How We Started

Our Founders

Gina

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 Cameroon and Nigeria is hands down the most rewarding thing she has ever done.   

Yvette

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 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 initiative was a co-op in Yvette's village to economically empower widows who lost their farmland to their late husbands' relatives. In 2018, Yvette and Gina founded Bright Minds to support children and families in the Northwest Region of Cameroon and Nasarawa State, Nigeria, regions of West Africa experiencing violence and economic depression.  

"For me... moral clarity is: you're in front of someone who's suffering and you have the tools at your disposal to alleviate that suffering or even eradicate it, and you act."                                           - Dr. Paul Farmer