More Than Me

The More Than Me Academy is on a mission to make sure education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls from the West Point Slum of Liberia. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life.
Jun 9, 2014

Update on MTM's Library!

Albernita enjoying her library!
Albernita enjoying her library!

The More Than Me Academy Library is open! Thank you for supporting literacy at our school. We wanted to update you on how the money you raised is being spent. Last fall, we received a generous grant from the British Embassy in Liberia to open a brand new library! Only 11% of schools in Liberia have a library. On top of that, we've received several book donations for our library. Due to these two developments, the only book purchases we needed to make were for regional and cultural literature, so that our students can learn more about the community and culture they've been brought up in!

The money you raised will go to support our main project that supported this microproject, 500 Girls off the Street and Into School in Liberia. This is GlobalGiving's microproject policy, and we wanted to let you know how your money is being spent.

Thank you for your continued support. We couldn't do this work without you!

For the girls,

Emily and the MTM Team

May 29, 2014

Have you heard of intenSati?

Ashley and the girls celebrating after class!
Ashley and the girls celebrating after class!

Thank you for your continued support of our girls and our programs. We have had some amazing volunteers in the past few months and we wanted to share one of their stories with you. Here is Ashley's story:

I spent the last couple of weeks teaching the young women and girls of the More Than Me Academy in Liberia a practice known as intenSati. intenSati is an exhilarating workout that builds physical, mental and spiritual muscle. intenSati combines high-energy, total body training with positive affirmations that you either think or speak. I am possibly the first person to bring the practice of intenSati to Liberia and quite possibly Africa as a whole.  

During the time I had with these beautiful girls, bursting with potential, whose eagerness you could practically feel gyrating on the surface of their skin, we spent a lot of time talking about how to make our dreams come true-- how to make our dreams a reality.  

So here I was on my first day of teaching, standing in front of a dozen or so students in dusty uniforms with their big attentive eyes staring into mine when I realized my very dream, one in which I dreamed up two years ago, was coming true. I was living it.   

In order for us to create our dreams, to make our dreams a reality we must put in alignment our thoughts, our words and our actions. Thus is the idea I explored with the MTM girls through meditation (thought), verbal affirmations (word) and physical movement (action). I may never know the impact of my teachings nor the enormity of my efforts. For that, you should ask each and every girl I got the pleasure of teaching. What I can say for certain is that we had fun! We smiled, we danced, we shouted and we celebrated! Together with all our power we were able to slow down time and truly live in the NOW with no concern with what was coming next. 

Thank you Ashley for your amazing work with our girls! They had so much fun shouting things like "I am powerful!" and "I am strong!" while learning how to meditate and exercise in a healthy way.

Thank YOU, our amazing supporters, for believing in these girls. We couldn’t do our work without you! We have one month left of school, and the last day of school, June 25th, is also a Microsoft Bonus Day, with donations matched at 100%! Stay tuned for how you can get involved. 

For the girls,

Emily

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Ashley teaching intenSati to the community!
Ashley teaching intenSati to the community!
Class on the roof of our Guest House
Class on the roof of our Guest House

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May 29, 2014

What's up at the MTM Academy?

Saturday school in session!
Saturday school in session!

With one month of school left, we continue to be inspired by the progress our students have made. No ‘summer fever’ or ‘senioritis’ here; the girls aim to work as hard as they can to improve their reading and math skills before summer break. 

Lauren, our Vision Class teacher, reports:

Last week, the Vision girls finished their individual oral phonics tests, and have now officially completed two years of phonics! Our values of the month are "determination" and "mastery", and the girls have done a great job putting those two values into practice. We began our first round of optional Saturday review classes, where all but six of the girls attended to sharpen their reading skills.

They have also been paired together as special "phonics friends" to reinforce the material, and most of them spend their lunch and recess hour reviewing their work so they can become the best readers possible. They have said that they will do whatever it takes to finish an additional half-year of phonics by the end of the school year (instead of just reviewing the material we've already learned), which will have them finishing the year halfway through the second-grade reading program. This is INCREDIBLE considering they all had not had a single phonics class before the year began. We started with Kindergarten phonics at the beginning of the year. The Vision girls are working hard, and we are so proud of their dedication to learning!

When Saturday school is a big hit, you know you're onto something good. We're proud to be pushing for the best outcomes for our girls. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life. And that’s HUGE!

For the girls,

Emily

P.S. We are excited that the last day of school, June 25th, is also a Microsoft Bonus Day, with donations matched at 100%! Stay tuned on facebook and twitter for how you can get involved and see the progress our girls have made in a year.

Working on phonics!
Working on phonics!

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