CNN Names U.S. Government Exchange Alumna In Top 10 Heroes List

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Cable News Network (CNN), has named a 2017 alumna of the United States government-sponsored International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), Ms. Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of the Year.

Ajayi-Akinfolarin’s organization, Pearls Africa Foundation, which she founded in 2012, assists girls from underserved communities in Nigeria gain relevant technological skills to transform their lives. The beneficiaries get training in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python and Scratch and visit tech companies to reinforce their learning and broaden their horizons.

Her GirlsCoding project has reached more than 400 beneficiaries, including girls from orphanages and correctional homes, in addition to young women fleeing the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram. The GirlsCoding project is being supported by the U.S. Consulate General Lagos.

In 2017, Ajayi-Akinfolarin also founded Lady Labs Innovation Hub, a female-focused tech centre which caters specifically to the technological needs of female university students enrolled in the STEM fields of study and female entrepreneurs.

The graduate of the University of Lagos participated in a three-week IVLP exchange program focusing on “Education and Activism for Young Women.” The International Visitors Leadership Program is the U.S. State Department’s premier professional exchange program.

CNN described the 10 finalists as “remarkable trailblazers who have truly changed the world.”  Each Top 10 CNN Hero will be awarded $10,000 and the CNN Hero of the Year will receive an additional $100,000.  The honorees will also receive free capacity-building training from the Annenberg Foundation, a leading supporter of nonprofits worldwide.

To vote and select the CNN Hero of the Year, visit: CNNHeroes.com

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