Jeunesse Action, Inc. was launched by a group of Senegalese citizens who care about the future of the country and who see young people as its most valuable asset. We believe that the young people of Senegal — and the continent of Africa — can change the country’s and the continent’s trajectory. We therefore seek to invest in them and empower them to take charge of their future and the future of their communities. We believe that Senegal and Africa need young people to be at the forefront of solving the most pressing challenges of the continent.
Mamadou Ndiaye is a Program Director at JFF, a Boston-based organization working to drive economic advancement for all Americans by meeting employer needs preparing Americans for the future of work and ensuring equity in economic advancement. At JFF, Mamadou has served technical assistance director of Opportunity Works, a JFF/Aspen Institute Social Innovation Fund (SIF) initiative supporting a group of community collaboratives that are implementing Back on Track programming for youth and Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP), another Social Innovation Fund by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Mamadou currently leads JFF’s technical assistance provision in two key projects. The first one is the newly launched Google IT Support Professional Certificate being piloted by several US-based and international non-profit organizations to open up information technology jobs to low-income underrepresented communities and dislocated workers. The second one is the Youth Workforce Fund launched by Citi Foundation in fifteen communities across the US to prepare youth and young adults for family-sustaining careers.
Mamadou has more than 15 years of experience in strategy, program design, program management, and systems development in education and workforce development. He is also co-founder and board member of X-Cel Education Services Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit that helps adults enroll and succeed in postsecondary education. Mamadou holds a Bachelor of Science in management from Northeastern University and a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Reine Sylvie Manga
Coordinator, Pilot Program, Senegal
Sylvie Manga is 26 years old and is the coordinator of Jeunesse Action’s after school pilot program at Ecole Daroukhane Guediawaye, Dakar, Senegal.
Ms. Manga is from the Diola ethnic group from Zinguinchor in Casamance in southern Senegal also known as the most beautiful region of Senegal. That’s where she completed elementary, secondary and college education. Ms. Manga graduated high school with a concentration in experimental sciences at Lycée Djignabo of Ziguinchor in 2012. Then she went to Université Assane SECK of Ziguinhor in 2013 where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics and a Master’s degree on the impact of development policies. Ms. Manga chose that specialty because she has always wanted to get involved in the economic development of her country by contributing to the implementation effective policies which she sees as her contribution to help improve the people's wellbeing.
In a nutshell, her most important ambition is to create advancement opportunities for all, but especially young people and women.
Why Ms. Manga decided to work with Jeunesse Action
The coordinator job with Jeunesse Action is Ms. Manga's first official job after college. She decided to take it because of its social focus. She is committed to any work that seeks to help even one person to improve his or her life. When the work is about women and children, she gets especially excited.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, the educational level of kids in Senegal has been dropping each year and for various reasons. Working with Jeunesse Action is an opportunity for Ms. Manga to do something about it and to change it rather than simply talking about it or criticizing the system.
As a young woman, Ms. Manga wants to be a role model to inspire and motivate the kids and especially show the girls that with hard work and perseverance, that they can succeed and build a better future.
FOUNDING BOARD MEMBERS
Abdou Thiaw is a seasoned leader with experience in Finance, Education and Consulting. A dynamic Financial and Business Analyst, Abdou’s experience spans over 20 years across various industries and continents. Having spent most of his life in Senegal, he was always looking for a way to give back. Abdou believes that incremental change is the way forward for Senegal, and Jeunesse Action represents that. "What kids are experiencing today, I experienced 25-30 years ago," Abdou says; deeply identifying with Senegalese youth.
Previously Abdou worked as a Regional Financial Manager then Deputy Treasurer with SONATEL Orange the Telecommunications operator in Senegal. Abdou was a founding member of the faculty of ISEG Dakar a thriving private Business and Entrepreneurship School with 34 Campuses in Senegal.
Abdou is also a founding member of SOMINC, a nonprofit Senegalese organization in Massachusetts.
Abdou a holds DESCAE (M.A in Business Administration) from Ecole Superieure Polytechnique (ESP) of Dakar,Senegal and a Masters Degree in Financial Economics, from Boston University Boston, MA.
Papa Samba Diop
Papa Samba Diop is originally from Senegal. For the past 14 years, he has been working as the Education Unit Manager of the Boston Center for Youth and Families Perkins Community Center / Adult Learning Program. The center helps adults 16 years and older learn English, strengthen their basic skills, and earn an adult high school diploma equivalency.
Papa's vision for Jeunesse Action is to “strengthen what we have and expand it. Extend to other areas of Dakar and other parts of the country.” He is very familiar with the education system in Senegal having worked there as a teacher for a few years before immigrating to the United States.
Papa holds a master’s degree in educational administration, planning, and social policy (APSP) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, MA. Prior to that, he had earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dakar, Senegal. He is fluent in Wolof, French, English, and has a good working knowledge of Spanish.
Papa served as a board member of the Boston-based Senegalese Organization of Massachusetts (SOMINC) for about a decade. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of WAITT House, an adult education program in Boston.
Ibrahima Barry’s portfolio of skills include strategic planning, performance management, collaborative problem solving and data analytics. He brings a customer service mindset to any project he’s involved with and can communicate with people in English, French and Spanish. He is the current CEO and President of Bantare Solutions LLC, a consulting firm where he creates the strategic vision, provides financial stewardship and sets the tone for the organizational culture. In his current role, Ibrahima is responsible leading his organization toward growth and expansion by creating the strategic vision, developing a cohesive operational plan, recruiting the best and brightest individuals needed for his team, building the organizational culture and ensuring that the company delivers on its promises.
Ibrahima’s educational background includes a M.S. in Management from Lesley University, a B.A. in International Business from the University of Gaston Berger and an Associate’s Degree from Quincy College.
Outside of work, Ibrahima is very busy with community service and spending time with his family. He is the founding member and Vice President of the Senegalese Organization of Massachusetts (SOMINC) and a Board Member at the Lee Academy Pilot School. Ibrahima coaches his children’s youth soccer team and mentors students in programs at Dorchester and Suffolk University.
Rachel Kantrowitz has a longstanding interest and background in education in West Africa. She holds a PhD in African History and completed her dissertation on education in Senegal and Benin. Rachel also taught international and comparative education courses at Brown University, which is what brought her to Rhode Island, where eventually she met Mamadou. After Brown, she was the Managing Editor of The Journal of African History.
Following her stint in academia, Rachel first worked in public health communications. She now combines her research skills with her interest in health. Rachel is currently the founder of Spark Insights, LLC, where she does user research for a range of health, biotech, and medical device clients. She also edits, indexes, and translates academic manuscripts.
Rachel has been involved with the organization since 2018. Serving as a strategic advisor, she helped develop the first pilot program. She also works on the website, newsletter, and other outreach efforts.