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MPNA Goals, Nonprofit Administration, Africa

December 22, 2013

I was born and raised in Sierra Leone and now reside in Minnesota. I hold a B.Sc. degree in Human Services (Disability Studies) awarded by XXU in 2010. I also hold a teaching certificate, awarded by a prestigious teacher training institution in Sierra Leone.

 A brutal civil war erupted in my country in 1991 and lasted for 11 years. The war left 50,000 dead and many thousands of traumatized orphans, displaced people and youthful ex-combatants. My goal in applying for this program is to enable me to begin the work of the ‘Sierra International Youth Agricultural Development Organization’ (SIYADO) of which I am the founder. I have conceived this non-profit organization to equip needy young people in Sierra Leone with agricultural knowledge and skills to enable them to earn a living, to assist in the economic advancement of the country and to enable it to become self-sufficient in food production.  

 My early background involved work in Sierra Leonean agriculture, formal study of the subject and in teaching agricultural science. This forms a very good basis for providing the kind of assistance that I envisage. However I recognize that I shall require knowledge and skills that I currently lack to enable me to formulate and implement viable strategies. I also need advanced management and financial skills to move towards my goals. I have carefully considered the program outcomes of the MPNA program and regard them as being an extremely good ‘fit’ for my identified needs to enable me to provide really effective help to the people who are my target clients.

 I was one of five siblings to parents who were subsistence farmers. Our own labor was the source of the funds required to pay for our education. We worked evenings and weekends and struggled to find the time to do our homework. In spite of these obstacles, I was the first student at my school to be awarded a ‘Division One’ result by the West African Examination Council. Being unable to afford the cost of college fees, I returned to my school to teach in order to save the funds. After two years, I was able to commence studies at a teachers’ training college. After obtaining a Higher Teacher’s Certificate in Agricultural Science, I taught for almost eleven years in different schools in Sierra Leone. I believe that this background provides evidence of diligence, intelligence, self-reliance and determination that will enable me to excel in the program.

 I migrated to the US in 1997 having won the right to do so in the Diversity Immigrant Lottery. I found myself, once again, unable to fund the education I wanted and so joined the US army to earn and accumulate such funds.  I have served for over 12 years in the Army and National Guard and reached the rank of supply sergeant. This service has equipped me with a disciplined and well ordered approach to work together with experience of managing a team.  

 I genuinely regard myself as being an excellent candidate for the program. I obtained a good GPA score in my Bachelor degree studies and have an excellent academic record generally. I have an interesting background that has some relevance to the program and will enable me to ‘add value’ to my class. I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people of many cultural and social backgrounds. Most importantly I am passionate in my desire to obtain the skills and knowledge that the program offers and offer, in return, a commitment of enthusiastic and diligent participation and a determination to excel within it.  

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