Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Leadership lived: UIS student pays it forward in The Gambia

Growing up in Chicago, Dominique Wilson never expected to travel half way around the world, let alone leave a lasting impact on a school in West Africa.

This past summer, the junior communication major traveled to The Gambia, Africa with a group of students from the University of Illinois Springfield. They collected shoes, toothpaste, supplies, and financial donations to help children in the region.

“So many people supported me,” said Wilson. “I received a surplus in finances and because of that I was able to contribute $1,000 to the school I was working with.”

Wilson made it his mission to “pay it forward” with additional funds he had left paying for two children to attend school for the next 5 years.

The school was so touched by his donations that they built a pavilion and named it in honor of him.

“I am blessed to have such an honor, to have a building named after me,” said Wilson.

The trip has inspired Wilson to become an educator and hopefully one day change education policy around the world. For now, he has some simple advice.

“What I suggest for each and every one of you is do something, at least one thing in a focused effort, to make a difference,” he said.

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