About us

A2Empowerment is a non-profit company dedicated to empowering women through education. Since its founding in 2008, the company has awarded over 1,800 educational scholarships to young women in Cameroon. Recipients are chosen based on need and merit, with a priority placed on selecting girls in the later years of high school when they are at a higher risk of dropping out. This year approximately $75 USD will cover tuition, fees and books for a year of school. All company overhead costs have been covered by the company co- founders, so the full amount of all donations is put towards scholarships. The project is set up as a Peace Corps Partnership Project, so all funding is strictly monitored by the Peace Corps and A2Empowerment.

Scholarship recipients are expected to meet monthly with their mentors and other scholarship recipients in their area to report on their academic progress and to discuss topics, like heath and wellness. In addition, the scholarship recipients serve as role models by volunteering in their communities, for example to tutor younger students, as part of the Community Contribution required for all Peace Corps Partnership Projects.

We plan to continue and improve this program, sustaining support for current recipients who qualify and expanding the program to additional students. In 2019, $75 sends a girl to high school for a year.

Our history

A2Empowerment, Inc. was founded in 2008 by Anne Cheung and Anne Rapin in order to improve the lives of girls and women in parts of the developing world. Anne Rapin's experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon compelled both women to act.

A2Empowerment co-founders contacted the Peace Corps in Cameroon in 2007 with an interest in developing a need and merit-based scholarship project for young women, focusing on girls who have dropped out or are at a high risk of dropping out of school. The project proposal was embraced by the Peace Corps and developed by A2Empowerment co-founders along with Peace Corps Volunteers in Cameroon. The project started in the Adamaoua region of Cameroon and has since expanded to include seven of the ten regions.

201157Adamaoua, North & North West
201260Adamaoua, Extreme North, Littoral, North, North West, West
201399Adamaoua, East, Extreme North, Littoral, North, North West, West
2014217Adamaoua, East, Extreme North, North, North West, South West, West
2015227Adamaoua, Center, East, Extreme North, North, North West, South, West
2016234Adamaoua, Center, East, Extreme North (through a Cameroonian partner), North West, South West, West
2017263Adamaoua, Center, East, Extreme North (through a Cameroonian partner), North West, West
2018493Adamaoua, Center, East, Extreme North (through a Cameroonian partner), North West, West, South

Selecting scholarship recipients

The process of selection and awarding recipients has evolved and improved since it began. Currently, the process begins in December when participating Peace Corps Volunteers publicize the scholarships in schools and their community. Completed applications, which include a questionnaire, a report card and an optional recommendation letter, are submitted to A2Empowerment by the due date in March.

Applications are reviewed and rated by the A2Empowerment board members. Recipients are selected based on the written responses on their application, school performance and recommendations. Peace Corps Volunteers are informed of the recipients in early June and emailed an A2Empowerment certificate to award each young woman.

A2Empowerment then coordinates with Peace Corps Volunteers to write a Peace Corps Partnership Project proposal. Once the project is accepted by Peace Corp officials, funds are paid though the Peace Corps website by A2Empowerment. The Peace Corps transfers the money to the Peace Corps Volunteer contact in Cameroon to pay the tuition, fees and school supplies for each girl, up to the amount of 44,000 CFA. Receipts for all payments are collected and monitored by the Peace Corps and A2Empowerment.

Funding for scholarships

Funding for all scholarships is raised through donations solicited by the A2Empowerment Board of Directors participating in bike rides, marathons and other organized events. Major fundraisers have included 2011 and 2014 performances by Boston's only all-women swing orchestra, The Mood Swings, run in the 2012 Chicago Marathon by the co-founders and participation in the Cause + Event 5K race.

The total amount of all donations to date have gone toward scholarships, as conservative overhead costs are maintained to allow full coverage by A2Empowerment co-founders.

Board of Directors

Anne Cheung holds a Master of Science degree in Biochemisty from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and worked in the biotechnology industry for over 20 years. (Video)

Anne Rapin served as a Peace Corps education volunteer in Binka, Cameroon, in 2004 and 2005. She holds a Master of Public Health degree, with a focus on international health and development, from Tulane University. She most recently worked as a Program Manager serving internally displaced people in the automomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. (Career Newsletter)

Chantal Kassa holds a Master of Arts degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University in Worcester. She is a skilled Education Specialist with over 10 years work experience as a teacher, instructional technologist and research associate at public/private schools, community college and non-profit organizations.

Buba Dicko Sulle is an educator from Wum, Cameroon. He is a strong advocate for education, previously serving as a Peace Corps Trainer, ScholarShop Country Director and A2Empowerment Project Coordinator, and is currently pursuing his graduate degree in International Development from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Graham Button served with the Peace Corps in Cameroon as a Youth Development Officer and Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator. He holds a BA in International Studies and Political Science from Colorado State University, an MA in Education from Lehman College - CUNY, and an MA in International Development with a certificate in Humanitarian Assistance from the Josef Korbel School for International Studies - University of Denver. Mr. Button currently is the Training Program Coordinator for the New York State Child Support Training and Outreach Project.

Man Ching Cheung holds a doctorate degree in neuroscience from Tufts University School of Graduate Biomedical Science and currently works as a data scientist at Philips Research North America, in Cambridge, MA.

Honorary Board of Directors

Emily Strauss served as a Peace Corps education volunteer in Belel, Cameroon from 2006-2008. She holds a Juris Doctorate and a Master's degree in International Relations from Boston University.

Claire Hutchinson served as a Peace Corps small enterprise development volunteer in Meiganga, Cameroon, 2009-2011. She holds a Bachelors degree in International Business, with a minor in French language, from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ndange Rudolf Ngirishi is Cameroonian national and an honorary board member of A2Empowerment. He is currently working at the International School in Nigeria.

Thomas Landers, Jr. is a CPA and Partner at The Bonadio Group in Buffalo, New York.

Website designed by Man Ching Cheung. Logo designed by Jeff Biesinger and Man Ching Cheung. All rights reserved (2010).