Gabrielle Fondiller is the Co-Founder and Director of Hatua Likoni (Hatua, meaning step forward in Swahili; Likoni, an extremely poor neighborhood of Mombasa, Kenya where the organization is based). She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated from Wesleyan University with degrees in History and Government. She also earned a Masters in Management Science from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Gabrielle first lived in Kenya as a student in 2006 while conducting a research project on government policies affecting street vendors in Likoni. Realizing the widespread barriers to education in Likoni, Gabrielle and co-founder Peter Kwame founded the Likoni Scholarship Fund in 2007, which provided full scholarships and weekly mentoring to seven Likoni students. In 2019, Hatua Likoni is sponsoring 430 students in secondary schools, universities and vocational training centers. Additionally, they have over 70 alumni who have successfully graduated from the program and have entered Kenya’s workforce as educated professionals, ready to contribute to and benefit from Kenya’s growing economy. Gabrielle is motivated by the belief that all effective development is locally created and that youth will be development’s driving force. According to Gabrielle, “visionary leadership means staying focused on steady end goals so you are not pulled away from your core mission. It also means being humble, adaptable, and ready to learn” as well as recruiting and coaching passionate colleagues and giving them ownership, responsibility and autonomy.