This post was written by alumna of Akili Dada’s Young Changemakers Program, Winnie Mokaya. Winnie is currently in her third year at University of Pennsylvania where she is studying international relations.
Akili Dada alumnae attending university in the U.S. (Faith, Sharon, Winnie) and Incoming Executive Director, Purity Kagwiria at recent leadership academy in the San Francisco Bay Area.
When I met Purity, I had been working at the Akili Dada office as an intern for a few months. Prior to her arrival, I had worked with two wonderful women; Maureen Babu and Kavinya Makau who both inspired me with their achievements and passion for women’s advocacy. I first remember Purity for her love of color. Her yellows and oranges would literally and figuratively transform a room. From the start, Purity was invested in the work that Akili Dada was doing. It was under Purity’s leadership that we started visiting Akili Dada Scholars in their schools at least once a semester with the mentors. This way, the mentors, mentees and the AD staff’s relationships grew personal. The staff could finally put faces to names they had seen on documents. Purity helped give Akili Dada a structure in a pivotal time of our growth. We began weekly office meetings where we developed strategies to grow and transform the organization.
Purity goes out of her way to make working at Akili Dada a productive yet fun experience. She is enthusiastic about what she does and delivers what she sets out to do. She not only acted as a “boss”, but also as a mentor to me and other interns. At the time of my internship, I was applying to college and dealing with a lot of responsibilities that come with being an adult after high school; Purity helped make the transition easier for me. She values the opinions of interns and scholars as integral and equal members of this Akili Dada community, always inviting us into the conversation to offer our thoughts and perspectives.
I believe, without a doubt, that Purity will make a incredible Executive Director of Akili Dada. This organization has a strong community of Board Members, Advisors, alumnae and scholars who are all invested in the success of the Akili Daad and will support Purity in fulfilling our mission and vision.