Shaping the Future of Education in Africa
“I don’t believe in copy-paste solutions,” says Mohamed Kante, E’12, electrical engineering. “I believe that Africans, if you give them the opportunity to learn a skill, they will be able to pull together and do it. After learning my skills at Northeastern and building on that momentum, I thought ‘Hey, what if I brought those same opportunities to [children in Africa]?’”
Kante, currently residing in Rhode Island by way of Mali, dreamed of higher education in the United States. A non-traditional student, Kante transferred to Northeastern from a local community college and began his undergraduate pursuit at a later age than most. Despite this, he made his mark on campus—working with Professor Waleed Meleis to launch the Enabling Engineering program and producing a capstone project so captivating that CNN took notice.
However, in spite of all the success, Kante had fallen out of love with engineering and came close to changing majors. In his search for personal solace, he found the Black Engineering Student Society, a campus organization that strives to unite and create a local network for black engineering students. “They are the reasons as to why I didn’t change my major from electrical engineering when it got tough. Having the ability to revert to that place…helped me succeed academically, professionally, and make a positive impact on the community.”
The support of the Black Engineering Student Society helped Kante reignite his fiery passion for engineering and goodwill, encouraging him to begin his non-profit iNERDE. For over ten years, iNERDE has provided resources for young students in Mali to gain an interest in the STEM field and achieve the same dreams he had as a child in Africa. To date, he says his most recent success is iNERDE’s acquisition of virtual reality headsets so students can participate in engineering classes in Japan from a continent away.
Kante and his non-profit have proven to be a bright light of encouragement in the eyes of many African students and parents across the continent. Even with the success of giving back to his home nation, Kante still credits Northeastern with providing him with the fabric to weave his accomplishments. “Because of the opportunities I received from Northeastern and because of the knowledge and skills I received, that’s how iNERDE was born,” says Kante. “We want to provide…the same critical thinking required to help youth in Africa thrive in this evolving world.”
Learn more about Kante and iNERDE by following him on all social media platforms @mtkante.
Source: Alumni Relations