Our Team

Phylicia Martel

Executive Director

Phylicia is an American social entrepreneur and MBA-educated management professional with 8 years of experience (4+ in Eastern Africa) building and leading multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams, projects and programs for both startup and established enterprises and organizations. She also is a formally trained educator and facilitator with a proven track record of designing and delivering effective and engaging training programs. Her passion for education, youth development, and gender equity drive her work at the grassroots level.

Before co-founding Youth Rising, Phylicia worked on Former United State First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn Initiative with the United States Peace Corps in Uganda, as a Youth and Gender Program Manager. She is also an alumnus of TeachNOLA and Americorps. Read more about Phylicia’s previous contributions to youth development on her LinkedIn page.

Martin Muganzi

Global Director of Programs

Martin is an MBA educated social-impact entrepreneur and Medical Technologist. He is the co-founder and the Director of Programs at Youth Rising International, and he has also co-founded several youth-serving startups including The Calabash Collection, Akalimu.com, and All-Star Mentoring Academy. Martin grew up in a humble rural community of Mpumu-Salaama, Mukono District (Where Youth Rising Mukono is located), and his childhood struggles built a sense of passion to the service of others.


He is a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow, a 2016 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, a 2018 graduate of Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship, a joint university program of Uganda Martyrs University and Catholic University of Milan, Italy. He is currently a Medical Technologist practicing at Kingman Regional Medical Center, Arizona, USA.