T.Collective x SEED Girls

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T.Collective x SEED Girls

We kicked off the fall season with T.Collective, a total-body workout class, to raise funds and awareness for our SEED Academy Girls.  SEED Professional Board Member, Thea Hughes, and T-Collective Founder led the group through a high-intensity class on a beautiful rooftop in Manhattan's West Village.

After the workout, participants enjoyed healthy and delicious plant-based protein shakes from Upwild, and fresh-faced portrait photographs by Anna Sian.

Together, more than 20 participants helped raise funds to support our SEED Girls and wrote some positive vibes to send to our students in Senegal.

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MESSAGES FOR OUR SEED GIRLS

Attendees wrote some positive vibes for our students in Senegal.

Bonjour les femmes! J'espère que vous allez bien et que vous travaillez fort! À Idy, Khouredia, Mactar et Malick, vous me manquez et je vous souhaite une belle saison! Aux SEED Girls, vous êtes des modèles pour les filles dans votre cartier, école, famille, et SEED rise. Continuez à travailler fort, communiquer, et vous fixer des objectifs à chaque jour! 
You inspire me!
Women are so powerful and our beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Find your strength and embrace it. I write to you as a mother, one who is aiming to teach my daughter how much she can do. Hold fast to your dreams my dears. You are in a special place where the opportunities are being opened to you. Just have to work hard and reach out and take them. Stay focused on the things you want, you can accomplish ALL things! 
My message to the girls of SEED is a quote that gets my day going every morning. Ray Kroc was notorious for saying it and he got it from the 30th US president Calvin Coolidge.
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." In other words, never give up. Keep aiming and shooting and something is bound to hit your target. 
Ladies, you all are beautiful, resilient and thought-provoking leaders. Stand tall and united as each of you embody opportunity and grace. Keep inspiring the world, we need you! ;) Paz sempre, 
Each day move forward and grow not just as an individual but as a woman and know that because of that you are never alone. When things get hard, when you’re sad, discouraged, remember that others ache the way that you do. Hopefully you can find comfort in that and know that for every obstacle standing in your way, there are countless people willing to support you. We might seem far away, but I hope you know that you have women in NYC cheering for you loud and if you ever need anything — just let us know. 

Breaking Down Barriers: A Young Woman Chases Her Dreams

My name is Fatou Pouye, I am 20 years old, and I am from Senegal, West Africa.  I grew up in a region called Kaolack, a city in the middle of the country, where I lived with my parents, four brothers, and two sisters.

My country is very dedicated to our religion and culture. More than 90% of the population in Senegal are Muslim. With that, it was somewhat challenging for a woman to practice sports at a high level . But I chose to do what i love which is playing competitive basketball.

After playing with my local club team, I was lucky enough to be part of the U16 national team. From there I got a chance to meet the SEED Academy Head Coach. After talking to him about the new SEED Girls program, I was immediately interested in joining the reputed boarding school to see what it was about.

I was selected to be part of their tryout camp in 2013, and, after I performed well, I was invited to join the school. I was really excited and happy that I finally got a chance to be with other girls that love the game like I do – I didn’t have that before. But, just some days later, I found out that my father wasn't happy about it and didn't want me to leave home. I was really upset and I didn't want to talk to anyone. Thankfully, my mom helped me and convinced my dad to let me go and chase my dream – which is to get my education and play basketball.

It was not easy to leave my family behind, but I knew that I needed to do so for me to achieve my goals.  So, I moved to Thies (approximately three hours from Kaolack) and I lived with a host family. Every day I would leave my house to go to school and then to SEED for basketball practice and tutoring. It was not easy to adjust to this new kind of life, but SEED helped me with my studies and basketball training. I hope to one day go back to SEED and help other young women achieve their dreams as well.

After four years of living at SEED and improving my studies and basketball game, I received an opportunity to come to the United States to attend Glasgow Christian Academy (Kentucky) for my senior year of high school.  I was a little scared leaving my family behind because I had never left Senegal before, but I looked forward to the opportunity.  

I just finished my senior year and I have been given a scholarship to attend South Georgia Tech where I will complete my associates degree by 2019. 

I feel prepared for future success because of the values I learned at SEED.  I now have self-confidence, power and an open mind. With all of this, the only thing I can do is succeed.  

You can support more young women like Fatou.  Sponsor a SEED Girl today and give the gift of education.

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SEED Week 2017

SEED WEEK 2017

NYC -- Each summer, the SEED Project takes over New York City with a week of activities to showcase our programs and raise funds to support our mission to empower the next generation of African leaders through education and basketball.  SEED Week also provides the opportunity for our alumni who are studying in america to reunite with their former classmates.

This year, more than 400 guests participated in programming and events throughout the week, and helped us raise $75,000. 

The week started with our 5th annual Summer Party fundraiser, was followed by our Student-Athletes Career Services Seminar, and ended with our annual Team Africa vs Team NY All-Star game. Thank you to all of our event and program sponsors and guests who helped make this another memorable SEED Week.

If you could not attend and would like to support SEED, please consider making a tax-deductible donation below.

Please enjoy our recap and photos below.  


SEED Summer Party

June 21st, 2017 // Marquee Nightclub, NY

The SEED family turned popular nightclub, Marquee NY, into a West-African themed celebration.  More than 300 guests helped us raise $75,000 to support our programs in Senegal, Gambia, and the United States.  

Honorees:  Leon Rose (Leadership Award), Alec Hooff (Service Award).  

Guests heard from our 10 alumni in attendance, including a keynote address from Ramatoulaye Sy, a graduate of SEED Girls.  Rama spoke about the importance of programs like SEED back at home in Senegal to give women a platform to express themselves and find their leader within.

Top West African chef, Pierre Thiam, and music group, Eyespy, provided guests with great food and positive vibes.

A special thank you to our event sponsors!

Please click HERE for photo-booth pictures.


Student-Athlete Career Services Day

June 22nd, 2017 // WME | IMG, NY

For the 4th consecutive year, we hosted our Student-Athlete Career Services Day to support our student's ongoing professional development.  This year, we held our workshop at WME | IMG, the world's largest sport and entertainment agency, and partnered with leading education non-profit, Noble Impact, to deliver powerful job training workshops for student-athletes from SEED and New Heights NYC.  

The day began with a keynote speech from WME | IMG top sports agent, Jordan Bazant, and attorney, Keien Williams.  The speakers shared their experiences as former student-athletes and how they transitioned from the playing field to the business world. 

Then, Noble Impact hosted a 4-hour workshop that led the students through a series of activities to help prepare them for the next step in their careers.  The activities empowered each student to effectively communicate their own stories as a means to help them network and open up doors of opportunity.  

Photographer, John David Pittman, captured the entire day and provided each student with impactful portrait photographs for their LinkedIn profiles and resumes.  

Please enjoy the pictures below.


Team Africa vs Team New York

June 23rd, 2017 // Dyckman Park, NY

For the 4th straight year, we teamed-up with Dyckman, Overtime, and Nike, to host one of the most highly anticipated streetball events of the summer.  SEED Academy alumni, and select local NY student-athletes with African roots, took on a group of talented NYC high school all-stars.

Due to rain, the game was moved from Dyckman Park to Johnson Community Center on 115th Street and Lexington Ave.  Fans enjoyed a fast paced, highlight reel filled game that saw Team NY take down Team Africa for the 4th straight year.

Stay tuned for a full gallery of images shot by Steven Counts.

Hoop Forum 2017 Recap

Our 15th annual Hoop Forum (Dakar & Thies, Senegal) brought together top non-profits, corporations, and individuals using sport as a tool for development across Africa.  From our Nike basketball skills combine for the top 80 boys and girls from across Senegal to a financial literacy workshop to our Hoop Forum All-Star game at the African Renaissance Monument, it was truly a memorable weekend.

The 4-day event (May 4-7, 2017) took guests on a cultural, food, music and sport tour of Senegal.  More than 500 international guests, African basketball legends, SEED student-athletes and local basketball coaches enjoyed a balance of elite basketball camps, community give-back events, concerts, cultural activities, networking opportunities and more.  

A special thank you to all of our sponsors:  Center for Global Sports, Microsoft, Mimi and Papa NDiaye, NBA, UNFPA, and World of Money.

If you could not attend and would like to support our more than 2,000 student-athletes, please consider making a tax deductible donation below.

Elite Basketball Skills Showcase // May 4-6 // Thies, Senegal

Top coaches and athletic trainers from around the world joined the Senegalese basketball community to host three days of basketball skill camps for the top-80 young men and women under 18 in Senegal.  Professional coaches from the NBA and FIBA also conducted coaching clinics for local coaches.  This year, we had coaches and players attend from across the globe:  Canada, Cameroon, France, Germany, Nigeria, Slovenia, South Africa, The Gambia, Togo, and the United States.

Enjoy this cool drone shot of SEED's facility in Thies, Senegal by world renowned photographer, Kevin Couliau.

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Sport for Development Conference // May 4 // Dakar, Senegal

At this year's Sport for Development Conference, influential minds from the public and private sectors engaged in thoughtful discussions on how to use sport as a tool for youth development. Across four different panels, speakers discussed how to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sectors and non-profits, best practices from top organizations using sports as a tool for social development, the intersection of sports and technology, and the final panel was composed of former SEED student-athletes that have used sport as a pathway to pursue education.

For a full list of speakers, please click here.

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SEED Culture Night // May 5 // Thies, Senegal

In 2015, we launched SEED Culture, an organization-wide effort to honor Senegal's diverse cultural roots.  The culmination of each year's SEED Culture workshops is a performance by SEED Rise students at the Hoop Forum. This year's performance focused on cultural values, and through music, dance, and, theater our students continue to show why SEED is so much bigger than basketball.  

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Hoop Forum Gala // May 6 // Dakar, Senegal

Set at the Terrou-Bi in Dakar, this year's Hoop Forum Gala had more than 75 guests enjoy a three course meal and emotional speeches from African basketball legends.  The SEED executive team, including Amadou Fall, Joe Lopez, Noah Levine and Mohamed Niang, thanked guests for their generous support attending the 15th annual Hoop Forum, and laid out SEED's vision to build the premier leadership academy in Africa while expanding their SEED Rise model to countries across the continent.  

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Hoop Forum All-Star Game // May 7 // Dakar, Senegal

This year's Hoop Forum culminated with an All-Star game and Dunk Contest at the African Renaissance Monument in Dakar.  The visually stunning background was the perfect end to a weekend of amazing activities.  

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All photographs by Frank Boyer.

SEED Speaks: Learn the Art of Public Speaking Part IV

SEED Alum, Cheikh Sy Gives Back

For our last session of SEED Speaks (our 3rd communications session), we invited SEED alum and owner of Eme Designs, Cheikh Sy.


He not only talked to the kids about public speaking, he also stressed the importance of knowing oneself, thinking about the future and constantly pushing yourself to be better, having a realistic view and making the best of what you have now.
Cheikh gave the kids a lot to ponder: Who they are outside SEED? Do they deserve what they have? What are they doing to seize big and small opportunities that come their way? He talked about using your peers as mirrors and using their feedback to help improve yourself or recognize talents you didn’t know you had.


Cheikh’s old coach, Idy Cissoko, gave closing remarks sharing a few anecdotes about him and commending him for the man he has become today. The main message: you don’t have to be a basketball player to succeed in life.


With 3 communications session, an etiquette class, a 4- part debate club and a day of giving back to the community, SEED Speaks project has come to an end. It is now up to us to continue to work with the kids and give them the opportunity to keep practicing what they learned throughout the course of this project.