Askia The Great

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Abu-Hassan Koroma | Founder, President & CEO

Abu-Hassan Koroma AKA Askia the Great is the founder, President & CEO of Twenty-First Century African Youth Movement. He is responsible for building a technology-driven leadership team with capable staff, volunteers and support networks around the world to empower and mobilize rural Africa youth through multiple channels of engagement and economically viable operations with focus on creating Social Enterprise Centers and good jobs across Africa – starting in Sierra Leone!

With a Higher Teacher’s Certificate (HTC) in Art & Crafts from the Milton Margai Teachers College (now Milton Margai College of Education and Technology) in Sierra Leone and a Bachelors of Art in International Relations from the UW-Madison, Askia combines the creative potentials of visual art and the humanities to mobilize young volunteers around the world to support AYM and contribute to reversing the social and economic marginalization of Africa. Askia believes that a vigorous engagement with the global community for ideas, financial and material support, as well as volunteer commitment, will provide employment for youth in rural Africa, increase their income and quality of life and also contribute to peace and stability in Africa.

In 1989, Askia founded the first African Chapter of the United Nations of Youth (now the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) in Sierra Leone. He served as its first National Coordinator until April 1991. As UNOY National Coordinator, Askia was appointed youth representative on the UNICEF National Taskforce Committee for the World Summit on Children held in New York in 1990. The UNICEF National Taskforce Committee designated UNOY to coordinate the National Candlelight vigils before and after the Summit. Askia was elected member of the International Working Group in 1992 at the second International Conference of UNOY in School, The Netherlands. In 1993, Askia was re-elected a member of the International Working Group in Minsk, Belarus.

From November 1993 to November 1994, Abu-Hassan Koroma was a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA), a U.S. Corporation for National & Community Service program that “places individuals in a variety of situations where the application of individual talent and dedication bring an added dimension to federal, state, and private nonprofit organizations assisting low-income communities.” Askia was assigned to the Common Wealth Development Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin as a Youth Business Mentoring Program Assistant, providing “youth an intensive three-week pre-employment training followed by a job placement” with supportive businesses.

Humanist, Artist and Poet, Askia’s painting has been exhibited in the Porter Butts Gallery, “67Th Annual Student Art Exhibition” at UW-Madison and, his poem on the “Waters of Wisconsin” was published in the Spring 2003 Wisconsin Academy Review. He was also a nominated semi-finalist in the 5th Annual Volvo for life Awards in 2007.

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“Too many people are thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, when they ought to just water the grass they are standing on.”

— Amar Dave

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

— Bruce Lee

“Learn to appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.”

— Unknown

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.”

— Walt Whitman

“Do just once what others say you can’t do and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”

— James R. Cook

“From a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow.”

— Aeschylus

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffet

“Out of difficulties grow miracles.”

— Jean de la Bruyere

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

— Joshua J. Marine

“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.”

— Richard L. Evans

“It is in moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

— Tony Robbins

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”

— Swami Sivananda

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

— Nathaniel Hawhtorne

“One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it.”

— Unknown

“Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.”

— Augustus Hare

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

— Edith Wharton

“Don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone.”

— Andy Biersack

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.”

— Arthur Ashe

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”

— Vince Lombardi

“The handicap of deafness is not in the ear; it is in the mind.”

— Marlee Matlin

“I am thankful for all of those who said no to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself.”

— Albert Einstein

“The only journey is the one within.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

— Muhammad Ali

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”

— Plutarch

“The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. For every challenge encountered there is opportunity for growth.”

— Unknown

“Act like you expect to get into the end zone.”

— Christopher Morley

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

— Buddha

“I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.”

— Dudley Malone

“Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”

— Farrah Gray

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

— Milton Berle

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.”

— Richard Bach

“Just remember there is someone out there that is more than happy with less than what you have.”

— Unknown

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

— E. Cummings

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

— Og Mandino

“If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.”

— Kevin Ngo

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

“The start is what stops most people.”

— Don Shula

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

— Malala Yousafzai

“Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

— Jerry Rice

“Each day is a new life. Seize it. Live it.”

— David Guy Powers

“Life is what we make it. Always has been. Always will be.”

— Grandma Moses

“If you’re born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it’s your mistake.”

— Bill Gates

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

— Abraham Lincoln

“In life you have two options: make changes or make excuses. So what’s it going to be?”

— Christina DeBusk

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

— Mother Teresa