JA Africa


While living in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, Ybadiolouma Romy Sthone found himself without a high-school diploma and without a job. He wanted a different life than the one he grew up with, but he didn’t have the skills employers wanted for long-term, full-time employment. He found work as a receptionist, and then as a shop clerk, but he wasn’t able to hold onto those jobs. For two years, he was mostly unemployed.

Then Ybadiolouma discovered JA Gabon. The 26-year-old entered JA’s ITS TYME program, funded by Bechtel, where he learned how startups are created, how companies operate, and what some common business challenges are. Then he entered another Bechtel-funded initiative, JA Career Success, where he received training in workplace skills. Ybadiolouma began to understand why he struggled to hold onto a job. He vowed at the end of his JA experience that if he got another job, he’d keep it.

Fresh off his JA training, Ybadiolouma attended a job convention, where he met Diderot Ntole, owner of SY et Co., a construction company, who offered him a six-month contract. As of today, that contract has been renewed, Ybadiolouma is a commercial agent, and he’s in charge of sales and marketing for the small business. What a remarkable turnaround for Ybadiolouma’s life!