Our iLEAD students
The iLEAD Fellowship is helping graduates in Akwa-Ibom state develop transferable skills and
competencies required to access job opportunities and excel on the same after school. Critical means for
engaging these Fellows include training, mentoring, personal development and experience.
At 22, Violet is taking steps towards actualizing her dreams of helping humanity, especially
underserved children in rural communities in Akwa-Ibom State – the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Her parents, like the average parents in Nigeria, juggle between business and corporate jobs to make ends
meet in order to cater for her and her four siblings. Being the third of five female children, her parents are
her greatest inspiration. Their passion and selflessness towards humanity is model for her to emulate.
Growing up in the hands of a disciplined parents, Violet never had the privilege to socialize with other
teenagers. She was restricted from visiting friends and this made her always sad and bored. Beyond the
negative energy brought about by regular boredom, Violet drew a lot of inspiration from her recluse. She
focused on developing herself through reading materials on the third sector. This is where she birthed a
vision to set up a nonprofit to help humanity.
At 12, while her mates were busy with mundane things, Violet gave her dreams - of helping humanity – a
wing by offering her time and resources to participate in her first-ever volunteering engagement with the
Nigerian Red Cross Society. With a degree in Microbiology, Violet is always on the lookout for opportunities to dive into the social sector and continue in the path of her dreams, but she is faced with the challenge of “How”. She felt she could achieve more but financing was chief of the challenges she faced. Substantial knowledge on leadership, creativity, project management, impact reporting, and more are some other difficulties Violet struggled with on her journey.
In Nigeria, there are organizations focused on building talents for the corporate world but very few
organizations intentionally invest in preparing young talent for the development sector. To keep her
dreams alive, Violet volunteered to work at the local radio station while she was on camp for the National
Youth Service Corp (NYSC) scheme. It was there she got in touch with the iLEAD Fellowship
advertorial and her dreams of helping humanity gained new momentum.
Not knowing what to expect from the Fellowship, Violet blindly applied and was eventually chosen
amongst 14 other young people on the National Youth Service Corps scheme in Akwa-Ibom State. We
met with Violet in June 2019 - just before the end of the fellowship year - and surprisingly, her vision had
taken a new direction. She told us that the fellowship offered her the opportunity to develop transferable
skills for effective transitioning and to express her inner strengths while working on her weaknesses.
Due to the wealth of training, exposure and resources made available to her and the cohort, she is now
sufficiently self-aware and confident to rethink and recalibrate her vision towards sustainability. Violet is
no more interested in setting up a nonprofit organization, she is now working to establish a socialenterprise, which will finance itself and remain sustainable. Violet now has a place to call her own in the development sector.
To further support her transitioning process and give her vision international leverage, LEAP recommended Violet for a fellowship programme with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Youth Cohort and she was selected.
Violet is just one out of the many stories of youth transitions we would like to share with you. Look out
for the stories of the 15 other members of the iLEAD Fellowship who have also found and are
passionately following their path on www.leapafrica.org/programmes.
Two of our Fellows (right Violet)