Guiding the Journey was founded in 2007 by cousins, Janet Asante Sullivan and Clarissa Bannor. With reasons born out of personal experiences and a passion for leading change, strengthening identity, and exploring history, Clarissa and Janet were inspired by the people, ideas, and organizations who made personal impacts on their own lives growing up as first-generation Ghanaian Americans.
Studies show that cultural heritage and identity may be a source of behaviors and values that support educational attainment, economic success, and personal health which can also provide African immigrants with a sense of individual self-esteem, and promote greater civic engagement.
As home to more than 1.2 million African-born African immigrants and even more American-born children of African immigrants, Clarissa and Janet hope to impart a sense of cultural pride while reconciling issues of identity in Washington DC’s, “second-generation African immigrant” population–American-born children of African immigrants.
Guiding the journey is their unique, culturally sensitive, and fresh approach to overcoming barriers to personal and educational achievement in vulnerable youth. As Clarissa puts it, “As first-generation Americans we’ve been there, and we still struggle with navigating a world where we’re not quite American nor are we African enough. That’s a struggle thousands of kids go through. But we know how to navigate the college admissions process, and through giving back to our community in that way, we help kids in our program learn to accept their cultural differences, identify their strengths, and reach for the stars.”