Viola Vaughn

by Brande from Spokane

'The best job I ever had in my life' - Viola Vaughn
Smiling with great joy <br>(www.CNN.com)
Smiling with great joy
(www.CNN.com)

Viola Vaughn encompasses the true meaning of a hero. A native of Detroit, Michigan, she spent the majority of her life as an active educator. Faced with personal tragedy, Viola triumphed and developed a non-profit organization, "10,000 Girls," providing education and training for young women of Senegal, Africa. She has devoted her life to helping others achieve, empowering young girls to make a difference. Her citizenship and caring qualities are seen in the daily routine of her beautiful life.

Dr. Viola M. Vaughn graduated from Columbia University's Teachers College in New York, and has spent her life devoted to health care and education in the United States and Africa. In the year 2000 Viola faced a mother’s worst fear when her 26-year-old daughter died. Left with five grandchildren to raise, Viola and her husband, Jazz musician Sam Sanders, moved to Senegal, Africa, hoping to provide their grandchildren a positive, multicultural education. Tragedy hit again when Viola's husband of 20 years passed away and she was left alone. Her determination and spirit kept her moving and she passed the time homeschooling her grandchildren.

Viola in Senegal, Africa (www.10000Girls.org)
Viola in Senegal, Africa (www.10000Girls.org)

The surrounding community noticed Viola and her dedication to teaching her grandchildren. Viola was approached by a neighborhood child who wanted to join in on the daily studies. Hesitant, but with her mother’s permission, the young girl began homeschooling with Viola. Soon the number of students attending Viola's daily classes rose to twenty and 10,000 Girls was born.

WHEPSA's 10,000 Girls is a non-profit organization with six locations and over 1500 students. Their goal is to provide both education and business training to girls throughout Africa. The girls are actively involved in their education. Not only do they teach each other, but they have opened a bakery and a sewing workshop that helps in providing educational supplies and gives the girls an opportunity to be a part of the workforce. Viola's goal is to keep young girls in school and give them the opportunity to become responsible leaders within their communities. Girls who graduate are given scholarship opportunities and continue the cycle of success by returning to help 10,000 Girls continue to grow.

Citizenship is a key quality in Viola Vaughn. She has dedicated her life to the greater good of her community and has truly made, and will continue to make, a difference in the lives of young girls who otherwise would not have stood a chance. Not only has she provided an education for these young women, but an opportunity for change in Senegal, Africa. By doing what she loves most, Viola has begun to change the odds against these young girls and enable them to educate themselves while learning the value of helping others. Viola Vaughn is a true hero of humanity.

Related Links

10,000 Girls - Check out the MY HERO film by Adam Sie on Viola Vaughn's wonderful organization
10,000 Girls - 10,000 Website
Viola Vaughn - CNN Hero