Growing up in a rural community, the only future Dennis could imagine was becoming a taxi driver, bus conductor or tout. His life trajectory changed when a friend invited him to attend the SAFE Academy. The Sozo Networks’ Securing Africa’s Future through Education (SAFE) Academy helps bridge the Nation’s education system gap by providing low-income teenagers with life, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills.
SAFE Academy’s teaching pedagogy includes videos and a lot of practical sessions. “One of the videos that changed my life was “Akeelah and The Bee.” The movies we watched made me realize that I am capable of becoming the best version of myself. At first, I couldn’t comprehend the foreign movies because of their accent, but my communication skills improved over time”, Dennis says.
The SAFE academy curriculum helps develop soft skills such as leadership, networking, communication, problem-solving. It also includes entrepreneurship and digital skills. The academy matched students with carefully selected mentors who shared their experiences and guided them towards making a better life and career decisions.
Five years after he first walked into the SAFE Academy, Dennis is now a final year student of Agriculture at the Anambra State University in the Southeastern part of Nigeria. He organizes leadership programs, personal development teachings and community outreaches for teenagers in underserved regions of Anambra state, where he schools.
Dennis grew up in a community where most young people engaged in drugs, smoking and no sense of direction. Today, he has become a positive example to teenagers growing up in the same environment, coaching and mentoring them to make the most out of life.
- Written by Lauretta Malaka