"Because she was a girl, my mum never had the opportunity to finish school, but she did everything she could to ensure that all four of her sons received the best quality education – one she never had. Forever inspired by her, I am a global education youth expert and activist with over 7 years of experience working with governments, Think Tanks, civil society organizations and other youth networks across Africa. My passion is to ensure that every boy or girl completes 12 years of free, quality education in an environment that is safe and allows them to reach their fullest potential.
Going into York U’s Masters program in Leadership and Community Engagement, I wanted to learn more about the different traditional models and theories of leadership and policy and how they have silenced or erased the experiences of and knowledge of the other – most importantly the discussion around diversity and inclusion in the workplace and how this influences the way we lead and serve others.
I have always known a great leader as one who exhibits compassion, empathy and charisma in the way he/she thinks, acts or deliver with a shared agenda. In the same spirit, inspired by my mother, the happenings around me (social injustice, inequality and poverty) led me to take action and speak up about the issues I cared most about. It is common to hear the saying that “great leaders are born not made”; however, for me I do not think I was born a leader. Rather, circumstances in my immediate environment pushed me to become a leader."
Joannes Yimbesalu, BMLS, MSc, CPH, CID, MLCE
Alumni, Master of Leadership and Community Engagement
Faculty of Education