Grant #97

Lighting the Way to Success

July 7, 2014

Shining a light for the future success of bright minds in the making.

Dreams are a lot like lamps. With the right mind at work, a dream can shine enough light to brighten the lives of others. Marisa Ranieri is no stranger to sharing her dreams — and with her help, the future’s looking brighter every day!

The 20-something academic advocate began The Nyota Fund in 2013 to address the needs of Tanzania’s gifted young scholars, who were frequently denied the education they sought, strictly for economic reasons. To say she was impressed by the positive tenacity of her students at the local secondary school — who walked miles each day, only to be turned away, because they couldn’t afford the fees — is an understatement!

After contacting school leaders, community elders, and even government officials on the most effective, and respectful, way to intervene, her answer came from within: The Nyota Fund. The idea? Provide the greatest window of opportunity, by removing the biggest barrier before the most driven children: financial hardship.

The foundation has already raised over $10,000 for over 50 scholars — supplying meals, classes, and hope. And with the added push from an AWB grant, students will also receive solar lamps to help them study at home. With 5x more light than a kerosene lamp, these earth-friendly doohickeys will not just brighten the days of Nyota’s promising scholars, but their families as well!

To learn more, or contribute to the cause, visit The Nyota Fund on Facebook and Twitter, and see how far even a single dream, when driven, can go.

Category: Activism, Children, Education, Empowerment, Girls, Philanthropy, Social Impact, Writing, Youth



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders