Rosette Okala, MBA

Rosette Okala, MBA

“This foundation means the world to me. It means giving hope, giving back, and hopefully changing someone’s life trajectory through education, just as mine was.”

I am the proud mother of 2 boys, a wife, and a daughter.  I will not spend a great deal of time here underlining my professional accolades. Instead, I want to let you into my life a bit so you can understand why I am passionate about the work we are doing with this Foundation. As the product of two teenagers in the 1980’s in Cameroon, odds were stacked against me from the beginning. I was once someone who could have benefited from this foundation due to the extreme financial hardship I experienced in my early years.

Education means everything to me. Thanks to it and the many people who have and continue to inspire me – I beat the odds. The first one of those people is the teenage boy (aka my father) who would earn a PhD later in life despite all the obstacles he had to overcome. 

His life has greatly impacted my ability to know the power that a good education can yield for many of us who were not born with a silver spoon in our mouths. As one of 12 kids raised by a single mother without much money, my father fought hard to afford an education that allows him today to work in a field he is passionate about. For him, it was the difference between the streets and the life he leads today.

My mother died at a young age as a student, without fully realizing her potential. It has been my privilege and the honor of a lifetime to fulfill her dreams as well as my own. My will to keep going is always keeping the importance she gave to education and fulfilling dreams cut unfortunately too short.

My two beautiful grandmothers, who, because of their gender were not afforded an education due to the times they grew up in. I also carry their hopes and dreams because of society’s denial to give them a voice decades ago.

Thanks to the education that lifted my father out of poverty, my life was able to change as well. As a result, I have been privileged to attend university, find meaningful employment, travel the world, live in 3 continents, and now call Canada my home, with a family of my own. My two beautiful boys will never go through my struggles and I want that for every boy and girl in the world. I believe a good education can change lives – it changed my father’s and mine for the better.