In the summer of 2019, something pretty interesting happened that started a movement toward creating a global youth mentors program. I was interviewing youth program leaders around the world for the edition of The Introducer Magazine on “Developing Youth as Global Citizens” and discovered they all had one thing in common…they needed mentors. Many of these places were lucky to have the program leaders, let alone a network of professionals from different industries that could coach, motivate, connect, and inspire their participants. I shared this information with Dr. Osita Aniemeka of the International Center for Development Affairs headquartered in Nigeria. Dr. Aniemeka was also featured in the same edition as the others I interviewed. Then, it happened. Dr. Aniemeka said it had been a dream of his to develop a mentor program like this. The idea was born, and over the next few weeks, we gathered mentors, talked with stakeholders, and started to put the “bones” of this program together. During that time, we experienced people who found out about what we were doing and offered job skills programs and training opportunities. We know now that mentoring may be just the first part of something bigger.
Video was produced in the summer of 2019 ahead of the pilot program
Our goal: match Frontrunners League and Living Learning and Working Consortium members with youth, refugees, and orphans around the world who are participants of an organized program. We match according to mentee educational and work-related interests and train before the 3-month program starts. We target STEM and STEAM-related programs and even incorporate specific (educational institution) youth-to-youth components.
The Introducer Magazine serves as the publicity vehicle for the program, sharing stories as each cohort progresses. And, after each cohort ends, The Frontrunners Youth League becomes the new network for “graduating” mentees. It’s here where we continue to track and maintain sustainable progress. We encourage interaction between the mentees and introduce technical and industry-specific experts to hold virtual Q & A sessions with them. At this point, these newly on-boarded Youth League members will have the opportunity to talk with accomplished software developers, 3d printing and robotics experts, healthcare professionals, scientists and researchers, and awarded entrepreneurs. We’ll spotlight individual youth in The Introducer, and they’ll be added to a newsletter list where they’ll learn about fellowships, events, and other opportunities.
Additionally, we realize that the program leaders, themselves, may benefit from mentoring, and we’ll take that into consideration as we move through each cohort.
We’re getting some pretty awesome endorsements, too. Check these out by the Traditional Prime Minister, Ngor Autonomous Community, Ngor Okpala L.G.A. Imo State, Nigeria and Ambassador Rubina Ali, High Commissioner – Asia / Africa – UN SDG’s – World Humanity Commission
Ambassador in Residence (Pakistan).
Our ultimate goal is to give an advantage to young people around the globe who truly need help in developing a decent livelihood, thereby helping them to become a critical component to sustainable economic development in their own community.
Let me introduce the man with the dream…
Program Director: In 2010, Dr Osita Aniemeka became Fulltime Faculty at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, and in 2011, was appointed Director, Center for Learning Communities of same University, where his work included the establishment of the University’s Entrepreneurship Education Program. A 1998 Ford Foundation Fellow, Osita worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Project – NEXTT, growing the potentials of an economic agro-corridor, the LAKAJI Corridor, as a strategic tool for investment traction for Agropreneurship for providing jobs and boosting food security in Nigeria.
He’s a consultant to DFID; worked with UNDP | FMARD, and led the Nigeria Development Gateway Collaborative (World Bank-Development Gateway Foundation). Osita was Customer Service Agent for the legendary American ExpressCard and while in college at the Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University (AA&MU), was a Research Assistant to the renowned Professor Zachary Senwo of the College of Agriculture. He rose from Senior Research Fellow at the Foundation for African Arts and Letters (FAAL), New York, to become Member of the Governing Council before returning to Nigeria to join the Faculty and Senate of IBB University.
With a Ph.D. in Communication and Entrepreneurial Leadership, Osita founded the International Center for Development Affairs (ICDA) in 1995 and joined the NGO Working Group on the World Bank (NGOWGWB) in 1997. He was Man of the Year 2002 (American Bibliographical Institute) for his years of development work in Africa. Dr. Aniemeka gained extensive experience in SME development strategy, performance management, non-profit governance, public-private- dialogue/partnership, and knowledge management working in the United States and in Nigeria.
He resigned from his college teaching at IBB University in 2014 when ICDA was appointed the Implementing Agency for the Central Bank of Nigeria | South East Entrepreneurship Development Center (CBN | SEEDC) and today, he’s the Center’s Program Director.
Contact us if you’d like to know more or get involved. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all who are helping us with this opportunity to make a difference. Mary Kurek