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About us

A2Empowerment is a nonprofit company dedicated to empowering women through education. Since its founding in 2008, the company has awarded over 1,900 educational scholarships to young women in Cameroon. Recipients are chosen based on need and merit, with a priority placed on selecting girls in the later years of high school when they are at a higher risk of dropping out. This year approximately $80 USD will cover tuition, fees and supplies for a year of school. All company overhead costs have been covered by the company co-founders and grants, so the full amount of all individual donations is put towards scholarships.

A2Empowerment works with Peace Corps Volunteers and Cameroonian Partners to identify applicants, award scholarships and mentor recipients. Scholarship recipients are expected to meet monthly with their mentors and other scholarship recipients, who are clustered in their area, to report on their academic progress and discuss topics like health and wellness. In addition, scholarship recipients serve as role models by volunteering in their communities. Community projects have included tutoring younger students, painting a world map mural in their community or presenting to classmates on health-related issues.

We plan to continue and improve this program, sustaining support for current recipients who qualify and expanding the program to additional students.

Our history

A2Empowerment, Inc. was founded in 2008 by Anne Cheung and Anne Rapin in order to improve the lives of girls and women. Anne Rapin's experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon compelled both women to act.

A2Empowerment co-founders contacted the Peace Corps in Cameroon in 2007 with an interest in developing a need and merit-based scholarship project for young women, focusing on girls who have dropped out or are at a high risk of dropping out of school. The project proposal was embraced by the Peace Corps and developed by A2Empowerment co-founders along with Peace Corps Volunteers in Cameroon. The project started in the Adamaoua region of Cameroon and has since expanded to include several regions.

In recent years, A2Empowerment improved sustainability by working with trusted Cameroonian Partners, in addition to Peace Corps Volunteers, as mentors. We have also enlisted the help of A2Empowerment Alumni to improve training, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation moving forward.

Our Growth

A2Empowerment has expanded to award more than 1,900 scholarships across Cameroon since 2008.

YEAR NUMBER OF SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS REGION(S) OF CAMEROON
2008 17 Adamaoua
2009 27 Adamaoua
2010 47 Adamaoua
2011 57 Adamaoua, North, Northwest
2012 60 Adamaoua, Extreme North, Littoral, North, Northwest, West
2013 99 Adamaoua, East, Extreme North, Littoral, North, Northwest, West
2014 217 Adamaoua, East, Extreme North, North, Northwest, Southwest, West
2015 227 Adamaoua, Center, East, Extreme North, North, Northwest, South, West
2016 234 Adamaoua, Center, East, Extreme North*, Northwest, Southwest, West
2017 263 Adamaoua, Center, East, Extreme North*, Northwest, West
2018 493 Adamaoua, Center, East, Extreme North*, Northwest, West, South
2019 86 Adamaoua*, East*
2020 102 Adamaoua*, East*, Northwest*

* Project(s) mentored by Cameroonian Partner(s)

Selecting scholarship recipients

The process of selection and awarding recipients has evolved and improved since it began. Currently, the process starts in January when participating Peace Corps Volunteers and Cameroonian Partner mentors publicize the scholarships in schools and their community. Completed applications, which include a questionnaire, a report card, and an optional recommendation letter, are submitted to A2Empowerment by the due date in March.

Applications are reviewed and rated by A2Empowerment board member(s). Recipients are selected based on the ranking of written responses on their application, school performance and recommendations. Mentors are informed of the recipients in early June and emailed an A2Empowerment certificate to award each young woman. Contracts outlining expectations are signed by scholarship recipients and her main guardian.

A2Empowerment then coordinates with mentors to complete payments for school tuition, fees and supplies. Peace Corps Partnership Proposal (PCPP) applications are submitted and approved by Peace Corps when working with Peace Corps Volunteer mentors. Receipts for all payments are collected and monitored by A2Empowerment, as well as Peace Corps in the case of PCPP grants.

Funding for scholarships

Funding for all scholarships is raised through individual donations solicited by the A2Empowerment Board of Directors and volunteers participating in bike rides, marathons and other organized events. Major fundraisers have included 2011 and 2014 performances by Boston's only all-women swing orchestra, The Mood Swings, and participation in the Cause + Event 5K race.

The total amount of all individual donations to date have gone toward scholarships, as conservative overhead costs are maintained to allow full coverage by A2Empowerment co-founders and grants from The Minneapolis Foundation.


Board of Directors

Anne Cheung holds a Master of Science degree in Biochemisty from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and completed the Institute for Nonprofit Practice Core Certificate program for nonprofit leaders in 2020. She has worked in the biotechnology industry for over 20 years. (Video)

Anne Rapin served as a Peace Corps education volunteer in Binka, Cameroon, in 2004 and 2005. She holds a Master of Public Health degree, with a focus on international health and development, from Tulane University. She has worked as a program manager serving internally displaced people in the automomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq and currently holds a position at USAID (Career Newsletter)

Graham Button served with the Peace Corps in Cameroon as a Youth Development Officer and Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator. He holds a BA in International Studies and Political Science from Colorado State University, an MA in Education from Lehman College - CUNY, and an MA in International Development with a certificate in Humanitarian Assistance from the Josef Korbel School for International Studies - University of Denver. Mr. Button currently is the Training Program Coordinator for the New York State Child Support Training and Outreach Project.

Man Ching Cheung holds a doctorate degree in neuroscience from Tufts University School of Graduate Biomedical Science and currently works as a data scientist at Philips Research North America, in Cambridge, MA.

Chantal Kassa holds a Master of Arts degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University in Worcester. She is a skilled Education Specialist with over 10 years work experience as a teacher, instructional technologist and research associate at public/private schools, community college and non-profit organizations.

Buba Dicko Sulle is an educator from Wum, Cameroon. He is a strong advocate for education, previously serving as a Peace Corps Trainer, ScholarShop Country Director and A2Empowerment Project Coordinator, and is currently pursuing his graduate degree in International Development from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Honorary Board of Directors

Claire Hutchinson served as a Peace Corps small enterprise development volunteer in Meiganga, Cameroon, 2009-2011. She holds a Bachelors degree in International Business, with a minor in French language, from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Thomas Landers, Jr. is a CPA and Partner at The Bonadio Group in Buffalo, New York. Tom served on the board for over 10 years.

Ndange Rudolf Ngirishi is Cameroonian national and an honorary board member of A2Empowerment. He is currently working at the International School in Nigeria.

Emily Strauss served as a Peace Corps education volunteer in Belel, Cameroon from 2006-2008. She holds a Juris Doctorate and a Master's degree in International Relations from Boston University.

Website designed by Man Ching Cheung. Logo designed by Jeff Biesinger and Man Ching Cheung. All rights reserved (2010).