The Foundation For Tomorrow’s work is bolstered by the engagement of many different individuals. Our scholars and teachers provide a constant source of motivation, our staff works diligently towards our mission, our partners collaborate with us so that we can strengthen the quality of education in Tanzania, and our doers, door openers, and donors invest in us, strengthening our impact. This Friday, we are thanking our massive network of doers, door openers, and donors.
Our organization is surrounded by the love and support of people who have been influenced by TFFT and the students that we serve. Whether these individuals have spread awareness, raised funds, dedicated their time to volunteer, or used their talents for good, each effort has propelled TFFT’s mission further.
Today we are spotlighting three different members of the TFFT family, Michlene Healy, Cate Dupuy, and Ali Samadi, all who have supported us in different but equally impactful ways. These three individuals are just a few of many within our network who demonstrate a deep commitment to the advancement of our work. A belief in the importance of education fuels their drive and desire to support the scholars and teachers that we invest in. Michlene, one of our board members, has a professional background working in education management at Pearson, the renowned education publishing and assessment service based in London. Ali, founder of Project ABLE (Aid on Behalf of Education), immigrated to the United States with his parents in search of security and opportunity, including educational opportunity. He went on to earn a biomedical engineering degree from Duke and then a law degree from Georgetown. Cate, a high-school student in Charlotte, recognizes that education is a privilege not afforded to many. She serves as president of the TFFT club at Myers Park High School to raise funds and awareness within the community for Tanzanian scholars and teachers.
Michlene joined the board this year and has jumped in with two feet! She hosted a Lunch and Learn event to spread the word about TFFT in the community and is co-hosting a Pop-Up Shop to raise funds for TFFT in Charlotte next month. We are grateful for her support and her commitment to enhancing our work.
How did you first learn about TFFT?
I first learned of TFFT through friends. I came to the gala three years ago to learn more and was instantly hooked! I reached out to Meghann that following spring inquiring on how I could get more involved. I have a passion for education and worked in the education space along with workforce development so I wanted to put my skills to work for TFFT.
What motivates you to stay involved and how do you work to make room for TFFT in your life?
Wow, that’s a tough question to answer concisely! The first word that comes to mind is Education. Education is everything and my passion for education not only drives and motivates me as a mother but also as a volunteer. TFFT offers so much to our students beyond the classroom. That is the key driver for me. Giving back to our community was taught to me at a very young age. My father is an immigrant and came to the US for college and my mother was incredibly active in volunteering. We learned that not only are we fortunate but it is our duty to give our time to others as collectively we are all better for it. The time I give to TFFT is very important to me as a person and as a lesson I can teach to my children.
Why do you think it is important to support an international non-profit?
Simply put, the world continues to get smaller and we are very fortunate in the US. As mentioned above, my father is from the Middle East so we were always reminded and encouraged to help beyond our country lines. I know that there are several organizations in the US that need our assistance but we are also very fortunate to have the funding where most countries do not.
Why does the mission of TFFT resonate with you?
The mission statement to me focuses on the whole child, rather than one specific part with an emphasis on education. I know I am repeating myself but I strongly believe that through Education we are able to do anything. Providing that foundation, along with support for the children’s well being, is so powerful and can make a life changing difference, not only in that child’s world, but for the community they are apart of.
*For more information about the Pop-Up event, please contact: Miller@TheFoundationForTomorrow.org
Cate Dupuy encourages, inspires, and motivates others to dedicate their time to serve TFFT. She re-established the TFFT Club at Myers Park High School and serves as president today.
When did you become involved with TFFT?
I became aware of TFFT many years ago through a family friend, Maggie Boorman. However, I really became involved in my freshman year of high school. I feel strongly about the cause of helping these Tanzanian scholars to have access to all of the resources and opportunities that we take for granted, and I wanted to do all that I could to help! In the past two years, I have acted as a team leader in the Share the Love Campaign and have re-started the TFFT Club at MPHS for my sophomore and junior years of high school. I love TFFT and what it stands for, and I can’t wait to become more involved in the future!
How do you advance TFFT’s work through the club?
Last year, The Foundation For Tomorrow at Myers Park High School planned and participated in many fundraising campaigns, as well as volunteered at TFFT’s Annual Fall Gala. Such events included a Holiday Fundraiser at MPHS that we planned and executed, raising over $100 for TFFT! We also participated in the Share The Love Campaign. We designed and sold Valentine cards, raising over $700 for the cause. At the beginning of the summer, a few members of the club volunteered with the Kickball Tournament, and had a great time doing so! We are hoping to achieve even more with our club this year in terms of fundraising and awareness!
Last year we had about 20 members, which is about the average size for an MPHS club, but recently we got over 100 signatures at the club sign-up event! Our leadership team is currently planning a fall fundraiser. We are also planning to start an encouraging letter-writing project to the scholars!
We are grateful to Cate for spurred action, involvement and engagement in the student community at her high school.
“Through over a dozen trips in over a decade of travel to East Africa I’ve seen the transformational power of providing opportunity through education in the developing world. TFFT’s work exemplifies that mission. My favorite two weeks of the year are when I head back every summer to witness all the progress!”
Ali was introduced to TFFT at one of TFFT’s NYC Fall Benefits nearly ten years ago. This introduction was the start of special relationship, built on a mutual desire to improve education for vulnerable populations. He joined TFFT for RIDETZ in 2010 and has been at the RIDETZ send off each year since, a great example of how he truly shows-up for our community. Ali has recruited, challenged and inspired other people to join our cause and continues to encourage others to learn about our mission. Whenever support is needed, Ali is immediately at our side. He believes in the impact of our work on the educational landscape in Tanzania, and knows the shortcomings of this landscape well. Co-founder of Project ABLE, an organization that provides East African youth with educational opportunities, Ali believes deeply in equality and justice, and recognizes that education is a key part of its realization. He is dedicated to significant, long-term impact and is fully invested in improving the quality of and access to education in underserved areas around the globe.
The TFFT Kiongozi Award recognizes the achievements of an individual or couple who have shown exceptional generosity to TFFT through direct involvement, financial support, and leadership. The award highlights not only commitment to TFFT, but to the advancement of philanthropy more widely. Ali received TFFT’s Kiongozi Award the first year that it was introduced because of his exemplary leadership and commitment to TFFT’s vision.
TFFT’s mission resonates with people for different reasons, but unites many of our supporters for a specific purpose: Education. TFFT believes in the power of education to transform the lives of orphan and vulnerable children and seeks to ultimately improve the quality of education across the Tanzanian nation. This is no easy task but change-makers like Michlene, Cate, and Ali make us confident that together we can successfully achieve our mission.