Cornell College Welcomes Its First ALA Cohort on Scholarships

The African Leadership Academy is proud to celebrate Mahmoud Wael Attia Ali Elawady, Saad Makhal Mankarious, and Michael-Sean Lotanna Ossai of the recently graduated Class of 2020, who are recipients of scholarships to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. They will be studying biochemistry and molecular biology, engineering, and computer science, respectively.

These three form the inaugural ALA Class at Cornell College. The list of tertiary institutions where our alumni have gone to study is now over 300, on all continents except Antarctica. Our students are willing to attend university all over the globe to take advantage of tertiary education opportunities wherever they may be available.

We hope to continue to build more partnerships like those with Cornell College to help ALA achieve its goal of connecting students with universities where they can acquire the knowledge, skills, and networks to enable them to return to the continent and create lasting change.

This partnership with Cornell College also shows why, to date, ALA has been able to find university or tertiary placements for 95% of our graduates.

Wendy Beckemeyer, the Cornell College vice president for enrollment management said: “We are firmly committed as an institution to becoming a more inclusive place for students from all backgrounds. This partnership with the African Leadership Academy is part of our broader effort to internationalize and diversify our campus, and we firmly believe that the three students we’ve welcomed will be an invaluable part of our vibrant campus community.”

Earlier in 2022, Mahmoud was part of an ALA team that participated in the Global Alliance of Leading Edge Schools for Sustainability (GALESS) TiltShift Challenge, the only school team from Africa to qualify for the competition.

At ALA, Saad created EducationGo, an e-learning platform which used gamification as a way of tutoring high school students in their subjects.

Michael was head of student government at ALA, representing the interests of the students in various bodies and meetings within the academy.

We wish our alumni all the best as they continue on their education and career journeys.


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