African Leadership Academy is among the recipients of the 2012 Siebel Scholars Impact Award, a program designed to inspire, reward, and accelerate Siebel Scholars’ philanthropic initiatives that demonstrate promise for significant societal change. African Leadership Academy was awarded $250,000 to further its mission to foster peace and prosperity in Africa by developing its future leaders.
“I am honored that African Leadership Academy was chosen as a winner of the inaugural Siebel Scholars Impact Award,” said Chris Bradford, its co-founder, and a Siebel Scholar, Class of 2005 from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. “For these young African leaders to reach their potential, we must connect them to opportunity — individuals and networks like Siebel Scholars — with whom they can further their transformative impact.”
African Leadership Academy identifies the most promising 16 to 19 year old leaders and brings them together for a two-year university preparatory program emphasizing leadership, entrepreneurship, and African studies. Through its merit-based system, students represent a wide range of backgrounds; promising leaders from refugee camps and orphanages learn side-by-side with promising leaders from middle-class and wealthy families. ALA enables all of these young leaders to gain access to the capital and influential networks needed to drive lasting change. These young entrepreneurs — many of whom started businesses as part of the curriculum at African Leadership Academy — have been featured on CNN, presented at the Clinton Global Initiative forum, and written best-selling books.
No matter their educational background, these students share principles of drive, courage, and perseverance, which enable them to succeed in university-prep classes. In 2009, three were among the top 10 performers in the world on their Cambridge University International Exams, the most widely administered pre-university examinations in the world. African Leadership Academy now has 120 graduates attending top universities in the United States, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Duke, and Dartmouth.
As alumni expand their global networks, it is critical that they maintain connections to Africa, seeing opportunities that ignite their eagerness to return after graduation. To tackle its challenge of strengthening graduates’ ties to each other and to the African continent, Chris and the ALA team will leverage the Impact Award to reconnect graduates at Indaba events modeled after annual Siebel Scholars conferences, with speakers addressing regional issues that will re-energize graduates about opportunities in Africa.
With the Impact Award comes the backing of the broader Siebel Scholars community, which already includes many active supporters. “The Siebel Scholars are a network of some of the brightest young minds on the planet who can have a significant impact on the young leaders on our campus,” Chris said. “Like the Siebel Scholars community, ALA’s young leaders will work together to drive transformative change for decades to come.”