JumpStart is an Educational Program that teaches 15-19 Year Olds to Become Their Own Bosses

What if youths across Africa could learn entrepreneurial leadership skills by the time they leave school? Across Africa, students leave school without the basic learning skills that they, and their countries, desperately need to escape the gravitational pull of mass poverty. This explains why even though Africa is the most youthful continent in the world, 70% of the working-age population is unemployed.

JumpStart Academy Africa is an impact social venture which seeks to solve Africa’s human capital problem by providing secondary school students between the ages of 15 and 19 with entrepreneurial leadership training.

Using the principles of ethical leadership and entrepreneurship, Jumpstart Academy Africa is teaching secondary school students 21st century skills so that they can innovate across different sectors. We teach students to be job creators as opposed to the old rhetoric of job seekers.

Jumpstart Academy’s Adopt-A-School Program has 3 main components. First, a 2 year Leadership and Entrepreneurship training enables students to cultivate 21st century skills, with an emphasis on employment opportunities, enterprise creation, community engagement and civic responsibility. Second, Jumpstart Academy offers mentoring in which students are paired with university students and professionals who guide them through the transition from secondary to tertiary education environments and support through the challenges they face in starting enterprises and community initiatives as well as in their personal lives. Finally, tutoring sessions improve learning outcomes of students measured by performance at school and national examinations

Founded by Madelle Kangha, in 2014, JumpStart Academy Africa has trained over 500 students, impacting them in the areas of Academic Excellence, Civic Engagement and Enterprise Creation. The Academy has also reached over 5000 students through community outreach programs and summer camps.

Their goal however is to reach over 17,000 young people in and they have a strategic top down approach with a goal to advocate local government to incorporate components of their model into the national education system by 2020. They believe governments have a key role to play in transforming the education system and they are already building partnerships and networks with the local government. They have already had several meetings with the Commissioner of Education for Oyo State who has endorsed their work officially.

In recognition of her work with JumpStart Academy Africa, Madelle has been featured by Forbes as “Innovative Africans fixing a broken Education System”. She has also received awards and recognition from the Queens Young Leaders, American Express Emerging Innovators, Ashoka Changemakers, One Young World and Vital Voices. She was recently named as one of the 50 Most Influential Young Cameroonians 2016 by Avance Media Africa in the Personal Development & Academia Category.

Madelle’s vision is to be a leading social entrepreneur, a mass recruiter of local change makers; a role model proving that citizens who channel their passion into action can achieve the impossible.

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About the Author: Vanessa Wacera

Nessa Shera is a lawyer and blogger who enjoys writing article pieces that generally mirror her own interests. As a writer Nessa’s short articles have appeared on several online publications. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and eating out.