The iLEAD Fellowship is a two pronged initiative; on the one hand it equips and prepares young varsity graduates who are interested in social change with the skills, knowledge and basic competence to become ready talents for the social sector in Nigeria. On the other hand these graduates in turn inspire and empower students in secondary schools by cascading leadership, life and employability skills required for personal effectiveness and to transition successfully to high education or paid jobs.
More than half of Nigeria's youth are unable transition into higher education or formal employment. While the realities of poverty in the midst of a youth bulge contribute to this situation, schools hardly prepare students with relevant skills for higher education and the workplace. The absence of a soft skills curriculum, and narrow exposure to career options and clear pathways form the core of this gap. The consequence is dire especially for young girls, exposing them to teenage pregnancy etc.
The project targets and trains 15 university graduates from low-income families every year who are passionate about contributing to society, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and competence to become ready talents for the social sector. With a stipend of $50 ($600 yearly) monthly, each of these graduates are attached to 30 secondary schools students in marginalised communities to cascade leadership, life and employability skills to students to raise their aspirations, improve their lives
Girls and boys from marginalised communities are provided the opportunity to transition effectively after secondary school into higher education and work life. Also because their aspirations have been raised they are aware of alternative pathways and can take advantage of new and existing opportunities. The project currently reaches 450 students every year, with additional funding in form of stipends, there is an opportunity to scale up and reach 1000 students every year.