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Spotlight Series

Michigan State University's Global Youth Advancement Network (GYAN) introduces the Global Voices Spotlight Series as a next phase in GYAN's Global Voices brand, joining our Essay Contest and Webinar Series. This series provides a space for intergenerational conversation between young people and professionals devoted to meaningful global engagement and problem solving via research and outreach activities related to youth. Alongside recognizing contributions to youth-focused initiatives by members of the MSU Community in International Studies and Programs, and beyond, the interviews will include pointed advice from the interviewees to young people interested in pursuing their fields of study and career paths. Join in to hear voices from multiple perspectives on some of the world's most intractable challenges!

Eligible contributors to this series are:

  • MSU Students
  • MSU Faculty or Staff
  • MSU Alumni
  • Young Innovators
  • Industry Experts

If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague to be featured in our Global Voices Spotlight series, please do so using this Nomination Form.


Featured Spotlight: Mr. Chibuzor Agomuoh

Global Voices Spotlight features Mr. Chibuzor Agomuoh, a Specialist at the Community Engagement Exchange Program of IREX and Executive Director at the SunRise Youth Intervention Organisation. At the time of this interview, Mr. Agomuoh was at MSU as a guest from Nigeria to share his expertise in soft skills development relevant to youth and civic engagement, non-profit and conflict management, etc. for the benefit of the student community.

 

September 16, 2022 

Abridged transcription of Mr. Chibuzor Agomuoh's interview with GYAN Global Citizenship Ambassador and MSU rising senior, Hibah Siddiqui.

GYAN: Hello and welcome to another session of our Global Spotlight Interviews. My name is Hibah Siddiqui, Global Youth Ambassador for GYAN. I am here today with our guest from Nigeria, Mr. Chibuzor Agomuoh.

Mr. Agomuoh: Thank you Hibah.

GYAN: Thank you for being here. Firstly, can you tell us a little about the SunRise Youth Intervention Organisation? What was your goal when creating it?

Mr. Agomuoh: I started SunRise in 2011 because Africa is a continent with inequitable access to opportunities, but I wanted young people to gain access to these opportunities. Today, we have reached thousands of young people in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Gambia. We focus on soft and vocational skills development: we want to equip young people with the needed skills to become employable and self-reliant.

GYAN: In your book “Rising at Sunrise”, you talk about your role as a youth mentor and leader. What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when working with young people?

Mr. Agomuoh: You have to understand that you are working with people with enormous potential for great things in the future. You must approach them with respect and bear in mind that these people are delicate. When you respect young people as opposed to belittling them, they are more willing to listen to your guidance and mentorship as you help them making something meaningful of their lives.


Mr. Agomuoh advises young people: "Maximize what you have within you: love yourself, harness and develop what you have within yourself, then everything around you will open up to you and fall in place."


GYAN: Every chapter in your book begins with an inspiring African proverb. Although your book focuses on African stories, many of the messages are applicable to a global audience. Who was your target audience when writing this book?

Mr. Agomuoh: Indeed, I wanted to create material that would be globally appealing while also speaking loudly to the African community. I read that Africa is the youngest continent meaning that 70% of its current population is between the ages of 15 and 40. In the next 30 years, one in four people you meet will be African. It’s important to pay attention to young Africans because in a way they are the future of the world and the world’s workforce.

GYAN: Could you tell us a little bit about how you chose the title of your book, “Rising at Sunrise”?

Mr. Agomuoh: Sunrise marks the start of life, a blessing with an abundance of opportunities as sunlight. Youthfulness is the start of one’s life and rising at that moment is key. You must take advantage of it and make something meaningful of your life.

GYAN: What advice would you give to young people who are in disadvantaged situations and feel like they don’t have any opportunities?

Mr. Agomuoh: I would say to maximize what you have within you: love yourself, harness and develop what you have within yourself, then everything around you will open up to you and fall in place.

GYAN: We talked about your past and present, so what is your own 10-year plan? What are your goals for the future?

Mr. Agomuoh: My 10-year plan is to create a center to increase access to soft and vocational skills development for thousands of young people. All my work, including writing this book, has been leading me into fulfilling this dream. Eventually, I hope to make something more visible and tangible.

GYAN: We wish you the best of luck and hope one day your dream comes to life. Thank you so much for coming today, such a pleasure interviewing you and learning about your book.

Mr. Agomuoh: Thank you, Hibah.

View the full interview on GYAN’s YouTube page.


Past Spotlight Interviews