If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
— African Proverb
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Jacob Manyang

Founder & Executive Director

Jacob Manyang is the Founder and Executive Director of Education Refuge Inc. In 1987, Jacob was born in modern day South Sudan amid the Second Sudanese Civil War. Finding himself both an orphan and refugee at the age of 6, Jacob traveled on foot to Dimma Refugee Camp in Ethiopia where he spent 8 years of his life. In 2006, Jacob sought refuge in the United States and began his formal education and start to a new life. In 2015, Jacob received his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jacob continues to use his education and resources to serve others back home uprooted and devastated by the ongoing regional conflicts.  "Through my experiences and struggles as a former refugee, I still feel the effects and the pain that people displaced by war go through. I believe if I were not brought to the U.S by generous people, I would still be struggling in the refugee camp now like others who have been there for more than two decades. I believe refugees desire educational opportunities combined with the possibility of peace to go back to their own countries and rebuild their lives once again."


Anna Spethman

Director of Operations

Anna Spethman is the Director of Operations of Education Refuge Inc. In 2017, Anna received her Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies with a concentration on African human rights and policy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Anna met Jacob during her university studies and was inspired by his story and selfless mission to help other refugees like himself both domestically and abroad. Anna currently works as a Refugee Case Manager with a local resettlement agency in Nebraska serving populations from the Congo, Iraq, South Sudan, Myanmar, and more. "Growing up, my parents always emphasized that no one has the power to take away your education. I want to make sure this remains true for all people across the world. While I continue to work to make learning possible for others, I am forever grateful for the invaluable education refugees have provided me." 



Here are the dedicated leaders making the mission of Education Refuge Inc. a reality. 


Gabriel Akot



Marissa Jackson



Andrew Push


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David Malir Abiei

South Sudan


Emmanuel Reech


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Jacob Ajok Ayuen

Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya


Jay Torres

Development Director