Staff Spotlight: Dorothy Drives Change Across Southern Uganda
Educate! has launched operations in the south of Uganda, and Dorothy Namubiru is the woman leading the expansion in the field. Since her start with Educate! in 2013, Dorothy has been promoted three times in under four years. She’s a star leader, relationship builder, and outspoken champion for Ugandan youth. We sat down with Dorothy to celebrate her most recent promotion and to learn about how her work can create a grassroots movement of young leaders and entrepreneurs to drive sustainable development in the south of Uganda.
What’s your role at Educate!?
I’ve just been promoted from a Program Officer [overseeing 18-20 schools] to Program Coordinator [overseeing an entire region]. The South is a new region that we are launching in starting in 2018. In my new role, I’ll manage all the Program Officers and the Educate! Experience in as many as 180 schools once we’re fully launched, impacting over 7,000 youth.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
My Mentors [Educate! fellows who teach the Skills Course in partner schools and coach students in leadership and entrepreneurship] are my biggest accomplishment. I’ve known some of them since they were Educate! Scholars and still in secondary school. Many of them had no one who believed in them, and they faced bad times at home and at school. But I trust them, I love them, I believe in them, and I know they are going to reach high places.
My Mentors are striving so hard and doing so well that everyone from their past is surprised to see them now. I’m happy that I learned to bring out the best in them. Now when I meet difficult people, I try to always look for what’s good about them. Once I do that, they start believing in themselves too, and they become really great. I love to praise people and celebrate their achievements. I get to do that all the time with my Mentors.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Passion has really driven me right from the start. I really believe in Educate!’s mission and I remind myself of it every day: I am developing young leaders and entrepreneurs. I think to myself, “If you don’t go to work, you’ll be dragging the youth back”. At Educate!, every single person in the organization influences the growth of others.
The growth of Educate! motivates me too. We’re moving to the West, to the South, to Rwanda, and that motivates me a lot. It means we’re working on something really, really huge. I love tackling challenges and finding ways to make things work. I love that each day is different.
What are your hopes for your new role? What do you want to see happen?
I’m very excited for my new role. When I first found out I got the job, I had a million thoughts. How is it going to feel to run a whole region? To lead such a big team? But after that, I had to pat myself on the back. I thought of everything I’ve done as a Program Officer and how much I have grown, and I realized that I can definitely handle it.
I’m excited about having a different experience with new schools. I know how schools respond to the program in Kampala, but not outside of the city. There will be different challenges and that will be exciting. Also, my mom comes from this region, and I’m really happy to be going back to where my mom grew up. It feels like I’m going home.
What I hope for the youth we work with is that they are very involved in transforming their education. Someday, they are going to tell their children that they played a part in this change. I hope that they are anxious each and every day to make something different, to meet new people, and to grow. I hope they have that drive to create goals for the next few years and to strive hard towards them. I hope they get to learn from me each and every day.