Tony Sanneh, center, was joined by students and faculty after his talk about leadership in community service.

After a successful professional soccer career, Tony Sanneh parlayed his passion, resources, and name recognition into creating a Twin Cities-based foundation that offers youth in-school and after-school support, provides programs that strengthen physical health and social and emotional development, and unites communities by advancing diversity, equity, and community well-being.

Sanneh visited the Winona Campus to meet with education and First Generation Initiative students about using education to make a difference in individuals and communities. Later, as part of the Leadership Interchange Series sponsored by the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership, he spoke to students  about servant leadership, how to leverage “what you have” to help others, and how to start and run a foundation.

In a few short years, the Sanneh Foundation has grown to sponsor a variety of community youth programs in Minnesota and Haiti. One program, Dreamline Corps, combines education support with after-school soccer and other enrichment programs. Dreamline coaches work with youth in junior and senior high schools in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, and Rochester. Our Graduate School of Education is partnering with the Sanneh Foundation to provide licensure pathways for Dreamline coaches in the areas of special education and English as a Second Language.