How We Started

Our Founders


Gina served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, where she had the great fortune of meeting Yvette. Working with Yvette and her team in Nigeria is hands down the most rewarding thing she has ever done.


Yvette was five months from receiving her bachelor's degree in Law & Gender Studies when she lost her sponsorship to university and was forced to drop out. She has since dedicated her life to ensuring that all children have access to quality education.

Bright Minds has its origins in 2015 when a Cameroonian woman named Yvette knocked on the door of a Peace Corps volunteer in her community and asked if she ran a nonprofit for women.

“No,” Gina said, “but we can start one.”

Yvette and Gina have been working together ever since. Their first project was a Widows' Empowerment Project, which created a co-op to economically empower women who lost their farmland to their late husbands' relatives. Yvette and Gina founded Bright Minds in 2018 to support children in Nasarawa State, a region just outside of Abuja, Nigeria, plagued by violence and economic depression.

Yvette and Gina's first project together in Cameroon was to support widows through the creation of a co-op.

They then implemented a series of health fairs, bringing together local health workers and community members.

In February 2018, Yvette and Gina founded Bright Minds in the Nasarawa State of Nigeria to reach some of the world's most vulnerable children.