On April 8, 2019, I, along with three other MITs, facilitated a special Powered By Service training for 125 African students and teachers representing 19 African countries. These youth were a part of the Pan-African Youth Leadership Program, where they were nominated to the US Embassy by their respective country and offered a three week leadership exploration throughout the United States and we were their first stop! Upon meeting the students, they were extremely enthusiastic, full of energy, engaging, and had a great amount of confidence within themselves. They enjoyed the curriculum and questioned anything they were unsure of. We engaged in informative conversations based on the activities as the customs of life are unique to each students’ country. We tackled the concept of leadership 101 and the differences of all the multiple types of leaders, we explored personal sparks and students discovered things they didn’t realize about themselves, and began creating a network of like minded people that would help the students make their dreams come true. My favorite topics during this training was Money Matters and Exploding the Issue. During Money Matters and particularly 4 Corners of Credit, is where I got to really see the difference between the Northern African students and the Southern African students. A lot of the concepts surrounding credit were new and a little foreign to the Northern African participants yet the South African students were well versed in the area. It was intriguing to learn what some of the students were unfamiliar with and why they strayed away from it. Lastly, Exploding the Issue was an emotional topic because the issue my class decided to dissect was banning girls from school, which I didn’t realize was still an issue in 2019. We dived into the issue by looking at the deep rooted reasons why it’s an issue, the causes that it leads to, and some solutions that can begin to prevent this from happening. It was a great conversation and an eye-opener to me. This was my favorite PBS training I’ve done yet and I’m glad I was able to actually provided the students with information that they were happy to take back home with them. They learned some things but I also gained a great amount of insight as well.
Usher’s New Look MIT
MIT Kaija Johnson
Learn more about UNL’s Powered by Service Program.