Tolu Olubunmi is definitely a Nigerian native but working endlessly in achieving the American dream.
She was 14-years-old when she moved to America and wanted to become an engineer. Tolu worked hard in school to make her way into a top university and she achieved her goal. She graduated with a degree in chemical engineering in 2002. But unlike so many other college graduates, Tolu’s undocumented status kept her from the jobs that she was otherwise qualified for.
Being a determined young woman, she began to think of how to improve the life’s of immigrates like herself, then she decided to devote her time to changing immigration policies in the US so that others will have the opportunity to realize their own dreams in the country they love and call their own. Just last year, Tolu was given one of the biggest opportunities of all: to introduce President Obama at the White House before his speech on immigration reform! Tolu was also recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of 15 Women Changing the World in 2015.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of USAIM for IOM, the United States based non-profit partner of IOM, the UN Migration Agency. She is also a founding board member of the United We Dream Network and co-founder of Welcome.us and Immigrant Heritage Month.
She currently serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Migration and co-chairs the Mobile Minds – an innovative initiative advancing cross-border remote working as a 21st century alternative to physical migration. She made the World Economic Forum’s list of outstanding women entrepreneurs, focusing her attention on international migration issues and access to opportunity for all people.
In 2015, Tolu joined 26 CEOs, Executives, Olympians, Activists, and other inspiring women to walk the runway at designer Carrie Hammer’s New York Fashion Week show featuring “Role Models Not Runway Models.” Her story has been profiled by several media outlets, including TIME and MSNBC and she has been a featured speaker at the White House, the World Bank, and the US Congress.
The social entrepreneur is guided by a quote from John Wesley ‘’ “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways, you can. In all the places, you can. At all the times, you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
Olubunmi is a strong believer that if each of us, in our own way, should all aspire to live out these words then there’s nothing we can’t achieve. Tolu says ‘’it took her own setbacks to open her eyes to this truth’’.