Last week we celebrated World Kindness Day, and this week we celebrate Thanksgiving. These two special holidays give pause to many in our country, encouraging us to remember our blessings. Despite our differences, these two weeks embody values we can all agree are important.
Kindness. The connotations of “kindness” may not include power and confidence – in fact, people often attribute kindness to weakness – but kindness is incredibly powerful. In fact, acts of kindness have been found to be contagious; one act has a large ripple effect.
So, it’s a great time to think about what we can do to spread more kindness in the world! Anne Kihagi, a San Francisco landlord, hopes to spread kindness herself while challenging others to elevate the academic ambitions of our black teens.
Despite many advancements in higher education, college access and completion rates are still undeniably skewed by demographic. The Anne Kihagi Foundation wants to help underserved black teen students by providing guidance and mentorship.
Who is Anne Kihagi?
Ms. Kihagi was born in Africa, and attended boarding schools from age of eight in Africa and U.K. until she came to the U.S. for college. Ms. Kihagi subscribed to the American credo of hard work and determination, and it paid off as she was lucky to attend a top 5 university and attain an MBA.
Her diligence was further rewarded after graduation when she landed a job on Wall Street, ascending to a top level in her fixed-income mortgage group. Ms. Kihagi anticipated the Financial Crisis of 2008 and left Wall Street to pursue a career in real estate. She now focuses on real estate investment and development.
Education the Key to Levelling All Inequalities?
Being a black woman in one of most competitive real estate markets, in San Francisco, has not been without challenges. However, despite challenges, Ms. Kihagi believes education is the key to leveling all inequities, and hopes to pay her experience forward by helping teens both expand and exceed their education goals.
Ms. Kihagi is launching her foundation – the Anne Kihagi Foundation – with an initial grant of $25,000 to help teens in East Los Angeles, followed by similar support in the new year for high schoolers in Richmond and Oakland, CA (two cities where she started her real estate career). The foundation aims to enhance college access for inner-city kids with goals of attending a higher education institution by arranging college tours, securing tutors to help with application essays, and other essential preparatory measures that are not financially feasible for every family.
The Anne Kihagi Foundation intends to help a total of 25 students achieve acceptance into college. Ultimately, the Foundation hopes to encourage and inspire continued education on a larger stage, as well as increase the number of graduates with bachelor’s degrees in these target areas.
Happy Kindness and Thanksgiving Week! Welcome to the Anne Kihagi Foundation.