Leah K. Horowitz

At the young age of 11 years old, Leah Horowitz was drawn to adventure and fascinated with the wider world. By the time she arrived at Dartmouth College as an undergraduate, she was motivated by the words of Dartmouth President Dickey’s charge: "The world’s problems are your problems."

Leah inspired everyone she met to do better. Although she was a brilliant academic, she always had one foot outside of the classroom. She knew she needed to not only make an impact domestically but internationally as well.

A trip to Zimbabwe had made a lasting impression on her. She found herself returning to Africa again and again. In 2005, she began working for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Not content to sit in a cubicle all day long, Leah requested a permanent transfer to the field office in Accra, Ghana. She became Program Coordinator and Research Analyst for that country.

Leah was just on the precipice of womanhood. Afafanto means butterfly in the native Ghana language of Twi. Leah was similar to that butterfly emerging from her cocoon. She struggled mightily to find her identity and place in the world, in an effort to come to terms with not being able to do it all. She once said that dying did not scare her, but only the sadness of not doing all she intended to do.

Leah died at the age of 29 on the Cape Coast road of Ghana, West Africa. Leah was a meteor, speeding too quickly across the sky. Through this scholarship, may her luminescence remain a long time. Giving another girl just on the precipice of womanhood the opportunity and financial wherewithal to find her own identity would be just what Leah would have wanted.

The Afafanto Scholarship Fund is a tribute to Leah's work and heartfelt belief that women in Ghana deserve more and that education at the grassroots level is the best way to impact the lives of women for generations. A lack of representation by women in decision making is a cause Leah began to work on at the end of her too brief life. She authored a well received paper sponsored by the World Bank entitled "Getting Good Government for Women: A Literature Review". She was in the process of developing a proposal entitled "Women Empowerment for Improved Quality of Life (WEIL)" with the Larabanga Area Council. She felt that providing an education beyond the primary level to a young girl in impoverished circumstances would go a long way to making a difference to that young girl.

If you'd like to know more about Leah, visit her blog.