Welcome Back to School!

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On January 5th, the students returned to campus excited about the New Year and ready to learn. This academic year will run until August, when we will celebrate our first graduating class!

Students Alice, Esperance, Euphrasie, and Francine chatting before class begins

Class schedules hang on a banana leaf board in the hallway

Class schedules hang on a banana leaf board in the hallway

We currently have two class years on campus: our Year 1 students (the Green and Yellow classes), half of whom finished the Foundation Year program in December, and our Year 2 students (the Blue class), who will graduate in August.

Lunch time at Akilah! Students wait in line for the traditional Rwandan meal

We have many things to look forward to in 2012. In August, Akilah will reach a huge milestone, as we celebrate our inaugural graduating class of 42 students. We are so proud of them and can’t wait to see where their Akilah diplomas will take them!

The hilly campus provides a perfect lunch spot to enjoy the breeze and a scenic view of Kigali

Another big step for Akilah will be the launch of our second academic track, Entrepreneurship, will begin with the next academic year in September. We are currently recruiting new students for the September school year, and look forward to increasing the Akilah family.

Students love the new outdoor furniture – they've never seen picnic tables in Rwanda before!

Students love the new outdoor furniture – they've never seen picnic tables in Rwanda before!

We have three new hires this year:

Denise Ward, one of our Hospitality Instructors

Denise Ward, originally from the Bahamas, is a Hospitality Instructor. She attended university at Johnson & Wales, one of our academic partners, and founded The Hospitality Guru International, a hospitality and tourism consulting company.

Maxine Silby, Hospitality Instructor and owner of Food & Stuff

Maxine Silsby, with a background in hotel management in the UK, teaches our students about Food and Beverage Catering. She is a co-founder of the successful catering business Food & Stuff here in Rwanda, which is an Akilah partner and employs several of our students as part of our Internship Program.

Mary Patton Davis, our Communications & Marketing Associate

Mary Patton Davis is joining us from Washington, DC, where she worked at prestigious political advertising firm GMMB. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2010 with a B.A. in political science and French, and will be Akilah’s Communications & Marketing Associate (and coincidentally, also writes Akilah’s blogposts!).

We also have three visiting fellows this year: Holly Ziskal, Georgina McNerney, and Ariel Kapur.

We are so excited for the 2012 school year, and all of the amazing accomplishments and changes that will come along with it. We hope that many of you will be able to come visit us in Kigali and witness them for yourselves. Happy New Year!

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