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Allison Sproles

The Sycamore School

Class of 2023

Allison Sproles is a senior at The Sycamore School in Arlington, Virginia. Allison is a hard-working and ambitious student who has taken a diverse range of classes, many of which were honors and intensified.

Allison enjoys reading and writing poetry in her free time. She also enjoys the outdoors and demonstrates that through her dedication as an Eagle Scout. In the summers, she teaches sailing to both children and adults. Throughout the school year, Allison sails competitively on DC Sail's Varsity Team. Allison also has been an active member of her school's debate club.

Allison is eager to join the International Business and Development Internship because she wants to dip her toes into the realm of business and discover what it is like and what it entails to help manage and advise businesses. She also wants to contribute to small businesses in a developing country and hopes her academic career and experiences so far can help her in doing so. She is eager to work with individuals from that country and learn about how businesses differ from those at home. Allison also sees this internship as an opportunity to work on a team with fellow peers from her school and she hopes this will help her demonstrate her leadership, communication, and teamwork skills.


Kai Carney

The Sycamore School

Class of 2025

Kai Carney is a sophomore at The Sycamore School, Kai has won the Payback Challenge essay competition with Next Gen Personal Finance. He is also enrolled in advanced coding.

Kai enjoys playing Ultimate frisbee. At school, he has been a member of Student Council. As a member of Student Council, he organized stream cleanups and other events. In his free time, he plays Guitar and Chess.

Kai Carney is looking forward to participating in the international business and development internship program. he believes that by helping local entrepreneurs in Bauchi, Nigeria establish themselves, we’ll improve the quality of life for the people of Nigeria. Kai is also excited to get hands-on experience and learn about foreign economies.


Diego Askew

The Sycamore School

Class of 2024

Diego Askew is a junior at the Sycamore School in Arlington, VA. He is also enrolled in courses at a local college. His primary academic interests are history, philosophy, and international studies.

Outside of school, Diego plays travel soccer and coaches youth flag football. He speaks Spanish whenever he can and enjoys traveling internationally.

Diego participated in Leadership Initiatives' Advanced Law and Trial Internship in the summer of 2021. During the 2021-2022 school year, he participated in Leadership Initiatives' International Law and Advocacy Internship. He is excited to continue his work with LI this year.


Evan Brown

The Sycamore School

Class of 2026

I am 14 years old. I have dyslexia and ADHD, and I love working on projects.

My favorite sport is ultimate frisbee I have been playing since the middle of 5th grade and I have loved playing it. Some other things I like to do is play chess because it requires a lot of focus and thinking and I like the way that it is difficult and I can improve. I also am taking under grade level coding work in school I have been coding since I was in 3rd grade and I love the thinking behind it. it challenges me to think outside of the box in advanced ways. I also do a bunch of other things like running and biking and helping people build computers and even more!

I am excited to work for this because I think it is a good after school activity and I love the idea of helping people that need the help that with the resources we have. I like the group idea and working together.


Our Business Partner

Sa'idu Garba

Business Statistics

- Sa'idu has trained and employed more than 4 members of his community

- Sa'idu allows negotiation and makes sure his customers get a fair deal and his service is affordable.

- Sa'idu works resiliently despite the inconsistent Nigerian energy grid.

Sa'idu Garba

About Sa'idu

Sa'idu Garba is a 37 year old man who was born and raised in Nasarawa Jahun. Sa'idu has 9 children, ranging from the ages of 10 months to 12 years old, and is the sole provider for his family. Although Sa'idu has no formal education, he has been trained with a master in Home Electronics Repairs for 3 years. Sa'idu owns an electrical repair shop and he specializes in wiring and installation of appliance electrical repairs. Sa'idu is extremely passionate not only about his business but about how his business helps his community. Sa'idu wants to make sure those in his community have access to electrical stability. Sa'idu also recognizes how his business provides an opportunity to young adults to be trained and have work experience. He hopes that his business will grow to help more young adults and provide an outlet to apprentice opportunities, training, and education.

Sa'idu Garba

Community Impact

Sa'idu's business has played an extremely valuable role in helping his local community. Ultimately, Sa'idu hopes his business will be part of a movement alongside other businesses to alleviate poverty and give citizens more opportunities. Sa'idu helps his community by providing electrical repair assistance to other local businesses, taking in young people with a lack of opportunities as apprentices, and allowing other members of the community to have means of electricity stability as well.

Sa'idu Garba

Our Partnership

Our team is honored to be working alongside Sa'idu and we aspire to help him in making his dreams come true. Although it is difficult to communicate as frequently as we might like, we still manage to schedule meetings to meet with Sa'idu and discuss what we have done and brainstorm with him on further ideas. We are working to increase our financial literacy skills so that we can better support and educate Sa'idu to strengthen his business model. We are currently working to establish a financial tracking program for his business.

Our Approach


Financially literate entrepreneurs make growth-oriented financial and economic decisions for their savings, borrowing, and investments. Our team is working with Isiyaka Sa’ad to create an effective financial tracking system for his business finances, receipts, and daily costs.


Our team identified target markets and key demographics to create a customer acquisition plan. We are working with Isiyaka Sa’ad to redesign his brand and create effective marketing campaigns.


Steady growth is a critical component of creating self-sustaining communities. Our team is working to identify key areas of opportunity for Isiyaka Sa’ad and design solutions with grant money to improve his business to foster growth.

Our Fundraising

$2044 RAISED


$3000 GOAL

Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced some of the highest growth rates globally over the past 10 years. While this means that people in these nations have become more optimistic about their social and economic future, the region continues to face a myriad of historical problems. In order to continue steady growth and achieve a future of equitable conditions in the region, our International Internship Program team seeks to build stronger communities from the grassroots level through fundraising for community development.

Funds raised are used to implement community-based education programs, pay staff to run the operations on-site, and invest in training for local leaders. Leadership Initiatives uses fundraised money to develop a network of support for actionable change and accountability between our team, the Leadership Initiatives staff, and the community stakeholders we work with.