Pro-basketball player, Batouly Camara knows firsthand the power of sport on a developing young woman. Helping teenage girls gain access to resources they may not otherwise have, Camara founded an organization which hosts basketball camps in NYC and Guinea to develop girls into strong & powerful leaders
BATOULY CAMARA: Education and athletics is really important to give girls confidence. It gives them an opportunity to be empowered, to have jobs, and to live their life.
My name is Batouly Camara. I'm currently 24 years old. I am the head girls basketball coach and college counselor at Blair Academy. And I'm also the founder and CEO of Women And Kids Empowerment.
WAKE is a non-profit I started in 2017 after my first trip to Guinea, West Africa. We work to educate, equip, and empower young girls to support education and social entrepreneurship skills. I started WAKE because of one girl. I remember her coming up to me and saying, "you know, I can go to UConn and I'm better than you." and I said, "Yeah, you are." I remember so naively stating, "OK, go shoot hoops." "I don't have a basketball. There is no adequate courts." "OK, that's fine. Go run." "I can't. I'm a young girl." Go do this, go do that, and the list went on. Then I felt like it was so irresponsible of me to instill hope in young girls and not give them the resources, the opportunities, or the access to fight for their dreams.
We've started our basketball camps which take place in New York City and in Guinea, West Africa. We create these experiences in these spaces where they empower themselves. And they gain the tools necessary to be their greater selves through education and through sport. We have speaker series. We have workshops. Education and athletics are at the forefront of really providing a strong foundation and base for our kids to be successful.