– Mary Beth Leonard, the US ambassador to Nigeria, has congratulated the Nigerian youths that made the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship
– Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the fellowship was postponed until 2021 with virtual classes to prepare Nigerians already in the pipeline
– Mary added that the successful Nigerian candidates were chosen because of their ideas and abilities to bring about positive change
The US ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, has addressed the Nigerian youths who made the Mandela Washington Fellowship, saying it was a very competitive process.
In the virtual meeting the ambassador had with the fellows, Mary said more than 7,000 Nigerians applied for 56 slots.
She added that this year’s fellowship is significant because this is the first time the programme will be postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 candidates are also significant because the programme will also be celebrating its 10 years anniversary.
The US embassy said before the fellowship starts proper, they would be engaging them in important virtual programmes to aid their preparation for the fellowship.
Ambassador Mary said that the Nigerians were chosen based on their abilities to bring about change in their communities.
“You were not chosen because of the universities you attended, the companies you own or work for, or the titles you hold. You were chosen because of your ability to lead and inspire others.
“Your ideas, and the ability to build teams around those ideas, are critical to making Nigeria a more secure, democratic, and prosperous country, especially during this pandemic,” she said.
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A student at Lagos State University, the young man was able to organize a teaching session for his mates online in order to empower them to bring about change in their communities.
He was described as an inspiring leader who is passionate about making others achieve development by helping them overcome their weaknesses.
“The youth are enthusiastic about development. They just don’t all know how to go about it, how to get started.
“I noticed a lot of youth called to action during the pandemic were lacking the skills needed to implement their projects,” he said.
Oluwayomi believes that he could equip his peers with the required tools or motivation to make changes happen in their societies.
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