S.M.I.L.E YOUNG LEADERS SOCIAL IMPACT PROJECT – CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿฟ

The Climate Action Student’s Conference themed Educating for Climate Change: Empowering the Next Generation was a blend of advocacy and enlightenment.
It was a delight to have one of S.M.I.L.E’s partners-FABE International Foundation, (a leading NGO focused on Sustainability, Environment and Climate Change) at this great event.
The founder of FABE, Mrs Temitope Okunnu who was represented by Mr Israel Okeyinka an Environmentalist and a Climate Change Educator, spoke on the topic: Sustainability: Creating a Greener Future.
He spoke about Climate Action which is the action taken to combat climate change. He also emphasized that human activities are the main drivers of climate change while rising temperature, rising sea level, lack of fresh water, flood, drought and so on are the various effects of climate change on humans.
He took a step further by explaining the meaning of sustainability and things we can do to get involved namely: switching off our tap when not in use, and recycling,composting our food waste which can be used as fertilizers. He urged the students to carryout innovative projects around climate change and also identify programs/courses on climate change so they can be well equipped to solve this problem facing the world.
Our profound gratitude goes to Mrs Victoria Adeyemo, the S.M.I.L.E School Counselor of Lanre Awolokun High School for providing the needed guidance and support for our young leaders to carry out this exceptional project.

S.M.I.L.E YOUNG LEADERS SOCIAL IMPACT PROJECT – CLIMATE ACTION CONFERENCE PANEL SESSION ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿฟ

A major highlight at the Climate Action Student’s Conference organized by the S.M.I.L.E young leaders (Change Champions and Mentees) of Lanre Awolokun High School on Monday May 13, 2024 was the panel session anchored by Miss Amadi (the governor of the young leaders in the school).
The panelists comprising of mentees on the 2024 Young Leaders Mentoring Program spoke on some of the misconceptions about climate change, and the need for students to be informed by reading articles on climate change as well as watching educational videos. In addition, they emphasized the need for leaders to roll out policies that will address climate change and also integrate it into the school’s curriculum. They encouraged their peers to make use of reusable materials in the homes such as bags for shopping as well as water bottles for drinking water as opposed to pet bottles.
The panelists reiterated the need for more climate change awareness:,
๐Ÿ“To reduce carbon footprint
๐Ÿ“To demand action from our leaders
๐Ÿ“To share more educational articles and videos on climate change.
They captivated the audience with a song on climate change to wrap up the panel session.
In addition, the participating students were not left out as they were able to brainstorm with their peers from other schools on simple and practical ways they can mitigate climate change.
Special thanks to Miss Amadi for the enlightening spoken word on climate change, as well as the mentees who skillfully summarized the key lessons learnt during the program in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa respectively.
We are so proud of the Change Champions of Lanre Awolokun High School for organizing such a remarkable program.

S.M.I.L.E YOUNG LEADERS SOCIAL IMPACT PROJECT – CLIMATE ACTION CONFERENCE ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿฟ

The need to mitigate the effect of Climate Change and create a more sustainable future for all cannot be overemphasized.
This was the bedrock of the discussion at the Climate Action Student’s Conference organized by the S.M.I.L.E young leaders (Change Champions and Mentees) of Lanre Awolokun High School on Monday May 13, 2024 with 110 students from 10 public secondary schools in Education District II, Lagos present.
The first session on the Role of Young People in Climate Action by Mrs Abiola Alabi, a teacher and Climate Action Educator was highly educative. This session captured practical ways students can turn waste to wealth using materials such as pet bottles, cartons and so on. The step by step approach in the making of the Ottoman from waste materials by Mrs Alabi was a high point for the students.
Also present at the event was Mr M.O Bankole, a Director at the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. In his remarks, he explained the concept of Climate Change as the long-term warming of the planet caused by an increase in green-house gases in the atmosphere. He cited simple ways the students can get involved through upcycling, planting of vegetables, avoid wasting water and so on. He charged the students to be Climate Change Advocates.
Profound gratitude to the Change Champions of Lanre Awolokun High School for organizing such an enlightening program for their peers.
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S.M.I.L.E…Building a better world, raising a new generation of Leaders

EXECUTIVE MENTORING PROGRAM FOR YOUTH: MODULE 6 ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ

We had a unique segment during the 6th Module of S.M.I.L.Eโ€™s Executive Mentoring Program for Youth as mentees in the Business, Career and Social Enterprise Cohorts, learnt from 3 young professionals/ graduates who have navigated their career paths through the skills and lessons learnt as interns.
Our profound gratitude to Miss Motunrayo Bamgbose-Martins, a graduate of Psychology and Political Science currently in Law School in the United States of America for an insightful session on the topic: Importance of Internships for Professional Development.
Motunrayo highlighted the fact that internships help provide career clarity, build one’s professional network and is instrumental in transitioning into a full time job.
She emphasized the need for the mentees to ensure that their resume and cover letter are well structured and error free, be intentional about building professional networks during their internships, contribute to the organization by taking initiative and making life easier for those they are working with through their contributions. She cautioned the young mentees to keep things professional, communicate professionally and know the line they must not cross.
Furthermore, she shared insights on various ways to search for internships or jobs, as well as how to pitch and sell yourself. She encouraged mentees to take the risk by applying to organizations of interest.
Special thanks to Mr Olalekan Adepoju, a post graduate student in Canada and the first intern at S.M.I.L.E, who started his internship with S.M.I.L.E at the age of 15, spanning through a 7 year period. He encouraged the mentees to:
๐Ÿ“ Check the organization’s goals, mission/vision to see how it aligns with their personal goals and identify how it will be a good fit for them.
๐Ÿ“Always be willing to learn, take responsibility and accept feedback
๐Ÿ“ Identify their skills and ascertain its relevance to the organization
In addition, Mr Tobi Afolabi, also a post graduate student in Canada, who had also interned at S.M.I.L.E as an undergraduate, reiterated the need for the mentees to identify their career needs, be bold to send the necessary applications to organizations and to be interns with good character worthy of commendation.
We are yet to recover from this mind-blowing peer mentoring session. The need for young people to gain relevant work experience and develop soft skills cannot be overemphasized.
Special thanks to all our facilitators.
Tobi Afolabi
S.M.I.L.Eโ€ฆBuilding a better world, raising a new generation of Leaders

EXECUTIVE MENTORING PROGRAM FOR YOUTH: SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM MODULE 6 ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ

It has been 6 months of growth for mentees in the Career, Business, and Social Enterprise Cohorts of S.M.I.L.Eโ€™s Executive Mentoring Program for Youth (EMPY)๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ
Special thanks to Mrs Damilola Akindele ACA, Principal Manager, Gbenga Badejo and Co, who took the topic: Financial Planning: A Guide to achieving your goals and financial success, during the 6th module on Saturday May 18, 2024.
She taught extensively on financial planning, and its importance in helping individuals achieve their set goals.
Mrs Akindele, emphasized the need for book keeping and proper financial records especially for the young entrepreneurs which helps in effective decision making, enables compliance, shows transparency and to attract investors.
A major highlight was her practical session on budgeting which entailed planning, forecasting and allocation of resources. Mrs Akindele encouraged the mentees to always develop a budget and ensure they monitor it so they can decipher areas they will need to make adjustments.
She rounded off her session by sharing various ways the mentees in the social enterprise cohort can increase their revenue, one of which is in-kind contributions.
We are extremely grateful for the privilege to have gleaned from her wealth of experience and expertise and delighted our Youth are more equipped to make informed financial decisions in every facet of their lives.
S.M.I.L.Eโ€ฆBuilding a better world, raising a new generation of Leaders

S.M.I.L.E SUPPORTS I.N.V.E.N.T ANNUAL LEADERSHIP AND MENTORING PROGRAM

We are delighted to have supported the 2024 Leadership Summit Mentorship Program organized by I.N.V.E.N.T Project, an organization with similar mission and target group as ours.
S.M.I.L.E will continue to support youth focused organizations with grants so together we can reach more young people and build a new generation of young transformational leaders.
A hearty congratulations to Mr Elijah Olupona, founder of I.N.V.E.N.T Project and the recipient of S.M.I.L.E’s 2023 Youth Mentor of the Year Award, for a successful program which took place at the University of Lagos on Thursday, April 25, 2024 and had over 1,200 secondary school students who participate physically and virtually from 9 states in Nigeria.
The students were enlightened and educated on the theme
Ethical Leadership:Guiding Tomorrow’s Leaders Right. The program was aimed at empowering and enhancing the leadership potentials in the next generation of Nigeria’s Leaders.
We celebrate the I.N.V.E.N.T Project for their commitment towards developing and mentoring the Nigerian Youth.
Olupona Icon
S.M.I.L.Eโ€ฆBuilding a better world, raising a new generation of Leaders

S.M.I.L.E EXECUTIVE MENTORING PROGRAM FOR YOUTH(EMPY) : CAREER COHORT MODULE 5

 

We are extremely honoured to have Mrs. Lara Yeku, Head of HR, Food Commercial Division, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, take the mentees in the Career Cohort of S.M.I.L.Eโ€™s Executive Mentoring Program for Youth (EMPY) on an interesting journey of self-awareness, introspection and up-skilling during her session on the topic: Mastering the Art of CV Writing and Acing Job Interviews.
We are so grateful to her for the unique approach she adopted to help the mentees understand how to reference the skills they are acquiring at every stage of their lives through various roles and life experiences and how to articulate the skills that are transferable into a work environment when crafting a compelling CV.
She also shared the skills needed to thrive in today’s workplace, highlighting some key changes in todayโ€™s world of work with regard to how work is done, who does the work, when and where work is done (the workplace, workforce and the work).
In addition, she pointed out the content of a winning CV and how the mentees can sell themselves within 58 seconds as well as during a job interview.
Words can’t quantify our appreciation to Mrs Yeku for her selflessness and for always supporting our youth development goals.

 

S.M.I.L.E EXECUTIVE MENTORING PROGRAM FOR YOUTH(EMPY): SOCIAL ENTERPRISE COHORT MODULE 5

The fifth module of the S.M.I.L.Eโ€™s 2023/2024 Executive Mentoring Program for Youth (EMPY) which held on Saturday April 20, 2024 for the mentees in the Social Enterprise Cohort, was tailored to suit their learning needs and provide the opportunity to learn about the topic: Exploring Grant Opportunities and Accessing Funding.
This remarkable session was facilitated by Mrs Temitope Okunnu, founder of FABE International Foundation. Her interactive, practical and experiential session shed light on the types of grants and funding opportunities available, key requirements for eligibility and how mentees can position their organizations for grants locally and internationally.
She encouraged the mentees to have a clear vision/mission, start documenting their processes and progress, register their social enterprise, ensure compliance, open a bank account for their organization and effectively tell their stories of impact on their various social media platforms.
She rehashed the importance of networking, collaboration, and partnering with organizations with similar goals and mission in order to scale impact, attract more resources and funding.
We are so grateful to Mrs Okunnu for a highly informative session and glad to see the mentees take actions to check all the boxes so they can be well positioned to access funds.

END OF TRAINING EXAMINATION FOR S.M.I.L.E YOUNG LEADERS

The intensive training!
The practical fieldwork!
The peer mentoring activities and much more, encapsulates the various parts of the S.M.I.L.E Young Leaders Mentoring Program.
We are delighted to evaluate the level of understanding and application of lessons learnt by our Change Champions and mentees.
The examination which covered all the modules taught was held on Thursday March 7, 2024.
This assessment enabled the 25 Change Champions as well as their Mentees in senior secondary schools (over 100 mentees cut a across the 5 schools) internalize their learnings, as they embark on their journey as young transformational leaders.

2023/2024 S.M.I.L.E EMPY MODULE 4: PROPELLING GROWTH THROUGH EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective Communication fuels and fosters the growth of any organization, increases productivity among team members, spurs sales in businesses and much more.
The climax of the 4th module of the Executive Mentoring Program for Youth (EMPY) was the topic onย Effective Communication in Business and Career by Ms.Oluwaferanmi Owolabi-Head of Purple Academy, Wema Bank Plc
Ms. Owolabi taught our Youth audience the meaning, importance and barriers to communication. According to her, communication starts by knowing who you are. She explained the importance of self-awareness and also explained how the mentees can utilize the DiSC assessment in understanding themselves and those they are communicating with.
She urged the mentees to be empathetic when communicating with their team and customers, use the right tone, be mindful of their appearance and attitude.
She amplified the need for mentees to know how to sell themselves within the shortest possible time using the elevator pitch.
Indeed, we are so glad to have learnt in very simple and practical ways about how to effectively communicate.
Special thanks to Ms. Owolabi for sharing her wealth of experience with our Youth in the Executive Mentoring Program.

Strategy for Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E) is a youth leadership development and mentoring non-profit organization established in Lagos. Nigeria in 2011 (S.M.I.L.E) and in Maryland, United States of America in 2017 (S.M.I.L.E Initiative)

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