Effecting Change in Liberia

From studying political science courses to taking a leave of absence to establish a non-profit organization, Sekou Jabateh is working his way into public service in his home country.

Growing up in Liberia, Sekou Mohammed Jabateh, like many young people there, faced barriers to getting an education due to limited resources. It’s what inspired the NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2022 student to pursue public policy here at NYUAD: to gain high-quality policy skills and understanding to help him contribute to real and systemic change back home in Liberia. 

Serving His Community

So passionate in his work, Jabateh took a leave of absence one semester to establish a non-profit social impact organization that mobilizes communities to increase access and address the limits to primary education in underserved locations in Liberia. 

In doing so, he has been able to enroll and improve the learning outcomes for nearly 80 children from the slums community. 

Jabateh credits NYUAD for providing him the experience to be able to apply all he learnt and for being one step closer to his goal. 

“I’m keener today on pursuing a PhD thanks to the amazing classes and research assistantship I’ve done with incredible professors,” Jabateh said. “The resources and support systems have greatly helped my academic journey.”  

An Eye to the Future

In addition to the classes he took at NYUAD, the political science major student also applied for a six-week program last summer at Princeton’s Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute to further strengthen his skills at policy writing and analysis.

Looking ahead to graduation next year, Jabateh hopes to pursue a masters in public policy, economics, or international development. When he eventually returns to Liberia, he wants to get into the President’s Young Professionals Programs that recruits outstanding Liberian graduates into various roles in government. “I hope to use it as my gateway to government and public service,” Jabateh said.