MAY 2018
IUGB FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I visited IUGB for the first time in March 2018. After a long day of productive meetings, my first encounter with the students was via an amazing dance and music performance that filled me with much joy and energy. Watching these talented students made me think about the importance of balancing intellectual pursuits with artistic expression. 

The students are studying business, STEM and political science and searching for jobs and internships. Many will continue their education at the graduate level as well. These are all very serious activities and can be daunting at times.

So, the fact that IUGB students release their artistic energies throughout the school year and participate in various clubs truly shows that getting an education at IUGB is about developing the whole person. 

Our graduates' academic and emotional skills, plus the confidence they learn from extra-curricular activities, truly set the stage for them to lead with excellence in the future. 
UPP ADVANCED STUDENTS END SEMESTER WITH SUCCESS
The week of April 16 to 20 was busy for Advanced students in the University Preparatory Program. Not only was it the week before final exams, but it also saw the culmination of two big projects.

April 16, Mr. Jean-Marc Toti, head of the NGO English and Education for You, came to meet all four Advanced groups who had raised 375,000 CFA for the organization. The NGO teaches low income children in the Abidjan area English and other skills. These pupils desperately need classroom furniture; they are currently crowded onto an insufficient number of benches and some must sit on the floor. The funds will provide up to 20 benches for the classroom. The service project was part of the Education for Success course taught by Jerry and Judy Royka.

Advanced A was the champion fundraising group, raising 171,000 CFA. They were rewarded with a pizza party.

Additionally, students in Advanced A and B groups performed scenes from Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, completing another academic project for their Extensive Reading course. They made clever use of costumes and props in their interpretation of key scenes from the Nigerian novel.
"UNCOVERING WAKANDA: AFRICAN INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGY THAT COULD RESHAPE THE CONTINENT"

 Panel Member Sarran Deigna, GSU/IUGB Alumna, Presents in Alliance Francaise d’Atlanta Discussion
On April 10 of this month at 6:30 P.M., around 40 participants met in a Conference Room at Atlanta’s Alliance Francaise chapter in Midtown to hear this groundbreaking presentation on African technology and its impact on the continent’s business. Alliance Francaise d’Atlanta is one of the city’s premiere international organizations and the top provider of French language and culture since 1912.
 
Its mission is to promote the French language and Francophone culture through education and cultural programs. Since 1963 its language school has offered a variety of courses for individuals and businesses, including the CDC, CARE, the Carter Center, and Delta Air Lines. Its Board includes Consuls General of Switzerland, Canada, Luxembourg, Belgium and a delegate from Quebec’s Government Office.
 
This event was the third in the opening series of “ Africa Belle: L’Afrique Ajourde’Hui ”, the Alliance’s 8 th edition of this month-long event which celebrates positive images and events in French-speaking Africa and beyond. We anticipated an informative and forward-looking discussion, and we were not disappointed.
Sarran Deigna is a GSU/IUGB alumna and Banking Officer and Senior Risk Analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank, Atlanta.  She is also a newly minted member of Alliance Francaise d'Atlanta's Board of Directors. Joining her on the panel were Biro Conte, senior management consultant at PwC Advisory, PwC, and founder of iFrica 360, which develops digital media solutions for the African market; Lateef Ashekun, City of Atlanta; and Oussama Elkaceh (Infor). manager, DevOps team at Infor, National School of Computer Science, Atlanta; and Carnellia Ajasin, Moderator.

The panel discussed African innovation centers, Silicon Valley in Kenya, and creative efforts to find African centered solutions to continental problems. One of the questions raised involved the number of African countries that had an innovation center for startups. Sarran noted that in Kenya and Rwanda, large companies like Orange become incubators in Francophone Africa. She also commented on the need for IT technology to do urban design in Africa and emphasized the importance of a quality education in these and other areas to bring the solutions needed for the continent.

A very lively Q&A session followed. After the event, its organizers, panelists and guests stayed behind for prolonged conversations and networking. The IUGB Salutes Alliance Francaise d’Atlanta for a very successful 8 th edition of Belle Afrique and for allowing our IUGB alumna to shine!
If you are a foreign student living, studying and working in the U.S., there are many urgent and ongoing immigration issues you must address. How do you get these questions answered? After IUGB alumni and their friends asked this question, IUGB Foundation staff members--Amini Kajunju, Denise Berry and Glenwood Ross--organized an immigration workshop on April 13 with Safiya Byars, owner and senior partner, Law Office of Safiya Byars, (Byars Law Group).

The room was quiet as alumni and their friends arrived from work, school, or other appointments to take their place at a large conference room table on the 10 th floor of Atlanta’s historic Hu rt Building. After the guests had arrived, Attorney Byars introduced herself and remarked on the scope of student immigration in the U.S./Atlanta before taking audience questions.

The audience’s comfort level with Safiya soon became evident as questions came on a variety of topics! The group discussed areas diverse as: H1B filings, I-140 petitions for permanent workers, spousal support amounts, joint sponsorship, obtaining work permits, and terms of ‘recapture’ proceedings. Many individual situations were also discussed. Attorney Byars took thoughtfully and completely addressed questions from all 15 attendees.

Typical of the questions asked was one from Sarran Deigna (IUGB/GSU alumna). Following a discussion about employers withholding pay for immigrant workers (‘to pay immigration fees’), Sarran asked what organizations are working to lobby on behalf of student immigrants? In response Safiya said the National Immigration Project provides a good source for information.
 
 The IUGB Foundation staff members are planning subsequent workshops and gathering feedback to ensure our next session is even more helpful. In addition to this workshop, the Foundation has also approached the City of Atlanta’s Department of Immigration, another excellent information source for our alumni and friends, to explore future events with that office.
Opportunities and Events
Heads Up – create yourself a unique and valuable internship!  
Grey Matters Capital (GMC) is an Atlanta firm whose mission is to provide an education leading to a more purposeful life for 100 million women by 2036. Using a gender lens, the firm seeks direct investments and co-investing. Through their initiatives such as edLABS in India and coLABS globally, GMC grew their portfolio to over 70 companies spread across the US and in developing markets such as India, Latin America and Africa.  

As you may imagine, finding and sourcing the best funding and investment opportunities takes an enormous amount of research, yet this data becomes outdated rapidly. The situation poses a great opportunity for an enterprising student to build a database which keeps this valuable research categorized and fresh for maximum use? 

This is where you come in by creating your own solution to this unique problem/opportunity! Please visit the firm’s website below:


For inquiries:


To learn more details and their LinkedIn page/tweets for more detailed background information.