Sophia Assenga is the CEO and Founder of Teach For Tanzania. She was born and raised in rural areas of Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro region. At the age of 11, she left her seven siblings and parents behind to live with her mother’s sister who was a primary school teacher. Her aunt became Sophia’s greatest supporter and mentor throughout her studies. Sophia became the first and only child in her family to go to secondary school and eventually university, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Education from St. Augustine University of Tanzania.
Before she attained her first degree, Sophia pursued a two-year diploma in teaching at Marangu Teachers’ College, after which she served as a lower secondary school teacher for six years. She worked as a district coordinator volunteer at the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots program, cultivating young leaders to take action in environmental conservation with the intention of making the world a better place for all living things. Sophia also worked with Friendly Water For the World and served as Country Coordinator and Chief Community Trainer of the Bio-Sand Water Filter Project in Tanzania. Sophia was selected as part of the inaugural class of Obama Africa Leaders in 2018. Through her experiences in the classroom and in the nonprofit world, Sophia developed an interest in becoming an educational activist in Tanzania with the conviction that education is critical to transforming people’s lives and eradicating poverty.