Favour and Princess were among the 130 students who attended the Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation 21st Career Guidance and Counselling (CGC) Workshop, which took place on the 25th of July 2022 in Comprehensive Secondary School, Oginigba, Port Harcourt.  It was the first time the two girls had ever attended a Career and Counselling Workshop. Favour a 14-year-old Senior Secondary School 1 student from a disadvantaged background supports her parents by going to Hairdressing salons in her neighborhood to offer her services as a budding Hair stylist. Her dream is to become a professional teacher and shape the lives of the younger generation positively, but she often wondered if her parents will be able to sponsor her dream!  However, after Barr. Abimbola’s session on Law and Arts, Favour was really motivated to believe that she could further her education in the University and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.

Barr. Abimbola during her session had mentioned that it was possible to work and sponsor oneself through university by going to school part-time. After the Entrepreneurship session which was facilitated by Mr. Kesena Odogwa, Favour realized that she has a vocational skill; braiding hair. Furthermore, the session on Digital Marketing and Social Media which was handled by Atat Charles and the KIR Foundation, Business Support Officer; Ejike Onyeke, also exposed Favour and her schoolmates to the world of marketing their services, skills, and products. Favour understood from the above sessions that if she upgraded and monetized her skills she could achieve her dream of becoming a teacher and more. Now, Favour firmly believes that it is up to her to create the future that she wants and not depend on her parents. According to her,

“I thought going to the university was for the rich and those that could afford it, but now, I know that I can afford it. I need to study and work hard to get good grades and also improve my skills to earn more. I need to do some research about the school that offers my course and see if I can afford the tuition. I will follow Barr. Abimbola advice and apply to a Federal University that I can afford with or without my parents’ help. Thank you counsellors for coming to my school and sharing your experiences with me.”

Mr. Ikechukwu Anaba facilitated the session on Engineering and Computer Science and he encouraged the students to become solutions minded, instead of complaining about their circumstances, because Engineers are problem solvers.

On the 17th of November, the KIR Foundation team hosted the 22nd Career Guidance and Counselling (CGC) Workshop in Community Secondary School Nkpogu, Rebisi Port Harcourt. Oluchi and Bright were among the 146 students who attended the workshop.

Oluchi is a Senior Secondary School Three student at Community Secondary School Nkpogu. The KIR Foundation CGC was her first, just like it was for the rest of her schoolmates like Bright. Her desire to study Law was dimmed by the myth that “Lawyers are liars”, she definitely did not want to belong to a profession of presumed lairs. However, thanks to our facilitator for Law and Arts; Barr. Duunebari Seth-Nzor took her time to debunk the myth.  Also, she told the about the opportunities that they can have access to as Lawyers and the various areas of specialization. Thus, at the end of the workshop, Oluchi was able to make a firm decision about becoming a Lawyer.

Another student Bright who also attended the workshop said she wanted to study an Art related course because she is better with Art subjects, but her parents insist that she studies Medicine. She said she had quite confused trying to obey her parents. However, did not know the various fields and departments in the Medical Sciences, aside from Medicine and Surgery which she did not like. She was glad that she attended the workshop because knows about other courses in Medical Sciences such as Epidemiology and Disease Control, Human Physiology, Optometry, Biochemistry, Medical Administration, Gynecology, etc. Also, she was advised to do thorough research online on her areas of interest.  

One of the Senior Prefects of the school; 15-year Favour Monday who is an SSS3 student said it was her first time attending a Career Guidance and Counselling Workshop.  She expressed her gratitude to her Mentors and the KIR Foundation team because what she had learned from the workshop will enable her to make an informed career choice; adding that she wants to be an Accountant in the future.

Our Career Guidance and Counselling Workshops hold in underserved public /community secondary schools while public schools because the students do not have access to Career Guidance Counsellors and this makes it difficult for the majority of the students to get the information they need to make the right career choice. Therefore, we connect the students to seasoned Mentors like; Duunebari Seth-Nzor (Law and Arts), Kesena Odogwa (Management Sciences and Entrepreneurship), Atat Charles (Digital Marketing), Ejike Williams Onyeke (Social Media), Solomon Tamkabari(Medical Sciences and Ikechukwu Annaba (Engineering and Computer Science) who explain to them through their life stories the requirements they need to follow a certain career path. Furthermore, during the question and answer session, the students get clarity on various issues or questions that they are grappling with.

We are extremely grateful to all our facilitators who mentor our young people and give them clarity for a bright future!  We leave you with these words from one of our committed facilitators; Ikechukwu Anaba said “As Young People be ready to solve problems”.

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