Ama is a Portland native, music lover, and constant learner. A recent graduate from the University of Oregon, Ama was hired directly after his internship with Charter School Capital, adding to the diversity of thought in the CSC space.
Ama has a passion for equity and for research, and plans to become a lawyer. He strives to leave a legacy every day.
As part of the Emerging Leaders Internship Program at the University of Oregon, Ama started work at Charter School Capital as an intern. During that period, he joined the team under the Operations side. As his internship came to an end, he started to work under the Finance Department – which led to him been hired as a full-time Finance Analyst.
In Ama’s view, Charter School Capital fills the gaps of financing for charter schools across the country. A majority of this work is tailored to fit each case, community, state, and individual organization. In this context, Ama’s role has two facets, being that he works in both finance and strategy. This allows Ama to be a contributor in multiple points across the company.
Working for the good of the community gives Ama a great deal of satisfaction. His own school experience included a lot of switching schools, and no real sense of an education community, so providing that for others fills him with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Charter schools were a new arena for Ama – he didn’t know much about them before coming to work at CSC. Once he became involved, this work opened his eyes to the massive positive impact that can be achieved by leveraging financial skills in the educational field.
Ama’s goal to be a lawyer has been with him since his early youth, and it’s still very much his ambition. He’s always been drawn to lines of work that have a direct impact on fostering the community. There’s a quote by Roosevelt, “The Man in the Arena,” which states despite the many critics in the world, what matters is to be the person who is willing to stand up for equity. Attorneys are part of that impact, Ama believes, and that fuels his plans to go to Law School.
Asked what might be surprising to our readers, Ama laughs, and tells us his family is directly from Nigeria, so he has 28 cousins. A transformational experience in Ama’s life was a visit to Nigeria with his family, as a teenager. He learned much about his own culture. He’d never been embarrassed of his culture, he just hadn’t given it much thought. In this trip Ama fell in love with his parents’ home country, and led him to make a promise to himself to stay true to his authentic self – not just for himself but for the people who made his present life possible.
Among the things Ama enjoys about his position at CSC is the variety of tasks, across several departments. It helps him feel integral to the process, like the oil that keeps the machine in motion. There’s a satisfaction in seeing one’s work impact and further the advancement of the company – and the charter schools the company helps.
Ama would love to see a course taught to young people called “Factfulness” – where folks would learn to interpret numbers and break down facts behind figures. He believes it’s important for all of us to learn how to interpret news, facts, and models. These skills are essential to making informed decisions, Ama tell us.
Ama’s advice to young people is to pursue passion, rather than financial gain. He also believes folks should accept people’s differences and live in harmony – and that social media has too much influence over our daily lives. Specifically in the realm of education, Ama hopes mainstream understanding and acceptance about charter schools continues to grow, and for charter schools to experience more equity in funding and in public perception. Different approaches to education allow more students to flourish, and grassroots-driven schools can help whole communities rise higher.
To that end, Ama hopes CSC continues to grow, and continues to find new ways to help charter schools. Any organization should strive for constant improvement. Part of CSC’s vitality is that ongoing effort to do better, to do more, to help more people.
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Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!