For the first time, Chocolate University began accepting applications from both Greene and Christian counties. This outstanding group of 14 high school students accompanied Shawn Askinosie and several Askinosie team members to Tanzania.
After months of preparation, the students met with farmer partners, inspected Askinosie Chocolate’s next crop of cocoa beans, facilitated profit sharing with financial statements translated to Swahili, lead a chocolate tasting with farmers, facilitated a farmer co-op strategic plan, enacted many community initiatives.
The CU 2016 class became skilled in the art of writing a “Vision of Greatness”. They worked on their own vision statements, facilitated the vision writing process with small groups of Middle Schoolers at Pipkin Middleschool in Springfield, Missouri and eventually led vision writing sessions for the 200 young women of the Empowered Girls club and 185 young men of the future Enlightened Boys club. “Vision of Greatness” writing was also taught to our onsite Tanzanian Field Rep, Saraphiner Urio, and continues to be an integral part of the after school club curriculum for both groups.
The cocoa farmers and students worked closely together in small groups to prepare and installing sack gardens to widow and orphan homes in the village. The garden concept helps provide healthy greens to some of Mababu’s poorest households.
Lastly, the class of 2016 was present for the celebratory chartering of the first Enlightened Boys club. The girls and boys clubs are complementary cohort groups that support the equalization of gender role perception and aim to help all students reach their highest potential.