Jesse Hawkes

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Jesse Hawkes, Rwanda Program Director & Interim Executive Director, Global Youth Connect.

"Jesse is a social activist, professional actor, theatre director, author, and youth development worker who has been living and working in Kigali, Rwanda for nearly six years. In addition to serving as GYC’s Program Director for Rwanda since January 2007, Jesse founded and now serves on the board of directors of Rwandans Allied for Peace and Progress (RAPP) ( Jesse’s work at RAPP has included developing and managing a creative, engaging HIV prevention program for over sixty Rwandan high schools and communities, utilizing a combination of innovative theatre methods, peer education, and outreach activities. He has also written episodes of Ishuti Solange, a popular radio drama series on HIV/AIDS and other public health concerns, as well as films about HIV Prevention in the Rwandan military for Population Services International (PSI-Rwanda). In collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport and Mashirika Performing Arts, Jesse performed at the 10th memorial service of the 1994 genocide at Amahoro Stadium, Kigali. He also directed the short films, Sinigurisha (now seen on Rwanda TV) and Ingabire. As a founding member, assistant program director and chair of the Board of Directors for Centers for Social Responsibility, Jesse led outreach campaigns to schools for the Rwanda By Invitation program, chaired the Sister Schools program where he led secondary school students on a trip to Rwanda, and designed and delivered presentations on Rwandan history and culture to local high schools in Vermont. He also served as a visiting artist at the Community Arts Project in Cape Town, South Africa where he directed, wrote and facilitated a community development theatre project in collaboration with the South African government, township youth and South African artists. As an educational consultant for Parents, Teachers and Students for Social Responsibility, an organization implementing educational programs and projects designed to empower young people with the knowledge and attitudes needed to become proactive citizens for social justice, he led a group of high school youth from the US on a visit to Haiti. Jesse graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in history." [1]

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  1. Jesse Hawkes, Global Youth Connect, accessed May 2, 2010.