In addition to his commitment to academics, Samuel also involves himself with community service through his role as the founder and lead volunteer of his own NGO, Pace Impact Initiative. In the past year, this organization has been able to train 200 young people in two communities on academic excellence, leadership and skill acquisition, allowing participants to leverage their knowledge and skills to impact their communities. Samuel has committed his time outside of the Pace Impact Initiative to volunteer with other NGOs that focus on leadership, youth capacity building, rural development and entrepreneurship – areas where he finds passion.
As he prepares for his time at UBC, he reminds himself that there are bound to be distractions, difficulties or discouragement along the way; however, only those who persist in the pursuit of their dreams will achieve greatness.
Samuel aspires to build a career in the environmental and natural resources sectors. His MSc research thesis will be looking at specific problems associated with forest policy in Nigeria and ultimately offer solutions to such problems through facilitating consultations with all stakeholders in the forestry sector.
Ransford has developed a concern for those who live in deprived communities and do not have the privilege of education. He envisages himself as a “philanthropist to bring smiles on the faces of poor underprivileged people in Ghana and Africa.”
As a Teaching Assistant, Ransford oversaw the students’ association of the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources in KNUST. In September 2016, they embarked on a trip to the Akropong School for the Deaf with the goal of empowering those with impairments find a new passion and purpose. Ransford was responsible for preparing programming on the theme, “you can still make it”. Through his interactions with these students, Ransford held onto the belief that, if Africa’s poverty is to be eradicated completely, it should be a requirement to improve the livelihoods of any underprivileged citizens.
Ransford’s career goal is to become a development-oriented conservation activist, working with research-based groups in the fields of forest and biodiversity conservation, as a way of improving the economy of Ghana and Africa, while ensuring sustainability. The Master of Sustainable Forest Management Program interests him because it focuses on placing conservation attention on forest resources. Motivated by the devastating decrease in Ghana’s natural resources, he is determined to ensure that the forest resources are managed sustainably.
Abia is very passionate about helping communities through provision of solutions using his engineering and interpersonal skills. After completing his undergraduate degree, Abia was recruited as a research assistant at Makerere University to work with Smallholder Fortunes & Thermogenn on a project which helps to understand the market milk value chain among smallholder farmers in Uganda and developing off-grid evening milk preservation technologies for smallholder farmers.
Working as a research and development engineer, his team developed a unique innovation branded “EvaKuula”, which help rural farmers without electricity to preserve their milk for longer periods and as a result, doubling their incomes from milk sales. Through interactions with the EvaKuula adopting community, Abia realized that a successful solution is a solution which transforms people’s lives.
After his journey in Northern Uganda, Abia realized that the region is always struck by long and recurrent drought periods due to climate change, without any adaptation strategies put in place to overcome the impacts. In this region, people and livestock have continued to die from hunger and water stresses. Abia is pursuing a Masters of Land and Water Systems in order to enable him to bring new innovations to this region and aid in the well-being of both people and livestock in this area. He is passionate about using GIS integrated with watershed management skills, to be able to develop sustainable water resources for human development. Abia’s long-term goal is to start an NGO “Touching Africa with Safe Water”, which will actively collaborate with development partners and Government to ensure safe water access in Northern Uganda and also promoting better sanitation and irrigation practices to improve agricultural production.
Nkem’s passion for giving back has always been one of her strengths. In this regard, she has volunteered in different capacities with several non-profit organizations in Nigeria such as the Slum to School Africa, The Irede Foundation and she is the founder of the Slumfest Lagos Project, an initiative that organizes Christmas fun parties for children living in the slums of Lagos that also facilitates skill acquisition development of slum dwellers.
Prior to her MBA, Nkem worked as an accountant in a Microfinance Bank where she linked small business owners to micro and medium term loans while ensuring the availability of up to date financial reports of the company. She also worked with about 50 small businesses and start-ups in Festac Town providing them with free basic business advisory in the area of Accounting/Finance, Information Communications Technology (ICT), Marketing/Sales and Customer Service. For Nkem, her personal and professional achievements are intertwined; as long as she is providing some form of valuable service to the next person, she feels highly accomplished.
Getting the opportunity to attend a top business school abroad that would not only embrace cultural diversity but also encourage self- discovery, had always been one of her dreams. She plans on using her degree to create more opportunities that would enhance optimum sustainable living for the active poor in Nigeria. Nkem ardently believes in the revolution of the industrial and agricultural sectors of Nigeria’s economy and plans to be a part of that change.
Monicah’s determination to conquer the world can be proven by her continuous academic excellence as an Equity Group Foundation Scholar in Kenya. In December 2012, Monicah realized there was a need for action to mitigate the rate of school drop outs and co-founded a youth group by the name MAKE (Mithanduku-ini Aspiration for Knowledge Empowerment). As the vice chairperson of the group, she organized a committee that was to identify the main causes of school dropouts and developed necessary measures to increase the number of youth staying in school. Through her work with MAKE, Monicah realized her passion for academics and has since mentored students in her home village, offered career guidance and acted as a motivational speaker.
The most important thing to her is changing the world and importantly Africa to become a better place for mankind in food security and safety. Monicah is pursuing a Masters in Food Science at UBC in order to be in the forefront of academia as a career and to train other Kenyans on food preservation. She plans to partner her degree with giving back to the community through conducting feeding programs to increase food security during times of drought and famine.
Olivier states, “I came to realize that what matters in life is the change you can make in a society and the smiles you bring to other people.”
Olivier has always been passionate about community development and making positive changes in his society. During his studies at university, Olivier co-founded the National University of Rwanda Agribusiness Association (NURAAS) and as President, created the “After University Program” linking students of agriculture with organizations and government institutions for internships opportunities and career development.
In 2015, Olivier came to the realization that rural areas were filled with untapped opportunities and as a result, equipped youth with the tools to help them unlock their opportunities. In 2015, Rwanda received a large influx of refugees from war torn Burundi and Olivier, as the Country Director of FSDS, he organized events to support them with clean water, food and clothing in the Mahama Refugee camps. Additionally, he organized environmental protection campaigns in Gehembe refugee camp where he trained refugees on environmental protection and preservation and planted more than three thousand trees in the camp.
Olivier plans to pursue a degree in Master of Food Resource Economics in order to expand his horizon on agricultural and food related issues from a global perceptive to be able to solve real problems in Food and resource economics with a long-term goal of establishing an entrepreneurship hub in Rwanda where he will empower and equip local and youth entrepreneurs with business skills and link them to potential investors and financial institutions.
After founding an NGO in 2011, Bamidele became a state coordinator for the Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria and a regional representative of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance. Through this experience, he has developed strong communication and collaboration skills working in partnership with international nonprofits including Plant for the Planet in Germany, Viola in Russia and locally with the Walter Carrington Youth Fellowship Program of the United States Consulate in Nigeria. This work has given him the opportunity to author several articles on ecology and environmental education.
In April 2016, Bamidele coordinated the Step–up Green Initiative, to inform young students across major secondary schools of the impacts of climate change and ecosmart technologies. The goal was to empower youth to be focal points of change within their schools and respective homes while setting an example of how their choices and lifestyles can make a long-term difference. This project allowed Bamidele to create a platform that brought together youth, non-profit institutions, academics and policy makers in ensuring a landmark achievement in eco-sustainable practices.
Bamidele plans to pursue a Masters in International Forestry in order to improve his scope on international forest policies, governance and especially in the area of diplomacy and negotiation engagements.
After changing career paths from a doctor to a Software Developer, Vivian has dedicated herself to supporting women by providing them with software solutions, free consultations and networking opportunities.
With an upcoming election, Vivian volunteered to join an independent election orientation group, Let’s Vote Nigeria and was appointed as the spokesperson for Isolo constituency. The organization went to different social and religious gatherings to request time slots to address different audiences. Although a large number of requests were turned down because of the sensitivity of the subject, she was able to organize street to street seminars in order to reach a wide range of people, resulting in a tremendous response. During the seminar, Vivian analyzed the election predictions and the possibilities of its success and failure, informing attendees on the importance of the election processes, the role of electorates and the need to exercise civic rights. As a result, the elections in her constituency recorded a nonviolent, organized and massive turnout of eligible voters, most of whom Vivian recognized from the seminars.
As a software developer, Vivian wants to encourage female entrepreneurs at the grass root level to embrace technology in carrying out their business activities. She describes herself as a strong, determined and consistent person with a can-do attitude. She aims to help small scale business women in her country succeed and compete with their counterparts across the world, and she hopes that UBC will be a key player in helping her achieve that dream.
Upon completion of her secondary school education in 2010, Adebusola volunteered as a tutor in True Vine International School, a primary school located in her community. She spent three months as a volunteer instructor in this school before proceeding to her undergraduate studies at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Most recently, she was a member and facilitator for the Agro-allied community development service (CDS) group of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. She organized sensitization sessions for students and establishes young farmers’ clubs in secondary schools in her community through educating farmers in seminars and practical sessions.
Adebusola’s major drive for her personal goals is the need to empower people for sustainability. Many years from now, there are projections that the Nigerian population will increase to 300 million, encountering multiple challenges along the way. When this happens, Adebusola wants to be one of the key players that could close the various gaps resulting from this population boom in the food and agricultural sector.
The Master of Food Resource and Economics program interests Adebulsola due to its broad based professional approach. She plans to use her degree to help her develop an ability to make the right economic decisions, review various approaches that engender food security, and understand the dynamics of food and resource markets.
Fulu was a strong innovator throughout his high school years and had a knack for applying academic theories to complex problems. Fulu scored particularly well in Science and Mathematics which led him to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from the National University of Lesotho. Fulu excelled in his undergraduate studies and received several awards, including best third year and best graduating student awards in his department.
Following his undergraduate studies, Fulu developed a passion for leadership and management programmes as he recognized the potential impact strong leaders can have on the development of his country. Fulu notes that there is a shortage of business leadership and management expertise in Lesotho and believes the Master of Business Administration at UBC will be instrumental in helping him achieve his goal of establishing a business consultancy firm. His aim is to provide African citizens with business management and leadership skills at an affordable cost with the hopes that this will make a substantial impact on the economic growth and development in Lesotho.
Outside of his studies, Fulu currently volunteers as an event coordinator of a local soccer tournament in his community that aims to unite and strengthen relationships between residents and to keep youth engaged and off the streets.