George Srour brings hope for any senior or junior without a job, but with an idea. George came up with the thought for Building Tomorrow while an undergraduate at the College of William & Mary in the midst of being a typically over-worked, over-involved student. In the summer of 2004, George interned at the United Nations World Food Programme Headquarters in Rome, Italy, and then at a regional office in Kampala, Uganda. Part of his assignment was to study the structure of the school feeding initiative, a program designed to help draw kids into the classrooms and off the streets in developing countries such as Uganda. While touring close to 20 schools in Kampala, Srour visited several sites benefiting from this program. One in particular, Meeting Point Kampala (MPK), was home to nearly 1,000 students and was holding classes in a poorly constructed timber building. The school’s director indicated that while the school was in great need, the $10,000 price tag of a new structure was too prohibitive. With this figure in mind, Srour returned to the College and enlisted the help of several classmates, administrators and community members in a project called Christmas in Kampala. Several organizations helped to arrange fundraising activities that in just over six weeks yielded $45,000. On Christmas Day, a contingent of William and Mary students made a surprise delivery to the children of MPK with a holiday dinner and gifts for all, as well as enough money to build a new schoolhouse.
George came to the College to talk to the Leadership in Community Engagement class about passion, sacrifice, and a love for bettering the world. A wonderful example of this is a personal story George shared with the class. After graduating from the College in 2005, George moved back in with his parents to afford his dream of furthering Building Tomorrow. For most students, this is a move most want to avoid. But what has this selfless move led to? Today, Building Tomorrow has opened seven primary-level academies in Uganda and has classroom space for over 2,100 students. They are set to break ground on their 15th academy by the end of 2011. Each academy is fully staffed; with expenses and salaries being covered by the Ugandan Ministry of Education. Nearly 90 percent of students at the Building Tomorrow Academy of Lutisi who sat for their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in 2010 passed. This is what our College inspires. With enough brilliant, altruistic people motivating each other, William and Mary will always continue to produce truly beautiful leaders. How else can one explain a man with an idea blossoming into a non-profit titan (see picture/link below) in 5 short years? It’s that unending optimism that even in the face of society’s darkest dilemmas, persists.