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The Mentoring Story

Nanette Graham, Ph.D.

J. Jarpa Dawuni, Esq. Ph.D.

Champion role models program

The Mentor I Never Met


In 1995, I walked into a hair salon in Accra, Ghana. As I waited for my turn, I flipped through the rugged and torn magazines on a table nearby. Amongst the magazines was an Ebony magazine. That edition had a section highlighting the twenty most influential black people under the age of thirty. My eyes were drawn to one young lady named Nanette Graham, a 29-year old, with a Ph.D. in Criminology and Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska at that time. I begged the hairdresser to let me tear that page out of the magazine, and luckily the hairdresser agreed. I cut out the picture of Nanette Graham, laminated it to ensure it would stand the test of time, and kept that picture as a constant inspiration to achieve my personal goals of becoming a lawyer one day.

Fifteen years later, I achieved my dreams of becoming an attorney, with a Ph.D. in Political Science. This story illustrates the power of a positive role model. I had the personal agency of finding my own role model; not many other girls have such personal aspirations. With your support as a champion mentor, we can reach many girls and set them on the path to achieving their goals. The Champion Role Models program is aimed at providing mentors and positive role models for girls and early career professionals.


When you give a girl the key to their imagination, you equip her with the basic tools to imagine she can achieve her educational goals. When you mentor her, you are giving her the key to join the next generation of global women leaders, and agents of social change. You position her to be part of the next generation of mentors who will pull other girls up and set them on the path to success. I hope you will support The Institute for African Women in Law (IAWL) as we seek to enhance the capacity of girls and women in achieving their dreams. Become a Champion Role Model,  and you could become the next Nanette Graham in a girl's life!

J. Jarpa Dawuni, Esq., Ph.D.

Founder and Executive Director

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