Yannick Tona

  • Political Science
  • Class of 2017
Kigali, Rwanda
Career Goal:
President of Rwanda

Inspiring a New Generation of Global Leaders

In April 1994, Yannick Tona was 4-years-old and stuck in the midst of one of the most horrific crimes of humanity in recent memory – the Rwandan Genocide. After watching his country tear itself apart in the violence, he decided to use his painful past to combat international genocide, discrimination and bullying.

Yannick is a dreamer.

“Our responsibility as young people is to positively impact the present and the future of our communities, and that all begins with us — right now.”

Yannick arrived at TCU as part of the Intensive English Program and later received a full scholarship to pursue a degree in political science. On campus, he is the founder of the Global Youth Initiative and a member of the TCU House of Student Representatives.

“TCU is not just a school, it’s family,” he notes. “It’s not just about getting a degree. People care about your success and make sure you have the right tools you need to achieve your goals.”

Yannick’s career goals are lofty, indeed. “Since I was young, I wanted to help my country, my people and Africa. That’s why I want to be president of Rwanda,” he says.

“I saw what bad leadership can do to a country during the Genocide. After that, I’ve been on a journey to become a good leader. TCU has brought me to the next level. I can now better understand the world and how things work.”

yannick tona tcu flag

An inspiring speaker, Yannick has shared his touching personal story with classmates and the TCU community. Together, they helped found the Rwanda Student Committee on campus to raise awareness of the genocide and support the country’s recovery efforts.

Yannick says that promoting awareness and being kind can cause a ripple effect that inspires young people to believe they can make a difference.

“We are all human beings, and we should support each other more,” Yannick said. “If we can realize just how much power we have, then we can make a change. And that starts with just being nice to each other.”