Meet our Board!
The visionary and president for Golden Mti, Winjoy is taking a Bachelor’s Of Science at the University Of Calgary. Winjoy has seen the under-representation of South Sudanese and other African women in STEM programs. She believes that there are many young black students who desire to pursue these programs but school counselors have pushed many BIPOC students to lower stream classes. She believes that by showing the younger generation that they have so much more to offer it will strengthen the community.
Winjoy believes that the only way to strengthen and to build up a community is by investing and empowering the younger generation. Golden Mti starts at the ground level and helps guide African children through tutoring and mentorship. The goal is to create an environment where children are about to see and explore their full potential!
Her volunteer experience with FHL, an organization that provides low-income children with the opportunity to get involved with sports, has shown her how giving children opportunities they might not have elsewhere, really transforms them. The child becomes more confident both physically and mentally. And that's the goal here at Golden Mti
Meet Nyaker Buong, Vice-president of Golden Mti. Nyaker is South-Sudanese and came to Canada in 2004 with her family of 11. They quickly settled in Calgary Alberta, and Nyaker became involved with programs like Football-Hockey Link and rugby. These programs focused on children and their development in social settings and confidence building.
Playing rugby taught her teamwork skills and working collaboratively with others consistently. She learned the importance of discipline, especially when the odds are against you. In high school she experienced counselors and other teachers being hesitant and at times discouraging her and other black students pursuing higher stream classes. This pushed her to utilize her discipline and determination to continue into higher-level classes in high school and is going into her second year at University of Calgary as a result of her hard work. She wants others to learn from her experience, empower them, and give tips and tricks for when the going gets tough.
She is passionate about the struggles that the next generation of BIPOC individuals in Calgary will face. This is largely due to the injustice, specifically educational injustices that she sees happen in her personal life with her family, in her school settings, and her job. Her pursuit of medicine in university is largely powered by her determination to not only prove people wrong but to empower other young African and BIPOC students that they can succeed too.
Sarah Abdalrahman is the daughter of Sudanese and Egyptian immigrants studying Neuroscience at the University of Calgary. She is passionate about educational equity and uplifting the Black community, starting with the youth. This passion was largely inspired by her experience working as a senior tutor at a professional tutoring company. She was shocked to find out these services can cost parents about $1500/month. Many from BIPOC communities, as a result of generational instability, are unable to afford advantages like this. For this reason, she helped to co-found Golden Mti to break down these barriers and offer the same high standard and quality of education to underserved communities for free.
Many times, people in positions of authority fail BIPOC individuals, whether that is police officers, school counselors, teachers, or politicians. Golden Mti is an opportunity for Sarah, as someone who has gone through the educational system as a Black student, to use her knowledge and expertise to equip youth with the tools to face these unique challenges head-on.
Sarah believes success is supporting others to a point where they can then go out and make an impact in their own communities. Sarah’s goal for Golden Mti is to achieve educational equity for both the BIPOC and African diaspora here in Canada and also Africans all over the world.
A 4th year student in international relations, minoring in global development, and completing a certification in sustainability, Ornela Thieba is the treasurer and co-founder at Golden Mti. Originally from Burkina Faso and Togo, and after spending a few years in Kenya before coming to Canada, Ornela is passionate about remaining connected and advocating for BIPOC communities.
Golden Mti is a bridge between our cultural identities and the new identities that we are building in this country. I believe in Golden Mti's mission because it sources itself from our rich heritage, culture and values in order to uplift, mentor and give hope to black youth in Calgary. I believe that Golden Mti builds a strong foundation for any youth to be ambitious and dream big.
Ornela has 5 years of experience working with children and youth through tutoring, mentoring and well being. Her approach to education stems from a place of passion because she values the unique talents, perspectives and innovative ideas that youth have. Additionally, having worked with a number of immigrant and newcomer communities, Ornela has gained more insights into the barriers that our youth faces in our society. But more importantly, she understands the tools needed to succeed and live a happy fulfilling life.
Meet Rafa Abbas, a Biological Sciences and Psychology student at the University of Calgary. Originally from Sudan and an alum of a Girls' School, she is passionate about encouraging and supporting Black, particularly female youth, in furthering their education. With socioeconomic, language and societal barriers many students need extra support, reassurance, motivation and advice.
Many people that make up the school system, either consciously or subconsciously, hinder Black students educational progression and achievement. For instance, her adolescent psychology course showed Rafa the extent of racial bias that has seeped into High School Streaming or Tracking, where Black students are more likely put in lower level non-University track courses, despite a students' complaints. On top of this, immigrants often have trouble navigating the complex educational system's unfamiliar rules, often unaware that one can insist to be put in a different class. With educational ambitions of her own, as well as experience navigating the Calgary school system, Rafa enjoys acting as pseudo-guidance counselor in the Sudanese community and hopes to extend this skill to youth across Calgary.
With her own experience offering free tutoring to members of the Sudanese community, Rafa has seen first hand that tutoring programs are often expensive and not accessible to many, putting them at a disadvantage to their peers. Thus, Rafa is proud to be a part of GoldenMti to provide this and other invaluable services and programs to many more youth; expanding their educational horizons. High quality education is an essential gift. A gift that can change an individuals' and their communities' future for the better, and thus belongs to all.