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Janice L.

Founding Director, President
New York, NY, USA

Biography

Janice Lathen is the Founding Director and President of Powering Potential Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides Educating Through Technology programs to schools in developing countries. Janice was inspired to start Powering Potential in 2006 during a school visit in Tanzania which was part of a safari vacation. After introducing herself in Swahili, she was overwhelmed by the students' expression of appreciation and the heartfelt connection she experienced.

Janice has created a team of professionals and developed Powering Potential into an organization that equips schools with solar-powered computer labs with an offline digital library and provides basic training. Students gain technology job skills and opportunities to advance their education, with some pursuing careers in technology.

The organization has received funding from the U.S. Embassy, IEEE Foundation, Raspberry Pi Foundation, Newman's Own Foundation, Segal Family Foundation, Serena Hotels, Tanzania Postal Bank, the Tanzania Rural Energy Agency and hundreds of individuals. Janice has shaped an organizational culture that mirrors the local values of cooperation over competition, community over the individual, modesty over pride, and spirituality over materiality. She works with top-level government officials and H. E. Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, President of Tanzania (2005-2015) wrote her a letter of encouragement on his last day in office. At the request of the Ministry of Education in Tanzania, Powering Potential submitted a proposal to scale up its program to an additional 54 schools.

Janice has been an entrepreneur throughout her career. Prior to starting Powering Potential, she managed her computer consulting business in New York City, specializing in training. Previously, she worked as an actress and a model after receiving a B.A. degree in Communications and Theater from the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota.