For Sam Epee-Bounya and his wife Alex, following the path of their principles is very important to how they live their lives every day. Chief among those principles is a commitment to using the power of education to help improve the lives of underrepresented and underprivileged students, just as it changed the course of their lives.
“We want to play a small part in ensuring that gifted African and African-American students can have access to world class business education at MIT Sloan, so they can positively impact their communities,” explains Sam, who, with Alex, recently founded the Samuel (2003) and Alexandra Epee-Bounya Fund.
Sam, a managing director at Wellington Management, and Alex, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, feel they benefited greatly from the enormous sacrifices their parents and grandparents made for them to have access to education. Says Sam, “My maternal grandfather escaped poverty in Haiti through education to become a lawyer. He transmitted his passion for education to my mom, who became a lawyer herself, and my mother passed the education bug to her three children.”
Alex has a similar story. Her parents met in France because her father, originally from Cameroon, had earned a scholarship to study engineering and economics. “Through the power of education, my grandmother went from not knowing how write or read to having her granddaughter becoming a physician,” says Alex.
The life experience of both of their families gave Sam and Alex a special appreciation for the importance of providing children with access to education and medical care. And both believe MIT Sloan is the ideal place to provide that education. “Sam and I experienced his MIT Sloan journey together,” says Alex. “We felt incredible support from the community, and made friends that we still have to this day.”
“My wife and I are living proof that education can help fulfill dreams and change lives, and this legacy is something we have passed on to our three children,” says Sam. “We hope that our fund can help generations of students fulfill their own dreams.”