Saying he wants to give back to the community and put his coalition-building skills to work, Massene Mboup announced his candidacy for Lake Oswego City Council today. He is running for one of three open seats.
Mboup, who has lived in Oregon for over twenty years and in Lake Oswego since 2011, is the founder and Executive Director of the International Leadership Academy (ILA), a private, nonprofit French immersion school located in the heart of Lake Grove on Boones Ferry Road in the Hope Community Church.
“Twenty years ago, I came to Portland from Senegal to teach French. I taught for thirteen years in a SW Portland school. When they closed in 2011, my wife and I decided to open a school here in Lake Oswego. I fell in love with this City for its dedication to children and education, its beautiful parks, and strong sense of community and civic engagement,” said Mboup.
“My love for LO has only grown deeper in recent years as I’ve witnessed, first hand, the courageous dialogue occurring in our community around race, and the dedication of the City, community groups, and the school district to help ensure Lake Oswego is welcoming to everyone,” said Mboup. “I’d like to help contribute to changing the narrative of what people think of Lake Oswego because I have felt very much embraced by this community. We need to be the change we wish to see in the world. The sustained commitment to this issue is not happening in other neighborhoods and I’ve been very proud of our community and proud to be a part of it.”
As a middle child of 10 siblings growing up in a poor household, Massene shares childhood stories of walking four miles each way to school, and living in a village in which refrigerators and TVs were a luxury held only by the wealthy. Hard work and a life mission of investing in the future of our children have gotten him where he is now. Mboup has a Masters in Education from the University of Dakar in Senegal, and is in the final stages of earning his Doctoral Degree in Education from Portland State University.
He brings to the table strong values relating to social justice, to children and education, to equity and inclusion, and workers’ rights. He also has a fundamental desire to knit the community together.
In addition to successfully founding and leading the International Leadership Academy, which he has developed into a highly successful academy with twenty-five teachers that serves over one-hundred children, Mboup has also held leadership positions in Senegal in an educational advocacy group, and in a national organization for the coordination of summer activities.
Soccer is another passion of Mboup’s. He has coached kids soccer in Portland and Lake Oswego for over ten years, and he plays on a Lake Oswego coed team.
“My approach to futbol, in which everyone comes together based on a love of the game and a desire for fair play, is much like my love of community and how I intend to approach work as a city councilor,” said Mboup. “We have to build bridges and walk the distance to talk to one another as people because at the end of the day we all want much of the same thing.”
Mboup is already enjoying strong support in his campaign bid from a broad cross-section of community leaders such as Oregon Senator and Lake Oswego School Board member Rob Wagner, ILA PTO President Melissa Fireside, co-founder of LO for LOve Amy Waterbury, and former Lake Oswego Mayor Jack Hoffman.
“Massene Mboup is a pillar of our community." said Wagner, "As a small business owner and a teacher - he’ll bring needed voice and perspective to LO City Council.”
"Massene is much more than the manifestation of the American Dream, he is the leader of the village helping to raise my son. His boundless commitment to love through education inspires and engages me and my family every day,” says Melissa Fireside. “I cannot imagine anyone that would be more devoted to equity, justice, and the future of our children sitting on the Lake Oswego City Council than Massene."
Mboup and his wife, Patricia, live in the Bryant neighborhood of Lake Oswego. Mboup has two sons, ages 18 and 20, both planning to move to the US to attend university, pending immigration processing, and his step son graduated from Lakeridge High School in 2017.