MEET HELEN KASSA
CEO & Founder
Giving Hope To Girls Like Me Foundation
Helen Kassa is an emerging social entrepreneur and has been involved in humanitarian and community services since she was eight years old. At age eight, she founded a humanitarian educational program here in the United States and in Ethiopia, called Giving Hope to Kids Like Me.
The primary focus of her work is the utilization of education as a tool to help communities raise themselves out of poverty. She had completed several trips back to her family homeland. In 2012, United States Congressman Michael Honda awarded Helen a distinguished honor and recognition of the 2012 Ethiopian Community Award.
On August 10, 2013, Helen was honored with both a 2013 G.U.R.L.S. Lead Global Game Changer Award and a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from United States Congresswoman Barbara Lee for the work with Giving Hope to Kids Like Me.
Here in the USA, she volunteers with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, the Step Up to Algebra (SUTA) program, mentoring and tutoring 7th graders during her summer breaks.
Helen has also served as an intern at the Silicon Valley Jewish Community Center to learn how non-profit organizations work. Helen is the president of the NAACP Youth San Jose Chapter and the Education Chair for the NAACP California and Hawaii, region.
GURLS LEAD FORWARD and The Leadership Journey for Change 2017:
Girls Lead Forward and The Leadership Journey for Change is a leadership project started by a group of girls who graduated with honors from the spring session of 2013 Leadership University 2013 (LU 2013).
LU 2013 is a premier four-day Saturday certificate training program for women and girls (aged 15-17) that presents participants with the essential psychological, philosophical and practical tools needed to be a leading influential leader at work and in your communities.
This leadership track for emerging leaders was conducted by the Training Institute for Leadership Enrichment (TILE) and the G.U.R.L.S. Lead, a Global Leadership Program (formerly known as G.U.R.L.S. Rock). As a real life accomplishment and commitment to leading change, four graduates of LU 2013, Sofie Dawed, Jazmyne Woffard-Jones, Helen Kassa, and Vanessa Smith, established a project focused on increasing gender equality, access to educational opportunity, global volunteerism by achieving global vision that has local impact.
Through their project, G.U.R.L.S. Lead Forward, the leaders developed the Leadership Journey for Change 2014. They unite their efforts to lead change by supporting their teammate Helen Kassa, who at the age of 8 started the non-profit program called Giving Hope to Kids Like Me. The team, accompanied by their advisor, Dr. Raye Mitchell will embark on a trip to Ethiopia in June 2014 to lead educational enrichment projects and speak on women and girls as global leaders. Dr. Raye Mitchell, CEO and founder of G.U.R.L.S. Lead led the training program for the LU 2013 leadership track for girls.
Leadership Journey for Change 2017: Ethiopia
Help Us Change How The World Views & Engages Women And Girls In Ethiopia
We will go to Ethiopia in June 2017 to support Giving Hope to Kids Like Me and provide hands-on training and seminars on leadership for women and girls. We want to connect to the emerging community of women and girl leaders in business, social change, STEM, and other sectors. We want to learn from and lend to their vision to succeed and nourish their entrepreneurial spirit and preparedness.
Economists confirm that reducing gender inequality in education is a vital part of promoting global economic development. The failure to educate girls limits economic growth in the developing world by wasting human capital. As a result, the United Nations set the target of eliminating gender disparity in education at all levels by 2015 as one of its Millennium Development Goals.
The most common response is charity and benevolence, but our mission and project is focused on a new way forward by achieving gender equality, investing in global leadership for women and girls, and improving access to education globally, including that in Ethiopia.
Ultimately, our mission is to change how the world views and engages women and girls in this country and other communities around the world and revise how we think about emerging communities. Investing in women and girls, youth, and education in countries such as Ethiopia means the engagement of raw talent worthy of investment, training, and education to fully eradicate poverty.