Babacar Mbaye

Princeton Bridge Year On-Site Director, Senegal

Babacar is passionate about education and both inspiring and being inspired by others. After contributing to early Where There Be Dragons programs in Senegal, he has been an instructor since 2011. Since then, he has led one West Africa semester course, two custom programs, two summer courses, and six Princeton Bridge Year Programs.

Babacar was drawn to teaching from an early age, tutoring his classmates in secondary school and teaching summer classes for local youth while attending university. After Babacar completed an MA in English in 1995, he began his teaching career in 1997. He has held a variety of positions in the Senegalese public school system over a career spanning more than ten years, including at the primary level, the middle school level, and as a headmaster. He later taught English and developed language curriculum for a flight school in Dakar.

Babacar has worked with the Princeton Bridge Year Program since its inception in 2012 and collaborates with colleagues to plan and deliver meaningful cultural immersion and quality learning experiences. As a native of Yoff, Babacar shares his community with participants by arranging and supporting homestays, internships, service projects and guest lectures. Babacar is passionate about language learning and teaching, and he regularly brings Senegal into the classroom and the classroom out into the streets. As an authentic educator, he loves having discussions with students, exploring ideas and being with young people as a coach, mentor, and friend. However, he will always consider himself first and foremost a student of their unique perspective and wisdom.  Bridge Year participants quickly learn how important Babacar’s family is to him. Babacar actively supports his community and family, both in Yoff and outside of Dakar. He has a wife and five children (aged 5 to 19 years), who are all central parts of the Bridge Year community. Babacar is deeply spiritual and shares this with students and colleagues. In his free time, he enjoys reading and following current affairs on the news. To keep fit, Babacar likes ‘urban trekking’ by going on long walks and bike rides exploring Dakar.