All Sections
Welcome guest, you have 3 views left.  Register| Sign In

Home | 40 Under Forty

Deo Mwano: Giving back has been a healing process

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

January 21. 2016 12:27PM

Deo Mwano, 25



Home: Manchester

Birthplace: Democratic Republic of Congo

Family: Wife, Lakisha Mwano; two sons, Elijah Mwano, 3; and Davian Mwano, 1.

High school: Memorial High School, Mount Zion Christian School.

College/post grad degrees: New England College, MBA Strategic Leadership, Bachelor of Arts in political science international relations, Bachelor of Arts in history modern European.

Current job: College For America SNHU; learning coach team lead/manager of Community Design Partnerships, Deo Mwano Brand learning engagement designer/multi-culture activist/choreographer. I joined College for America at Southern New Hampshire University in January of 2013 as a learning coach. As part of the original pilot program, I helped developed a coaching model that enables students to succeed in a personalized online competency program. I has also helped scale the model as enrollment has grown from 200 students to over 3000. Today, I wear many hats at CFA. I study effective coaching strategies and develop training for coaches. I also oversee two unique partnerships at CFA, with Kepler University in Rwanda and the International Institute of New England. With these partners, I am working on new ways to engage and support students in competency-based education.

Key past positions held: Department of State National Passport Center, passport adjudicator.

Volunteer activities: Life Church; Manchester Ignite, 1269 Caf; dance teacher, motivational speaker, refugee expert; Boys and Girls club Manchester.

Key current professional challenge: Finding monetary funds to support Competency Based Education for under-served population.

Last major achievement: I was selected to travel to Rwanda with the President of SNHU and the Board of Trustees to visit a partner school in Rwanda I was overseeing in June 2015. I was able to witness 46 Rwandan students graduate with their AA degrees from College For America SNHU.

Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: Lack of relevant development opportunities for low-income population.

Favorite place in New Hampshire: Portsmouth.

What book are you reading now? “The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal.

How do you relax? I listen to music on my headphones and reflect on my thoughts. I also enjoy watching movies to relax.

What websites do you visit most often? www.brainpickings.org, linkedin.com, www.vice.com/en_us, www.cnet.com.

MANCHESTER — Deo Mwano arrived in the United States fatherless because of political violence in his native Congo.

“It took a long time for me to cope and overcome a lot of the fear and depression and everything I dealt with that I witnessed at such a young age,” said Mwano, who came to the United States at age 9 in 2000 following his father’s assassination.

“It is very vibrant in everything that I do,” the 25-year-old Manchester resident said. “Being able to give back was a healing process for me.”

Mwano is a learning coach and helps design competency-based degree programs for working adults at College for America.

Many of his students are blue-collar workers.

“They can’t move forward in their area because they don’t have a degree,” Mwano said.

He also was founder of Movement from Above, a dance group that performs for and motivates students at school assemblies. He teaches hip-hop dance classes that bring together students of different ethnicities.

“Helping improve the lives of students and helping businesses to become culturally diverse,” he said.

Mwano also runs an after-school program, at Hillside Middle School, titled Bring It! to encourage students to explore their creative sides.

Mwano, who previously taught dance courses at Southern New Hampshire University, said he enjoys helping refugees get accustomed to New Hampshire.

“Deo’s energy and positivity are infectious and inspire everyone around him to be better,” said friend David Casinghino, who nominated Mwano. “He has the unique ability to engage and empower students through his genuine passion for movement and dance.”

Said Casinghino: “He is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with hard work and a positive attitude, especially for Manchester’s refugee community.”


General News Manchester

THANKS TO OUR PROGRAM SPONSOR

Class of 2017

Michael Solari, 33, Goffstown

Michael Solari, 33, Goffstown

Michael Solari, 33, of Goffstown is principal owner of Solari Financial.

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, Peterborough

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, Peterborough

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, of Peterborough is an artist and lecturer of Visual Art, College of the Holy Cross.

Paul C. Smith, 36, Epsom

Paul C. Smith, 36, Epsom

Paul C. Smith, 36, of Epsom is clerk of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Molly Sanborn, 37, Concord

Molly Sanborn, 37, Concord

Molly Sanborn, 37, of Concord is director of development and marketing at CATCH Neighborhood Housing.

Justin Slattery, 36, Concord

Justin Slattery, 36, Concord

Justin Slattery, 36, is Concord is executive director of Belknap Economic Development Council.

Rebecca Perkins, 34, Portsmouth

Rebecca Perkins, 34, Portsmouth

Rebecca Perkins, 34, of Portsmouth is associate general counsel at Enel Green Power North America.

Arnold Mikolo, 25, Manchester

Arnold Mikolo, 25, Manchester

Arnold Mikolo, 25, of Manchester is community liaison with St. Anselm College; vice president with the Congolese of New Hampshire; ESL instructor with Manchester Community College; medical...

Tilak Niroula, 28, Manchester

Tilak Niroula, 28, Manchester

Tilak Niroula, 28, of Manchester is communication manager at Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire, residential instructor at Easter Seals.

Norri Oberlander, 34, Londonderry

Norri Oberlander, 34, Londonderry

Norri Oberlander, 34, of Londonderry is vice president of North End Properties Inc., aka Landlady in Downtown Manchester

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, Bedford

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, Bedford

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, of Bedford is an attorney (partner) with Stebbins, Lazos & Van Der Beken, P.A.

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway is partner/vice-president/senior civil engineer at HEB Engineers, Inc.; varsity baseball coach, Kennett High School.

Keith Young, 33, Groveton

Keith Young, 33, Groveton

Keith Young, 33, of Groveton is partner at Geo. M. Stevens and Son Co.; moderator for the town as needed; part owner with my wife of First Step Fitness Centeral.

Doug Martin, 34, New Boston

Doug Martin, 34, New Boston

Doug Martin, 34, of New Boston is a commercial real estate advisor for Colliers International.

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford is an instructor in the Department of Nursing at Saint Anselm College.

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, Laconia

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, Laconia

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, of Laconia is an English teacher and English Department chairman at Laconia High School.

Justin Boufford, 36, Manchester

Justin Boufford, 36, Manchester

Justin Boufford, 36, of Manchester is an account executive for Boyd & Boufford Insurance Agency LLC.

James Brewer, 35, Portsmouth

James Brewer, 35, Portsmouth

James Brewer, 35, of Portsmouth is vice president, middle market lender, Kennebunk Savings Bank.

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, Loudon

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, Loudon

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, of Loudon is principal strategist and marketing manager, SilverTech Inc.

Tyler Gouveia, 18, Nashua

Tyler Gouveia, 18, Nashua

Tyler Gouveia, 18, of Nashua is CEO and majority owner of T Town Sports, full-time student at Suffolk University.

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, Canaan

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, Canaan

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, of Canaan is regional recreation coordinator for Mascoma Valley Parks & Recreation (part time); USA Field Hockey umpire (high school and college); basketball and softball coach;...

Nate Alberts, 34, Franconia

Nate Alberts, 34, Franconia

Nate Alberts, 34, of Franconia is owner of Nate Alberts Painting; founder and executive director of North Country Community Radio.

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester is head coach and general manager of the N.H. Jr. Monarchs.

Tim Baines, 37, Manchester

Tim Baines, 37, Manchester

Tim Baines, 37, of Manchester is owner and operator of Mint Bistro.

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, Pembroke

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, Pembroke

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, of Pembroke is an attorney at Hage Hodes, P.A.

Sandi Coyle, 38, Exeter

Sandi Coyle, 38, Exeter

Sandi Coyle, 38, of Exeter is executive director of Granite Pathways.

Tyler Brown, 29, Manchester

Tyler Brown, 29, Manchester

Tyler Brown, 29, of Manchester is an account manager at CGI Business Solutions.

Joe Whitten, 30, Manchester

Joe Whitten, 30, Manchester

Joe Whitten, 30, of Manchester is chief executive officer of Apparel Impact.

Paul J. Bauer, 37, Newfields

Paul J. Bauer, 37, Newfields

Paul J. Bauer, 37, of Newfields is an attorney with Devine Millimet & Branch, P.A.

Matt Walsh, 38, Concord

Matt Walsh, 38, Concord

Matt Walsh, 38, of Concord is director of redevelopment, downtown services and special projects for the City of Concord.

Rio H. Tilton, 20, Seabrook

Rio H. Tilton, 20, Seabrook

Rio H. Tilton, 20, of Seabrook is a real estate agent at Lighthouse Real Estate in Seabrook, state Representative for District 37 representing Seabrook, Hampton Falls and Hampton.

Chad Theroux, 32, Manchester

Chad Theroux, 32, Manchester

Chad Theroux, 32, of Manchester is director of finance for the Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions Product Line at BAE Systems.

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, Concord

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, Concord

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, of Concord is a special education teacher at Manchester High School Central.

Ned Sackman, 38, Concord

Ned Sackman, 38, Concord

Ned Sackman, 38, of Concord is a commercial litigation attorney and shareholder at Bernstein Shur, P.A.

Jenna Raizes, 32, Epping

Jenna Raizes, 32, Epping

Jenna Raizes, 32, of Epping is deputy general manager at New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Charles W. Kriete, 39, Salem

Charles W. Kriete, 39, Salem

Charles W. Kriete, 39, of Salem is senior vice president of Tessco Technologies.

Laura Gamache, 32, Manchester

Laura Gamache, 32, Manchester

Laura Gamache, 32, of Manchester is a real estate agent/Realtor with Gamache Real Estate Group of Keller Williams Realty.

Jessica Eskeland, 31, Concord

Jessica Eskeland, 31, Concord

Jessica Eskeland, 31, of Concord is coordinator at N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Matthew T. James, 35, Londonderry

Matthew T. James, 35, Londonderry

Matthew T. James, 35, of Londonderry is a commercial lender at Eastern Bank.

Liz Hitchcock, 38, Manchester

Liz Hitchcock, 38, Manchester

Liz Hitchcock, 38, of Manchester is a philanthropist.

George S. Hansel, 31, Keene

George S. Hansel, 31, Keene

George S. Hansel, 31, of Keene is co-owner of Filtrine Manufacturing Company and an At-Large Keene City Councilor.