The Special Youth Leadership Foundation is a privately funded social impact organization focused on building Africa’s next set of Leaders by refining their minds through education. This is achieved by empowering less privileged, gifted African Children through education, mentorship and leadership opportunities. It does this through its Inspire Scholarship for orphans and vulnerable children, mentorship and leadership training, school builds program and Special Summer school.
The Special Foundation believes that every child is special and deserves basic education. Their faces, dreams, and backgrounds might be different but it is these differences that make them special. All of their dreams are valid, no matter their current situations or circumstances and we owe it to them to make sure that they are not condemned to a bleak future due to situations beyond their control.
As part of the Mentorship program of the Special Foundation, we held a Career Day program on the 17th of June 2021 at the Lagos City Senior College, Sabo – Yaba. The Career Day Program is an initiative of The Foundation’s Mentorship program where professionals in different fields talk to school students about their careers. The Professionals bring the realities of the jobs to the children together with life skills, secrets on how to make careers choices, tips on how to excel, personal success stories and career opportunities.
One major setback with the current system of learning in Nigeria is the lack of practicality or semblance of reality outside the theoretical teachings in the classroom. This produces students who have an idea or notion of how things should be but who are ignorant of the reality. Students have different career aspirations for their future but have no idea what it entails to reach said career aspiration.
Video showing the highlights of the program
Another problem is the notion of “professional courses”. Nigerians refer to some courses as more respectable and prestigious, therefore Parents force children to study these courses even when they have neither the interest nor capability to support such choices. The Special Foundation believes that the dream of every child is valid and that every child is special. The mentorship program was therefore founded to ensure that these dreams come true and that the children are linked with opportunities or platforms that will allow them best fulfil their potential.
The aim of the Special Foundation Career day 2021 was to inspire the children to dream of a better future for themselves and to motivate them to make the right career decisions by hearing from the personal experiences of professionals in different fields from the community.
The Career Day program impacted the lives of 300 students in SS2. The children were inspired by professionals from different fields in topics including Career Choice: “Your Interest & Opportunities in Technology”, “Finance and Humanities”, “What to do while awaiting admission”, “Citizenship and patriotism” and “Goal Setting and Decision making”.
At the end of the different sessions, the children were more confident that their dreams are valid and they are focused on excelling and remaining in school to ensure they have a better future. They were gifted exercise books and snacks.
The foundation will be renovating blocks of classrooms for the host school to ensure that children have a safe and conducive environment for learning.
Word from the founder – Seyi Akinwale:
“When we founded the Mentorship Program, we wanted to create a platform where young people can be positively influenced by professionals to create more positive change agents in the community, and also inspire them to dream of a successful and impactful life for themselves, their families and communities.
Through the Career day 2021, we were able to reach 300 students and inspire them to dream big and work hard in order to achieve excellence in their chosen fields. We also wanted to show them examples of people in their community they can aspire to be like if they remain focused on their education. We therefore focused our sessions on important life skills and we believe this investment in their lives will lead to a generational impact.”
Word from a volunteer – Chukwuma Nwanze:
“The Career day organised by The Special Foundation was amazing. I was privileged to head one of the sessions with the students and I noticed their hunger for learning amongst other things; they want to be better and do better in the society. It is my hope that what we did here today will have a lasting impact. I also hope that the Special Foundation organises more programs like this and I am always ready to support the good work of the foundation.”
This video shows the feedback and contributions from our volunteers at the event
Email: info (at)thespecialfoundation.org
LinkedIn: The Special Youth Leadership Foundation