Greater Atlanta Christian School seniors Marilee Karinshak, 17, of Lawrenceville, and Molly Pritchard, 17, of Duluth, raised funds for three years to help open the Hale Academy in Cameroon, Africa, which officially opened its doors on August 23, 2021.
It all started several years ago when Marilee and Molly, soccer players with the Atlanta Fire United Soccer Club, and students at Greater Atlanta Christian School, joined Nadine Kezebou’s soccer team. Coach Nadine’s path to America began when she was selected to play soccer for the Cameroonian National Team. This decision ultimately led her to play professionally before attending Georgia State University.
Nadine overcame poverty and many challenges on her inspirational journey. Looking to give back to her homeland, Coach Nadine formed the Nadine Foundation, a nonprofit to help children access education, healthcare services, and humanitarian aid. Specifically, the Nadine Foundation undertook efforts to build a school in Mfou, Cameroon, to provide free education to children who would otherwise not be able to attend school.
Marilee, Molly, and their teammates were inspired by Coach Nadine’s story of overcoming poverty and participated in numerous fundraising activities to help build the school. Finally, years of hard work paid off as Hale Academy officially opened its doors to students on August 23, 2021.
When asked about her efforts and the school opening, Marilee said, “I am honored and humbled to be a part of this important work and help Coach Nadine make this school a reality. Education is critically important for a better life, and Hale Academy will impact lives for generations to come.”
Keeping with its foundation, soccer is a large part of Hale Academy. And Marilee and Molly have donated uniforms and soccer cleats to the school. Additionally, the students have plans to continue their fundraising efforts to provide more resources to the school, such as computers, books, and other enrichment. THE BUZZ