Our Vision

Young people are able to realize their full potential and become leaders in creating the changes they want to see in their communities and, ultimately, the world.

About WMI

Wells Mountain Initiative (WMI), fosters social change at the local level by building a global network of grassroots leaders who are catalyzing community transformation across 54 developing countries.

We support young people who have proved to be unstoppable in the face of adversity and are deeply committed to leading change in their community. We fund their undergraduate studies in high-need sectors, help them lead social service projects during their academic career and stand alongside them to address any challenges, so that they successfully complete their studies.

Post-graduation, we provide life-long support, which includes professional development and social entrepreneurship training, community development grants to start and grow their own community projects and businesses, regular in-person conferences and online webinars and support for in-country scholar-led fellowships.

Through our efforts, we are fostering a global community of grassroots leaders and social entrepreneurs who are tackling issues such as gender inequity, educational access, health disparities and climate change through a locally-rooted and community-driven approach, resulting in more just and sustainable solutions. 

Our Approach

Recognizing that poverty is the result of global structural inequity, our strategy is to empower a generation of leaders who have the tools, resources and peer support to lead change to address the root causes of problems.

WMI’s model is unique in three ways:

Local Leadership

Our work is based on the conviction that local leaders are the best positioned to lead change in their own communities. WMI Scholars lead in the face of daunting challenges and are implementing fresh and creative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. As a US-based organization, we know that our role is to support local leaders, rather than implementing top-down solutions.

Global Peer-to-Peer Collaboration

Often the most talented leaders operate in isolation, with few resources, tools and networks to ensure that their change efforts are sustainable. While education is a life-line out of poverty, sustainable social change requires committed, resourced individuals working collectively together over time. Through community development grants and technical assistance to support scholar-led initiatives and regular strategy convenings, we help sustain and amplify locally-led change.

Building Sectors

We focus on building local leadership in high-need sectors- such as health, education and the environment so that WMI Scholars can bring badly needed resources to under-served regions and communities. For instance, many WMI Scholars start the first health clinics or schools in their villages. Gender empowerment is a cross-cutting approach across all of the sectors; we support the leadership of women and girls and prioritize gender empowerment projects.

Our History

In 2005, Wells Mountain Initiative was founded with the idea that we could have an important role to play in helping young people in the developing world by leveling the global playing field for education, opportunity and justice.  Our first efforts were aimed at scholarships.  From the beginning, we also focused on community service and encouraged our scholars to volunteer.

Through a study abroad program, Jordyn Wells had the good fortune of becoming friends with Victoria Galley, a fellow high school student in Ghana. Victoria was one of the most driven students in her village and went out of her way to help others.  In college, Jordyn returned to Ghana.   She quickly discovered that Victoria had not had the same opportunities that she had to pursue these goals.  Victoria could not continue to college because her family did not have the funds for tuition.

At the same time, Tom had been working in Africa and Haiti through YMCA World Service, and had met many young people like Victoria, with big hearts and lots of ambition, but who needed help, particularly in pursuing education.  Tom quickly realized that much more could be done if he went beyond what he could do personally and sought the support from others, giving them a chance to make these life- changing contributions as well.   With the help of his friend and long-time client, David Bolger, a “business bonus” due to Tom was turned into an even bigger gift of start-up money and WMI was formed.  The number of students supported grew fast from just Victoria to 4 the next year, then 11…then, well now over 700!  Our organization grew further as Carol Wells helped Tom make it successful in those early years.

Today, Tom is very happily relegated to his board chairman post and his “vision thing” and Carol serves on WMI’s Advisory Board. Our staff has grown to its present eleven full and part-time very committed individuals, headed up by Executive Director, Lisa Meadowcroft. 

Privacy Policy​

Wells Mountain Initiative is committed to safeguarding your privacy both offline and online, whether you’re a donor or just a visitor to our website.

Please read the following policy to understand how the information we’ve collected is used.

Personal Information
We only collect personal information, such as your full name, address, email address, telephone numbers, and credit/debit card details, if you voluntarily provide it to us. This usually happens when you make a donation or subscribe to our e-Newsletter. This information is necessary for us to process your donations, respond to your inquiries, and keep you informed about our programs, campaigns, and events.

Wells Mountain Initiative guarantees that any personal information collected, including full name, address, email address, telephone numbers, and credit/debit card information, will never be shared or sold with anyone else. Additionally, the organization will not send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations.

Accessing/Updating Information
To access, modify or delete your personal information, please contact us. You can choose to stop receiving all communications, including email appeals, direct mail appeals, newsletters, etc., by contacting us at info@wellsmountaininitiative.org.

Protection of Information
Our website is equipped with an SSL Certificate to ensure that your personal information remains secure and inaccessible to unauthorized individuals. This certificate creates a secure connection between your browser and our website, ensuring that all information passed between the two is private and encrypted. As a result, SSL encryption prevents hackers from stealing sensitive information such as credit card numbers, names, and addresses.

Change to Privacy Policy
Wells Mountain Initiative reserves the right, at any time and without notice, to modify this policy by posting such changes on its site. Any modifications are effective immediately upon posting.