As it is said, whatever happens in your life, you are the one who attracted it; read this for the first time in “The secret by Rhonda Byrne” that I invite you to read if you didn’t! With the thirst to transform the world and make a positive impact in my community, I have been looking for a perfect match till Mandela Washington Fellowship! At the begging, it did not make sense because my dream is bigger than me and risks undertook were significant.
Every little thing you are doing in your school, your community … counts! You have to have passion and keep increasing your knowledge and skills in the area of interest, build strong networks, and share with others what you are doing. Thus, I have been selected among thousands of applicants to spend six weeks in the US. Luckily, I was placed at The University of Maine to increase my knowledge in climate change adaptation and mitigation and green initiatives.
Maine, being one among the beautiful place in the US on the East coast; it was my very first time to hear about this unique state, but I was not the only one! Upon my arrival in Maine, I was impressed by how it was green and clean, and how people were friendly and interactive. Amazingly, I met 24 other fellows from 17 different African countries who raised me up in all aspects of life!
The six weeks at UMaine were awesome; discussions which never ended, academic sessions on climate change and green initiatives, field trips, hands-on experience in building solar panel, playing new games like baseball, cultural exchanges such as potlucks and salsa dance, home stay family weekend, trying something new like lobster, recreation at lake house and hiking at Acadia National Park, and peers-to-peers meet up, to list few! Didn’t know that time can fly.
As a young passionate environmentalist, with a focus on the use of Geo-Information in environment and sustainable development, learn a lot of things that I will take home mostly in my career. Climate Reanalyzer is one among other interesting tools that will help me in addressing the data deficiency that most of organizations and institutions are facing.
Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it is done!” This was unique experience that I have never thought about before. Thus, there are a lot of opportunities around us. With the abundance mentality, young people have to start fighting for what they believe in as long as it is good for them and others. To be honest, it will never be easy but in the end, you will realize that it worth it. Take one step; it will lead you to the next one.
For young activists and future leaders, all it takes is to have a clear mission and vision of what you want in your life and start working on your initiatives; none will do it for you, but they will do it for themselves. Did I go home at the end of an academic institution? No; time to get hands on experience at Starbucks Coffee Company in Corporate Social Responsibility.
This was just the beginning of a long life transformation journey and I know that It will never be a straight line; will have ups and downs but will keep pushing till the end line!