By G9ija

LEAP Africa in collaboration with Citi Bank, as part of efforts to fill important gaps in education as well as to improve learning outcomes for students, has graduated 450 “iLead students.”

They disclosed during the graduation ceremony in Lagos recently, that the iLead programme which has been in existence for over three years was aimed at empowering public secondary school students; whereby they are enabled to effectively transition into adulthood.

The Programme Manager, LEAP Africa, Segun Alimi expressed the organisation’s commitment towards contributing to the nation’s economic development and reducing unemployment through social innovators programmes and support systems that help young people transition from school to work.

This, he explained, would help raise the aspiration of the students as well as help them successfully transit from secondary school to tertiary level, before going into the workforce.
This, he said would equip them to contribute to national development.

According to him, the iLEAD programme empowers the students with different pathways for growth in leadership skills, entrepreneurship, vocational learning or employment, time management, creativity and diverse ways they can be change agents.
“This scheme does not just stop at learning; they go further to put this to practice through their community change project.

“Different groups in each school come together to identify a problem within their communities and provide solutions.
“The teachers are adequately trained and equipped to go on to cascade the learning on to the students over the course of their academic session.
“The classes hold during their club period so as not to intervene with their typical school activities,” Alimi added.

Also speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Founder, Dreams from the Slump Initiative, Isaac Success, in keynote address explained: “As a child, growing up for me was very challenging; one of the reasons being I was told I was never going to amount to nothing. On the bright side, each time people said this to me I kept encouraging myself that I could do better than they expected.

“I kept a positive mind-set thereby I was able to turn the challenges and pain into a passion which I built and utilised to empower myself before growing to empower other children who are currently undergoing educational challenges as they blossom into older ages.

“I was very determined to be the change in my community because in my community 95 percent of the children do not have access to adequate and affordable education.
“It is from my commitment to the empowerment of children across the country I created Dreams from the Slum Initiative which I have used to acquire support from international organizations and the government to support this empowerment of youth initiative.”

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