M adelle Kangha is the founder and president of Jumpstart Academy Africa. She believes in learning by doing and respecting each other for our universal human experience. We talked recently about how her life has shaped her approach to leadership and social change.
Madelle says that her experience traveling the world—especially Africa—made her realize that there are great minds with great ideas everywhere, but what leaders often lack is a first-hand experience of the problems they seek to solve. That’s why her approach is to “learn by doing” and to teach budding leaders that immersion in the problem is key to solving it.
Madelle once worked to help disabled youth in Cameroon develop skills and start businesses. The experience taught her a new way to find passion: Ask yourself, “What is the future I want to create, and how can I start now?”
A lot of Madelle’s work is about building bridges. One key to building strong ones is doing away with inequality. “We are at a place where we all need to see each other and treat each other the same,” she said. We all need to have a “mutual respect for our humanity.” With that, perhaps many boundaries in business, relationships, and education could be overcome.We are at a place where we all need to see each other and treat each other the same ~ Madelle Kangha Click To Tweet
Madelle’s last words to me were ones that her brother imparted on her when her journey to greatness had just begun: “Don’t set the sky as your limit. The sky should not be your limit; the sky is your base.”
She feels it’s important to not only reach for but also believe in the impossible. With that kind of ceaseless determination in more of us, the world would be a different place.Don’t set the sky as your limit. The sky should not be your limit; the sky is your base. ~ Madelle Kangha Click To Tweet
Madelle Kangha is the founder and president of JumpStart Academy Africa, a for-impact social venture that seeks to solve Africa’s human capital problem by providing secondary school students between the ages of 15 and 19 with entrepreneurial leadership training. Since commencing operations 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 5,000 students through community outreach programs and summer camps.
In recognition of her work with JumpStart Academy Africa, Madelle has been featured by Forbes as one of the “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 of 2016 by Avance Media Africa in the Personal Development & Academia category.
Madelle is an alumnus of the African Leadership Academy, Watson University, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies; and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Anthropology from the London School of Economics. Madelle is also the founder of Youths4Change, a youth-led, community-based organization, which mentors youths of all abilities across Cameroon. Madelle’s vision is to be a leading social entrepreneur, a mass recruiter of local change-makers, and a role model proving that citizens who channel their passion into action can achieve the impossible.
What’s the one piece of advice someone gave to you that you just can’t shake? Share your own personal words of wisdom in the comments. And, of course, check out my full interview with Madelle to learn more about her work.