Introducing LEP's Summer Ambassador, Katy Ballo

The Literate Earth Project has partnered with Skidmore College to send Katy Ballo, winner of a 2018 Minerva Scholarship, to Uganda. During her time in Uganda, Katy will be visiting Literate Earth Project libraries and learning about the daily operations of the organization, and assisting librarians in developing programming.

Katy, who is a rising sophomore, was previously the Club Correspondent of Skidmore's African Heritage Awareness Club, and is currently the Club Correspondent of the Muslim Student Association. Here's a bit more about her and why she's chosen to use her scholarship to be an ambassador for the Literate Earth Project (LEP) this summer.

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My name is Korotoumou (Katy) Ballo, I moved from Ivory Coast to the United States five years ago and I speak French, English and Mandingo.

I was beyond eager when I found out about LEP through my Opportunity Program advisor. LEP makes the dreams of 8,000 young students come true by exposing them to books at a young age. I believe that young children should have more choices and have access to books because a school without a library has no foundation. Traveling to Uganda to advocate for literature will be a phenomenal experience as I will be able to provide what was not provided to me as a student in Ivory Coast.

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As a Management & Business and International Affairs prospective major, my career aspirations involve working with a non-profit organization to help improve the lives of children in my community and build my own school.  I hope by working with LEP, I will gain the experience and necessary skills to learn first-hand what it takes for a non-profit organization to make a real impact in communities where students endure similar struggles to what I faced growing up. I want young children to be exposed to literature and read books for pleasure, educational purposes or through fun activities. 

Working with the Literate Earth Project (LEP) this summer will help me bring one step closer to my goals by exposing me to new communities, new cultures, and enhancing my project planning and public speaking skills.

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Katy will be sharing additional blogs while abroad this summer and one upon her return so follow her journey as she becomes our first LEP ambassador.