I am a student in the University of Bristol, UK. I am greatly interested in youth participation and engagement and this has led to my current dissertation research on African youth participation in civic engagement. I am the lead initiator of the Ada is a girl project that seeks to build self-esteem among teenage girls in Nigeria, a serial volunteer for local community organisations and NGOs including ‘The Orphanage Empowerment Society’. I am a member of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network where I connect with other like minded young African to create change. As an alumni of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) 2019 Cohort, I believe in africapitalism and in the power of Africa to achieve its 2063 sustainable development agenda. I also believe that to achieve this, youth engagement is crucial and the energies and passion African youths expressed can be harnessed towards the continent’s development. I currently host a personal development online platform for females and I am constantly seeking opportunities to mentor and work with other African youths.

Here is Mercy’s Story…….

I work with teenage girls educating them in teenage pregnancy and career development. We are currently helping teenage girls build their self esteem and embrace themselves through our ‘Not just a pretty face’ program. We have reached out to more than 3000 teenage school girls in Eastern Nigeria through our menstrual hygiene programs and self-esteem seminars. Though we started in a rural community in Anambra state, we have extended our program to reach out to urban girls. Although my project reaches out to many young girls in the community, I am also highly interested in how it has impacted the life of the other young people who work with me to achieve this success. I take great pleasure in recruiting volunteers and getting them to see the need to associate with something bigger than they are. I consider my projects a self-discovery process for volunteers. This leads me to share my experiences with them and encourage them to take up other leadership and volunteering opportunities. I believe in the African youth and I am a great supporter of youth participation and engagement.

I am inspired by my own personal experience and journey to self discovery. I always wish in new how great and capable I was at an early age. Someone how everyone saw me as someone with potential but nobody told me how to build it up or what I should do to develop myself. I do not want other youths to go about not knowing how wonderful and resour esful they are and this inspires me to take action.

Her advice to young people…..

You will never discover you full potential until your exercise you skills. Do not feel you are not good enough, do what you are good enough for now and your potential will grow. Always seek for opportunities to make impact and be a part of something bigger than you.

Her facebook handle is Https://facebook.com/adaisagirl/

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