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In 2006, while an 11 year old middle school student at Seattle Girls School, Jessica founded a nonprofit organization called Richard’s Rwanda-IMPUHWE. The organization supports educational opportunities for Rwandan girls and a “never again” genocide awareness campaign in the US and currently has chapters in Seattle, on the east coast and two in Rwanda.
Jessica’s original inspiration stemmed from a Rwandan man named Richard Kananga, a representative from the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission in Rwanda. Richard stayed with her family in the United States, and he recounted many sad tales about the horrendous 1994 genocide.
IMPUHWE means compassion in Kinyarwanda. I- inspire, M- motivate, P-powerful, U-undiscovered, H-hopeful, W-women, (with), E-education.
Jessica is now 19 and a freshman at the Gallatin School of Individualized Studies at NYU, New York.