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How Abigail Inspired Us

SHE TOLD US THAT OUR LEADERSHIP PROGRAM INSPIRED HER AND HELPED HER REALIZE SHE WAS A LEADER. HER STORY IS EVEN MORE INSPIRING TODAY.

“During my secondary school education, things were quite tough financially for my family. It was a really trying time and I had to engage in petty trading, selling stationery in school, just to make ends meet. What kept me going throughout my senior secondary school period was my decision to keep living out the values I had learned from FAME programs regardless of what came my way.”

“My FAME journey started when I was in SS1 as a 14-year-old when FAME started. I am someone that loves helping people and impacting them from my junior school age but I needed something like an opening of my mind for me to fully understand myself and my mission.

Thank God FAME came and I benefited from two of FAME’s programs; FAME Illuminate in 2017, and FAME Lead Day 2018.”

Abigail Olusegun at our first Fame Illuminate program in 2017

Before coming in contact with FAME in 2017, Abigail said, “I always felt there was more to what leadership was than what I saw in my environment.”

“My transformation process started in SS1. A female Volunteer facilitator from the Fashioned and Made for Excellence Foundation asked me and my classmates. During the first-ever Fame Illuminate program to identify the leaders in the class. Although, I was the assistant class captain at that time. I stood up and mentioned the name of my class captain. Who was a boy instead of mine.”

I remember the facilitator asking me “why I did not see myself as a leader”, immediately I replied her saying: “I am just an assistant class captain, the leader of the class is the class captain.”

Abigail’s view on leadership is similar to the experience the Founder and Executive Director of the Fashioned and Made for Excellence Foundation, Mr Raphael Stephen, encountered among his students in 2016 while serving in Kano State, Nigeria. These examples show the positional mindset many of our secondary school students hold about leadership.

Abigail Olusegun writing down leadership lessons during our Fame Illuminate program in 2017

Before participating in our program Abigail saw leadership as nothing more than being assigned a role to carry out specific duties.

She said, “I saw leadership as ordering the “students” in my class to pick dirt, punishing students, bullying others, sending junior students on errands and so on.”

She said, “after my exposure to the FAME Illuminate program, I came to a realization that leadership is more about influence and accepting responsibility rather than just occupying a position.”

One of my favourite sessions of the program was the FAME chant, my favourite line in the chant was, “My office as a Citizen of Nigeria is the most important office.” “It helped me begin to see myself as someone who could change the status quo.”

“The knowledge I got from the FAME program gave me the courage to overcome my shyness. I decided to run for the position of Head Girl in my school. Before I decided to take up this responsibility, I had become more responsible in my class, thanks to FAME.”

“My classmates were wondering at some point if I had taken over as the class captain of my class. I kept telling them that “I don’t have to be in the office of a class captain to be able to make my impact felt in the class.”

“Thanks to the knowledge I received from FAME, and the positive values I kept living out in my school, the students of Abadina College, Ibadan unanimously voted for me as the Head Girl of my set.”

“After my election, I refused to rest on my oars, I kept on creating positive changes in my school. I remember creating a goal-setting culture in my school, across all classes.

I also ensured students were not punished by other prefects unfairly among other things, she said “I was always thinking of what else we could do asides punishing students who came late to school.”

“I started using the empathy skill I learnt at the FAME Lead program. By asking them questions and seeking to understand why they came late to school and trust me, they had a lot of stories to tell. I got to know some of them had to hawk before coming to school. Some others had to do house chores and suchlike.”

“I realized that punishing them was just adding to their emotional stress. I tried to find ways to help them out and help the other prefects empathize and understand why some of the students were coming late.

I also remember speaking on the assembly using the communication skills I learned from the Fame Lead program, I was able to address the issue of starting a new school term with specific goals for the term.

I started writing and posting in classes, on the notice boards. I also had to do a lot of interactions with my set mates. I tried to make them realize that I was someone they could talk to when they needed to do so.”

After her impactful tenure as Head Girl of Abadina College, Ibadan and the completion of her high school education, she said, “I was inspired to do so much more. I did not believe leadership ended after being relieved of my position as the head girl.”

Abigail volunteering at one of our Fame Club Programs in 2020

“FAME programs helped me realize a lot about myself and I just had to pay it forward by signing up to volunteer immediately after leaving secondary school in 2019.”

“Since the first meeting with FAME. I have to be conscious of everything I do. To make sure that I am always working in line with who I am and my values. From the aspect of goal setting to problem-solving.”

She said, “Mentoring teenagers in secondary school through FAME has made me feel fulfilled. I remember when I was filling the volunteer form I was battling with self-doubt and felt I wouldn’t be good enough for such an organization as a teenager; but when I got on-boarded, I started gaining more confidence in many other areas too.”

“Going to co-facilitate programs as a teenager myself has helped me understand many things I will need in my journey of significance.”

“FAME has sharpened my skill in encouraging people and helping them out.”

Abigail volunteering at her Alma-Mater in 2020

“I have been opportune to share my story across schools, interacting with other students on a personal level. I am a co-facilitator at the FAME Mentorship Club, and I have been privileged to co-facilitate mentorship sessions at 5 underserved schools.”

She said, “FAME has helped me gain significance by impacting lives and mentoring students to be the best version of themselves. FAME family is simply just the best. I have learned quite a lot of positive values from the volunteers, they are just so dedicated and faithful, I must confess.”

“Thank you FAME for making me a mighty teenager, making me significant, a change maker, a nation builder, and an intentional teenager right from my secondary school days.”

Beyond FAME, Abigail also aspires to start up an initiative to cater to the emotional needs of teenagers.

She said, “I just have a heart for people and I know where I am going to. I believe that when you know where you are going and you know why you are going there, the obstacles are nothing to you. No matter how hard things are, since you know that your goal is for the betterment of yourself, you just have to focus. Decide on who you are and what your purpose on earth is so that no matter the challenge you face, you will be ready to scale through. Our lives cannot always be easy. If our lives are easy, it means we have not truly found purpose.”

Abigail is currently living her dream. Impacting lives and she has gotten admission to study Pharmacy at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. In a few years, she hopes to be a practising Pharmacist and Teenage Coach.

Abigail is one of the thousands we have impacted through our programs.

Over the past four years, you’ve helped FAME bring quality leadership education and stories like this to so many people around the world.

We want to thank you for your support. Quality leadership education is truly changing everything for students from low-income families. And for students like Abigail, life has never been more inspiring and full of hope.”

Volunteer Abigail Olusegun (2020)

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