North Aurelius students raise over $1,100 for Mady Sissoko Foundation

MASON, Mich. (WLNS) – Due to Student visa rules, 2020-2024 Michigan State Men’s Basketball Center, Mady Sissoko was unable to benefit from Name, Image and Likeness. It’s ultimately why the Mali, West Africa native used his NIL money to create the Mady Sissoko Foundation, to give back to his village back home.

Mady’s inspirational story gave staff members at North Aurelius Elementary, a school in Mason an idea in honor of March being National Reading Month.

“We brainstormed some ideas, and I thought what better way than to share with Mady’s school, especially when we learned his school didn’t have books,” Courtney Miller, a teacher at North Aurelius said.

The school participated in a penny war with all of the proceeds going to buy books for the school Mady funded back in Mali.

“We had some bins in the hallway and then every Wednesday we would bring them in and we would count them and then we would write down how many pennies, nickels, and dollar bills we had,” Megan, a student at North Aurelius said

“I think they’re gonna be so happy,” Maggie, a student at North Aurelius said” I really liked collecting the pennies for them and I am excited for them to get the books. I think it’s going to be awesome.”

“I’m very proud,” Mady Sissoko said. “I’m so thankful for the community here who has raised the money and helped me to do things like this at home. It’s something I will definitely never forget about.”

Along with a check for over $1,100 dollars, Mady was also given a copy of The Everlasting Embrace, a picture book depicting the life and people that call Mali home.

“I spent a lot of time researching books from Mali so that I could share them with the kids so they would be able to really connect,” Miller said. “I found this one that talked about people having to walk back and forth to get water and we had talked about Mady having to walk back and forth to go to school. So that’s a good connection and we thought, what better way than to send him with that book to share with his students.”

“When they tell me about it I’m like ‘No way! How did I know nothing about this book?’ I definitely wanna go see the book and I’m probably gonna read the whole thing today because I’m so inspired.”

Mady did enter the transfer portal in early April and is still undecided on where he will land if he chooses to leave MSU. He said he is hoping to have a decision made in the next few weeks.

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