the local, national and global level is here to stay. That is why Target is nominating them for the African Business of the Year Award.
Iya Foods: iyafoods.com
Nominated by Target Corporation
To Vote for Iya Foods: Text “Amboseli” to 24587READ MORE
With intense flavors, African food is as rich and delicious as it is multicultural. Together, Toyin Kolawole and the team at Iya Foods have created an authentic African inspired food business built to share those flavors with the world.
Beginning in May of 2017, we’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Iya Foods as a participant in the first year of our Target Takeoff program. Target Takeoff is a three month retail accelerator, starting with a mini retail boot camp week at Target headquarters in Minneapolis. The focus of our first Target Takeoff program is supporting emerging businesses that are creating inclusive, sustainable products and solutions that help consumers live better. With their commitment to sharing African inspired foods, which are produced in a certified organic and environmentally friendly facility in the United States, it was clear that Iya Foods was a perfect fit for our program.
Located in Illinois, Toyin credits her inspiration for Iya Foods to her early exposure to the food industry while working at her family’s numerous entrepreneurial ventures including a local fast food business offering meat pies & pastries in Nigeria.
Today, ethnic foods are growing in popularity in the United States. The trend is fueled by increasing consumer demand for bolder flavors and quality foods. To answer that call, Iya Foods has developed authentic African inspired healthy food with distinctive flavors.
Iya Foods’ product offerings have grown to include savory spices and seasonings, simmer sauces, gluten free flours, and dried hibiscus. More than just authentic flavors, Iya’s founder Toyin has described food as one of the first invitations you can issue to experience a new culture. Priced competitively, Iya Foods strives to apply the best global standards from pre-planting with the farmers they work with all the way through production. The result is affordable, authentic, and better-for-the-world inspired foods.
When building a start-up company, the hard work never ends. It takes thoughtful and strategic planning to grow and that’s just what Iya Foods has done. When developing their products, Toyin knew that a single product offering would limit exposure in stores and ultimately reduce traction for company growth. Iya Foods worked quickly to expand their product line early on, which allowed them to secure shelf space in higher trafficked store areas. Today, they have grown their product offerings from 2 to over 25 products. Their simmer sauces are top of the category in a major supermarket and nearly all of their items are in the top 25 of its store category, ahead of several well-known national brands. In addition, Walmart announced recently that they will carry Iya products in 300 stores.
Toyin and the team at Iya Foods continue towards their goal of delivering high-quality, authentic African foods to consumers. That passion, drive and focus on creating these unique food experiences is why Target is nominating Iya Foods for the African Business of the Year award.
RuvaAfric Wear: ruvaAfricwear.com
Nominated by Sanna Lee
To Vote for RuvaAfric Wear: Text “Nimba” to 24587READ MORE
Sylvester is the designer behind RuvaAfric Wear, a brand that seeks to be a source of authentic African fashion and art. The clothing is personally designed by Sylvester and reflects African flair and detailed finishing touches. RuvaAfric Wear pays above market value prices for their products that come from Africa because they care for their suppliers and their families’ well-being. They also participate in “profit sharing” with their African suppliers, either through paying above market value upfront or by sharing profits with them after the products have been sold.
Friend of the Community Award Finalists
Nominated by Lacey Kraft
To Vote for Paula Meyer: Text “Kilwa” to 24587READ MORE
Paula Meyer is a leader people follow enthusiastically and unquestioningly while considering themselves lucky to be in her orbit. In 2007 Meyer founded Friends of Ngong Road (FONR) with the mission to provide education and support to children living in poverty in Kenya whose families are affected by HIV/AIDS so they can transform their lives. Meyer retired early from her successful corporate career, dedicated the next chapter of her life’s work to helping children in Kenya, and has not looked back. Today over 500 Kenyan children have had the chance at an education who otherwise would not have.
Meyer advocates for social justice and has impeccable integrity. She is extraordinarily compassionate with one of the most remarkable and infectious, big laughs. One of the first women to serve as finance chair of a major U.S. Senate campaign, Meyer earned her M.B.A. from Wharton Business School. She rose to senior positions at Ameriprise and now serves on corporate boards in the financial sector. She is humble, radically egalitarian, and uninterested in visible displays of wealth. She is a passionate advocate for the children and families in Kenya served by the program, whose lives are transformed because of her work.
Meyer’s unique contribution is that she brings her business acumen to problem solving, a determination to use metrics and evidence to guide decision-making, and a drive to work toward worthwhile and achievable goals. Under her leadership, educational milestones are monitored to best support student success towards employment:
8th grade exam: for the past 8 years FONR students have outperformed their Kenyan peers, granting them admission to higher quality high schools.
High school transition: FONR students transition at rates higher than 92% versus 77% in Kenya at large.
High school graduation: More than 95% of FONR students successfully graduate.
Employment: 53% of FONR post-secondary graduates have jobs. 26% are interns or volunteers. Unemployment in the formal Kenyan economy is estimated at 40%.
In 2017, a new alumni caseworker was hired to support Meyer’s short-term vision for 75% of graduates to be gainfully employed by 2018. Her exceptional integrity, vision, positivity, and charisma is the magic glue that has built FONR and will continue to support the Kenyan FONR community.
Meyer has helped teach people to fish rather than giving them a fish, enabling them to be agents of transformation in their communities. The wrap-around services and deep emotional connections among board members, sponsors, caseworkers, graduates and students creates extraordinary success. Winning this award would enable Meyer and FONR to not just sustain the work and help start bringing it to scale, but demonstrate to others that we have the collective capacity to solve the most intractable worldwide problems. The children of Kenya in the program radiate the most capacious hope. What a gift to the world for these troubled times.
Black Storytellers Alliance
Nominated by Makeda ZuluGillespie
To Vote for Black Storytellers Alliance: Text “Gao” to 24587READ MORE
The Black Storytellers Alliance (BSA) is a non profit organization dedicated to nurturing the African and non-African community through the power of the oral tradition as practiced by African people in the Diaspora. The mission is to maintain the art of storytelling as a primary source for positive instruction and reinforcement of the rich beauty embodied in the telling of “the story!
For over 40 years these tellers have actively engaged to reignite these seven principles: Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Creativity, Faith and Purpose. Nothando Zulu is a Master Storyteller, a designation not given lightly. She and her husband have worked diligently and tirelessly to bring other Master Storytellers from around the nation and world to expose Minnesota children and families to this rich and life giving tradition. The Friday concert given annually during the Signifyin’ and Testifyin’ festival has reach over 25,000 school-aged children from the twin cities and surrounding suburbs. Those concerts have been held at the Children’s Theatre, Macalester College and the University of Minnesota. Friday night there is a tradition of prevarication; the liars contest usually held at the Elks lodge one of the oldest fraternities within Minneapolis. It is here where regular folks come to test their storytelling abilities to be judged by national master storytellers. This festival is family friendly and free to the public. The founders have in the past taken money out of their home to ensure the continuation of the festival when funding and donations were low.
The founders understand the power of story. Anansi, the Eagle and the Signifying monkey have all spoken to the inner struggles of children from many backgrounds. Harambee, an organization the working to support European parents with African children with the children at the center, have not missed a festival. Harambee along with other educational and cultural organizations bring BSA in to give workshops using story, affirmation curriculum and wisdom. Both of the founders are septuagenarians. They have trained in the South, Canada, Saint Thomas V.I. and at least three countries in Africa: Ghana, Sudan and South Africa.
Both Vusumuzi and Nothando Zulu live their mission. They have spent over 50 years fighting for the rights, dignity, unity and freedom of African people. Vusumuzi was born in Saint Louis Missouri, Nothando was born in Franklin, Virginia, and their migration to Minnesota illuminated the need for Africans to be unified in creating space for collective work and cooperative economics. They have used their stories infused with stories from the diaspora to fan the flame of hope, determination and creativity in finding one’s path to purpose.
The Mshale Friend of the Community Award would be an affirmation of the years of work done to lift up a community for which they along with you belong and love with all of their being. Thank you for considering this nomination.
Nominated by Ngeri Nnachi
To Vote for Artika Tyner: Text “Ganvie” to 24587READ MORE
Dr. Artika Tyner is more than a leader and a mentor; she is a blessing. She stands out because she does not care for the surface level type of connection with those that she encounters, but cares to plant herself in your life to assist you with whatever it is you may need. She is the personification of a servant leader. She does an amazing job of meeting people, and connecting them to other people who can push their gifts further. She has published two books that push us to break our limitations of thought on the construct of leadership. She creates and pushes narratives that offer up the belief that we are all leaders, and have already existing gifts to use.
In 2014, Dr. Tyner founded her organization, “Planting People, Growing Justice Leadership Institute” which inspires everyday people to seek out the leader within and lead change around the world. Through her work, she has touched the lives of many, in helping them actualize the leader within them, and make an impact in their local communities. In her travels, she has taught principles of leadership, diversity and inclusion by challenging our common perceptions of leadership that tend to idolize individuals, and promoting a village mentality, where we can see one another as all possessing leadership qualities. Dr. Tyner has hosted Constitution Day, where she speaks to many throughout the Twin Cities and beyond to ensure that they can be their best advocates by being equipped with the information they need to know their rights. In 2015, she hosted Constitution Day in the Somali community. In 2016, Dr. Tyner also hosted a community law training in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center and Federation of Somali Community. Dr. Tyner also went to Ghana in 2016 and provided leadership development training in Senchi Ferry in partnership with the Ghana Scholarship Fund. Dr. Tyner will be heading back to Ghana in July for the Literacy Empowerment Action Project. Dr. Tyner traveled to Tanzania and provided leadership develop resources to the students of the University of Arusha. Dr. Tyner has also worked with Dr. Gbenga in Nigeria to create a civil rights clinic that is focused on social justice lawyering.
Her lens of community extends to anyone that she encounters. She sees us all as connected and embodies the reality of Ubuntu in every facet of what she does. Ubuntu is an African proverb that essentially says that “I am because we are”. It enforces a village lens, where we have an understanding of no one being just one person, but actually being all people. Dr. Tyner uses this to ensure that the communities in Minnesota and beyond hold one another accountable in being inclusive for all.
Minnesota is known as the second worst state for black people to live in. She takes that reality by the horns every single day in furthering initiatives that promote inclusion and representation for those in her community. She hosts events that bring diverse Authors to do readings with and promotes literacy. Diverse books promote cultural awareness, multiculturalism, and self identity and Dr. Tyner is currently fundraising to raise money to deliver her own children’s book to 1,000 children across the globe. This book will transform the ability of many children (as well as adults) to see themselves as a part of a larger, caring community. They will find inspiration in the stories that are being told about others who used what was in their hands to make an impact in their little world, which extended to many others. She recognized a need in all communities, decided to fill it herself and is calling upon the community to assist in making these goals real. Her ability to assess situations holistically, in seeing how she can contribute and how she can assist others in making their own contributions is one of her many gifts.
Dr. Tyner has also collaborated with Books for Africa, which is an organization that sends books to African countries. Dr. Tyner volunteers and supports the Law and Democracy project to advance the rule of law and inspire future attorneys in Africa.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton also recently appointed Dr. Tyner to Young Women’s Council to help further initiatives that promote inclusion and leadership for all women in Minnesota. Dr. Tyner provides leadership development and coaching for small business owners in the Twin Cities. Most recently, Dr. Tyner supported the efforts that sustain AJ International Mall in Little Africa within St. Paul, Minnesota.
Her organization, Planting People Growing Justice has already taken off in great ways in creating a positive impact for all that encounter it. Dr. Tyner has leveraged her platform of leadership to expand the lenses and views of potential for many across the globe including students in China, Ghana and Tanzania. She prompts the question, “What is in your hands to make a difference?”, and answers that question for herself in a plethora of ways. I am so proud of the work that is being done and look forward to watching her literacy project jump start here in the Twin Cities and finish out in Ghana.
African Non-Profit of the Year Finalists
Global Fatherhood Foundation: gffmentor.org
Nominated by Samuel Mwangi
To Vote for Global Fatherhood Foundation: Text “Nile” to 24587READ MORE
“My life in America is a like a cup of tea mixed with salt” An immigrant father who lost badly in a divorce case once told GFF. The pain of separation from his children was devastating. He believed he was a good father with no voice. A constant reminder he was in bondage. At GFF we changed his life.
GFF, a non-profit, based in Brooklyn Park was founded to create opportunities, reduce fatherhood disparities, and help fathers (immigrant) with their unexpected transition to fatherhood or settling in a new environment by offering some guidance to meeting daily life challenges from an experienced coach, and a role model and make men voices heard. 3 years later, GFF legacy continues as more people trust the knowledge and experience of GFF advocate for information, community engagement, fatherhood involvement, advocacy, and education.
At GFF we feel this nomination will open more opportunities for engagement and awareness. As communities diversify and evolve working together, we also carry on our longstanding commitment to public policy changes that impact fatherhood. Fatherhood as a community asset is experiencing a social paradigm. Fatherhood is undergoing tremendous shifts in living standards, working conditions, children up bring, legal laws, education, and failure to fit in a more permissive society.
While working alongside fathers and community partners to address issues that impact fathers that include: isolation from African culture, racism, divorce, loss of dignity and lack of respect, unfavorable immigration policy, difficulty in locating housing and jobs, work discrimination and access to service our board of directors invested in the sustainability of our mission by advancing the factors that make GFF unique:
Experience and knowledge to serve and engage fathers of all cultures in our communities.
Collaboration with partners to engage fathers in community’s discussion, protect fatherhood and full inclusion.
Engage fathers in children education by attending PTO meetings
Engage fathers in racial disparities conversations and police profiling
Understanding Women empowerment—redefinition of woman role and independence from their husbands. Conflict in the household decision as result change in income and college education.
GFF deserves this pivotal nomination. We have almost 6000 members in our fatherhood Facebook group community, and our GFF Page has almost 16,000 likes. Fatherhood goes past intercultural. At GFF we want immigrant fathers to be part of a group with intervention around. From a purely secular standpoint, the health of a society can be measured by the vitality of fatherhood. Across the board, most fatherless families are most likely to be in poverty and children by definition vulnerable.
Nonetheless, the GFF, the core idea was formed to promote a social change by addressing some social problems towards what men especially immigrant men go through, and raise awareness.
The fatherhood transformation is going across barriers and different cultures in order to strive we have to work together. As fathers, we have an enormous duty and wisdom to pass to the next generation. Our goal in community engagement is constantly changing to fit the needs of the community. Below are highlight of our achievement.
Living in Diaspora has challenges for immigrant fathers. As a whole there is a compelling need for an organization whose sole focus is to inspire, mentor, empower, and support gender equity in this area. Global Fatherhood Foundation meets that criteria. We have a passion to succeed and partner. Doing nothing is not an option. Fatherhood is derailed by losing identity and by bringing all fathers together we have an enormous duty and wisdom to pass to the next generation.
Finally, you will agree with me the fatherhood transformation is going across barriers and different cultures in order to strive we have to work together. As fathers we have an enormous duty and wisdom to pass to the next generation Going forward we will be collaborating with our partners in the formation of Minnesota Fatherhood Advisory Board to push for fatherhood rights and paternal leave.
Mercy International Mission: mercyim.org
Nominated by Thompson Olaniran Fadirepo
To Vote for Mercy International Mission: Text “Suez” to 24587READ MORE
I am nominating Mercy International Mission because of it’s mission statement that reads: “Our mission is to provide access to basic health care services for everyone, especially women, children and the elderly, regardless of ability to pay to improve the quality of life in South Western Nigeria”
Mercy International Mission is a non-profit entity established in 2009 as a 501 (C) (3) organization in the United States, with the vision to Foster hope and improve lives.
Mercy International Mission USA and Mercy International Mission Nigeria exist to reduce the disease and mortality rates in Nigeria. This is done through the provisional of essential medical care, preventive health services and health education; to strengthen local communities by facilitating self-development activities; and to improve overall quality of life for the children, women and elderly in the region.
The Village of hope which is the name giving to the Land acquired for this a multi-stage project focused on providing medical care , community services and farming to the people of Osi- Ekiti and the surrounding twenty villages. The Village of Hope’s construction began in 2016. The Village will include a health clinic, Lab and diagnostic center, pharmacy, community center and will house the mobile vans.
Short-term Medical Mission every year.
Mercy International Mission organizes and sponsors a medical mission to Nigeria every year since 2011.
Each year, we have up to 15 volunteers that travel with us from the United States and over 60 volunteers from Nigeria. The volunteers comprise of doctors, nurses, physical therapist, lab technicians, counselors, youth workers and others that make this mission possible annually. The mission generally last five days and we attend to over 2,000 people during this five-day span.
Nominated by Nyeneweh (Missy) Mathis & Kofi Dosu
To Vote for Inner Hero: Text “Virunga” to 24587READ MORE
I am nominating The Inner Hero for the African Non-Profit Organization Award of the Year because of the amazing work they do to impact the they young generation in our community. Their mentorship program is one of a king, keeping the young people out the street, educating and giving them the tools necessary for a successful future. They just had a very successful community program (a basketball tournament) that brought the youth and the police department together and educating on how they can work together to make our community a better place to live.
I think The Inner Hero deserves to be awarded for the amazing work they do day in and day out in our community.
I have known Ambrose R. Russell for more than five years and his commitment to youth empowerment is exemplary. In my 10 years of being associated with community activities, I have never had the pleasure of meeting someone so passionate about youth development as Ambrose. The amount of time and energy he dedicates to the mentoring of disadvantage young people is remarkable and his efforts have led to the founding of an organization that seeks to improve the stock of young people – The Inner Hero. Not only has he grown the organization but he has also reengaged the entire northwest Parish in youth activities and provided us with many valuable services. I can’t say enough good things about Ambrose’s organizational ability, commitment, hard work and leadership.
He encourages the youths to take appropriate training and to become involved in their future. He is active in organizing and participating in fundraising activities. He insures that events are well-organized and inclusive.
I have no doubt or qualm that Ambrose and the non-profit he founded to improve the lives of young youth of color – The Inner Hero – is deserving of an Award as the “African Nonprofit Organization of the Year.” Please consider him for recognition.