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Women You Should Know: Adetola Salau

Adetola Salau, a global educator and engineer, is the founder of Carisma4U Educational Foundation.

Her foundation is focused on the transformation of the educational system in Nigeria and Africa, especially Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.

Giving back

Adetola, having worked for the City of New York Board of Education as well as a teacher in North and South Carolina and California, decided to give back to her country in terms of expressing her passion – advocating for educational reform.

She has a desire to help African students become ready for the future, to be innovators who will bring prosperity the economy of their respective countries and the African continent as a whole. This she does using the STEM approach.

STEM education is the infusion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in learning which helps students proffer solutions to world problems. Adetola believes that it is better to “Catch Them Young” by integrating STEM lessons into school curriculums as this will help to develop the interest of the students and to also develop relevant skills early enough.

Raised by intellectual parents, Adetola had always been taught the importance of giving back to one’s society. More so, her parents had developed in her the love for STEM subjects from a very tender age. She began to volunteer during her pre-teen years, joining the Red Cross Society. She also mentored young children.

Her passion for STEM education was further stirred when she noticed the negative impact water pollution (caused by oil spillage) had on her community. Her desire to resolve the damage the oil spill had on her environment at that time stirred her to study Chemical Engineering.

One reason why Adetola Salau is an advocate of STEM education today is owned to the horrible experiences she had when she took those subjects. She, however, was fortunate to come across passionate educators alongside her parents, who made the difference for her.


Adetola founded Carisma4U in 2015 to address the poor attention given to the Nigerian and African educational system, including STEM. She seeks to use her foundation to create in students a lifelong love for STEM. More so, she wants to create a paradigm shift such that children and youths question the status quo, as this will spur them to go in search of answers to real life problems, which will in turn create more job opportunities.

“STEM is the multidiscipline which incorporates the integration of other disciplinary knowledge into a new whole. Technology is the means of communication with Mathematics being the language whereas science and technology are the processes for thinking. The judicious mix of these four leads to innovation.”

Adetola has authored eight books including Re-engineering Minds for Innovation. Carisma4U Educational Foundation has completed 73 trainings and has partnered with 32 schools.

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