When teenagers are provided with an atmosphere of fun and self-expression, they have the capacity to champion sustainable impact within their communities. This was reaffirmed at the graduation ceremony of Students and Teachers in the 2019 iLEAD programme on 3 October 2019 at the Afe Babalola Auditorium, University of Lagos. The graduation marked the end of the current cycle of the programme which commenced in September 2018 with five (5) public secondary schools,  14 teachers and 10 Corp members as facilitators to over 450 students.
LEAP Africa through the United Way Worldwide Grant on behalf of the generosity of Citi Foundation has been at the forefront of changing mindsets and inspiring young people in marginalised communities to realise the possibility of self-actualisation and social transformation in the midst of structural limitations through the iLEAD Programme.

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The iLEAD graduation ceremony, which took place on 3rd October 2019, was packaged to showcase and celebrate the impact of the iLEAD programme on both the students, teachers, their various schools and communities at large. Having gone through classroom training, mentoring sessions, career/pathway fairs, internships and implementation of community change projects, these students together with their teachers and mentors deserved all the accolades for their commitment to both personal and community development.

The graduation ceremony featured a series of fun and educative activities with heavy involvement from the students. A keynote speech was delivered by LEAP’s Social Innovators Programme (SIP) Alumae, Mr. Isaac Success – Founder, Dreams from the Slum. He shared his social innovation story with the students under the topic ‘You and me as agents of transformation’. The students learnt the key lesson of converting their pain to passion, passion to profession and profession to profit. The event also featured an array of presentations by the students in dance, spoken words, song and rap presentations among others.

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The high point of the event was the presentation of awards to the best change project of the year and the outstanding teacher awards. Mrs. Amadi Nneka and Mr. Emida Adesina, iLEAD teachers at Ijeshatedo senior secondary school, Okota and Falomo senior secondary school, Ikoyi were recipients of the outstanding teacher of the year awards. Afe Babalola Hall, Unilag – the venue of the iLEAD graduation ceremony 2019 – was full of excitement when the award for the best change project was announced. Students of Ijeshatedo senior secondary school, Okota who renovated their school toilet were recipients of the best change project of the year award.

 

Participants at the event included School administrators, teachers, volunteers, parents and pressmen. Mr. Olusegun Alimi – Programme Manager at LEAP Africa, after presenting certificates of participation to all the beneficiaries encouraged the students to dream big. He also and enjoined them to understand that they can be whatever they want to be provided they put their hearts to it. He also appreciated the parents and teachers for their support all through the programme cycle. 

Transformation is a collective responsibility and young people – including teenagers – should not be left behind in the quest to build a sustainable community. According to United Nations, there is no meaningful development without the participation of young people. 

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