Mission

Team

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Cristina Kullberg

The baby of 10 children, I have always been driven by the passion that my parents instilled in me to help others. At age 21 my parents left Cuba to start a new life in the United States. Knowing very little English, they both worked hard to adapt themselves to U.S. culture and to build a family in a new country and culture. Thanks to my father's persistance and studies at Catholic University in D.C., he was able to provide for all 10 of us as a leading architect in the nation's capital.

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     Cristina Kullberg

         Co-founder

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Hans Kullberg

As the son of two immigrants,  I have always felt fortunate and blessed to have the opportunities of a strong education, especially with the universities in America. Because my parents both came to the U.S. for educational opportunities (one from Sweden and one from the Phillipines), I recognize the power of education to change an individual's future. 

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     Hans Kullberg

         Co-founder

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Blaise Buma

Open Dreams was started based upon the fulfillment of my own dream. I was born into extremely modest circumstances in Bamenda, Cameroon and was afforded the opportunity to study at Washington & Lee on a full scholarship at the age of 21.  I was the first member of my family to pursue a college education abroad, after making huge sacrifices and overcoming very difficult odds. My love for my native country and my unwavering commitment to one day better the region through economic and political advancement drove me to seek higher education in the developed world and today I am enabled and motivated to give back.  

 

When I graduated from high school,  I refused to be constrained by limited financial resources or geographical and cultural barriers to getting a decent education. I was lucky to have met Morgan, an American woman who had come to do some work in Cameroon. Morgan helped to pay for my college application process including paying for application fees, buying SAT and TOEFL prep. materials as well as paying for my flight to the US and buying my first laptop. I am always indebted to her for the time and resources she invested to help me realize my goal of studying in the US. 

 

I am telling my story to inspire others who may want to give, reach out and help but do not know how. Thanks to the kindness of this young American girl, I was able to attend Washington and Lee University and I went to study abroad at the London School of Economics for one year where I discovered a passion for finance. Thereafter I interned at Deutsche Bank and returned to W&L for my senior year. I then was a Schwarzman Scholar studying in China, I currently work for a Venture Capital Firm in Mali,  and will continue my education at the Harvard Business School next year.

 

I started Open Dreams to help others in a similar situation. I hope to someday return home and contribute to the political and economic development of my home country. Founding Open Dreams was the first step in this process.

       Blaise Buma

         Co-founder

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Akaba James

In my little community, in Bamenda – Cameroon, where I grew up, education was a dream to many! Before I finished elementary education, my parents retired and there was no obvious source of funding to keep 14 of us going. Our destiny was left in our hands. Like a car that wouldn’t start and needed a push, I knew that my elementary education was a push enough for me to accelerate. I was privileged to have had the push

 

       James Akaba
  Country Director

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History

Open Dreams was started based upon the fulfillment of my own dream. I was born into extremely modest circumstances in Bamenda, Cameroon, and was afforded the opportunity to study at Washington & Lee on a full scholarship at the age of 21. I was the first member of my family to pursue a college education abroad, after making huge sacrifices and overcoming very difficult odds. My love for my native country and my unwavering commitment to one day better the region through economic and political advancement drove me to seek higher education in the developed world and today I am enabled and motivated to give back.

When I graduated from high school, I refused to be constrained by limited financial resources or geographical and cultural barriers to getting a decent education. I was lucky to have met Morgan, an American woman who had come to do some work in Cameroon. Morgan helped to pay for my college application process including paying for application fees, buying SAT and TOEFL prep. materials as well as paying for my flight to the US, and buying my first laptop. I am always indebted to her for the time and resources she invested to help me realize my goal of studying in the US.

I am telling my story to inspire others who may want to give, reach out and help but do not know-how. Thanks to the kindness of this young American girl, I was able to attend Washington and Lee University and I went to study abroad at the London School of Economics for one year where I discovered a passion for finance. Thereafter I interned at Deutsche Bank and returned to W&L for my senior year. I then was a Schwarzman Scholar studying in China, I currently work for a Venture Capital Firm in Mali, and will continue my education at the Harvard Business School next year.

I started Open Dreams to help others in a similar situation. I hope to someday return home and contribute to the political and economic development of my home country. Founding Open Dreams was the first step in this process.

To empower high-achieving, low-income scholars around the world by bridging the global gap between talent and opportunity at the university education level.

As a college-access organization, Open Dreams leverages a mentorship network, rigorous academic curriculum, and partnership system to bring educational opportunities to highly talented scholars from lower-income backgrounds. We ardently believe in a world where talent is universal, but opportunity is not. To reverse this inequality of opportunity and secure a better future for our scholars, we utilize connective technology bringing together mentors, teachers, admission officers and educators to our scholar community. We envision a world wherein every child has an equal chance of access to university education no matter what geography, race, gender or socioeconomic background they entered the world.

OUR 

Mentors

Want to be become a mentor? Visit our CONTACT page and let us know how you can contribute!