Dr. Kimmie L. Weeks has worked to alleviate poverty and human suffering in Liberia and Africa since he was fourteen years old. At the onset of the Liberian civil war, Dr. Weeks like many Liberians experienced first hand the struggles of war and brutality. At age nine, he nearly died from starvation and disease. Based on that experience, he set a goal to making a difference in the lives of others.
In 1994 at the age of fourteen, Kimmie Weeks started his work to impact that lives of Liberian children and youth. He co-founded the Voice of the Future Inc., and later on went to establish the Children’s Bureau of Information. In 1996, Weeks established the Children’s Disarmament Campaign with goal to advocate the disarmament of Liberia’s 20,000 child soldiers.
In 1998, Kimmie Weeks went into exile from Liberia and started living in the United States. Once he came to the United States, Kimmie Weeks established an International organization called Youth Action International to support the needs of families living in post war countries. Since its establishment, Youth Action International’s programs have benefited close to 200,000 people in six post war African countries.
Kimmie Weeks is the recipient of the 2007 Golden Brick Award which honors young people under 25 years old who are working to change the world. Also in 2007, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf presented Kimmie with Liberia’s highest honor by decorating him Knight Grand Commander in the Humane Order of African Redemption. Kimmie is the youngest recipient of this honor. He is also featured in the new book Peace in Our Lifetime as an international peace maker, along with Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2008, MTV Canada and Discovery Channel International profiled Kimmie’s work as part of a new reality series called 4REAL. In 2009, CNN International Profiled Kimmie Weeks on the program called African Voices. More than 200 million people in over 250 countries viewed the show.
Kimmie Weeks received a bachelor of Arts Amherst College and a Masters of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He also was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree in May 2011.
Xander focuses on building a resilient, inclusive democracy that priotize the freedom of its people. He currently runs the policy accelerator network The Future US, and previously founded orgs like One For Democracy and Defeat By Tweet.
Barbara has worked for 35 years in business management and small business accounting, first in Philadelphia and for the past 20 years, primarily self-employed in southeastern Connecticut. She has served as Finance Director for several nonprofits.
Joe has over 30 years of global infectious disease experience in pharmaceutical, biotech and CRO industries. He currently heads Integrum Scientific which is working to find solutions for infectious diseases in the most prevalent equatorial regions.
Kathryn Birky is a co-founder of Because Capital, an investment firm built around digitization, automation and sustainability within supply chains. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors.
Nikolina has been a supporter of YAI and its mission for more than 15 years. She works in finance and is currently based in London, UK.
Richard has built computer systems for field use in military, healthcare, and educational settings and for tribal governments. He has been a supporter of YAI for over 20 years.
Richelieu Allison has led youth and peacebuilding programs across Africa. He is the Regional Program Manager and Co-founder of the West African Youth Network; an organization that focuses on regional youth empowerment.
Zoë Pappis is deeply passionate about empowering women through safety and education. As a mother and the co-founder/ executive director of When We Band Together, she's dedicated to creating a safe space for refugee women and children to access resources and opportunities they need to thrive both mentally and physically.