Nigerian youths need problem solving mindset to succeed — Founder, CareerEdu
NEWS DIGEST—Miss Adeniyi Toluwalase, 23, is the brain behind CareerEdu, where she is also the Non-Government Organisation (NGO’s) Executive Director.
In an exclusive interview with Tomori Uriel, the articulate, focused, and enterprising young lady shares her experience on how she started CareerEdu, her current and future projects, while also elaborating on how a problem-solving mindset nurtures career growth for individuals.
Can we meet you?
My name is Adeniyi Toluwalase. I am the Executive Director of CareerEdu, a platform that has three branches that include NeedsEdu, StudentsEdu and GradEdu. I am a writer, career coach and a health specialist. I am currently running a Masters Degree programme in Chemistry at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).
What informed the birth of CareerEdu?
CareerEdu was birthed based on the need to inform, educate and interact with students, graduates and individuals with special needs, irrespective of their gender, race, disability, culture and beliefs.
What are the activities you often organize at CareerEdu?
Our activities include creating a mentor-mentee platform for both students and graduates with professionals. In 2019, we organised a Career Alignment program for young professionals.
We also consult, educate and offer career guidance to graduates on various areas of financial empowerment. In addition, we teach vocational skills and offer mentorship programs to students with disabilities.
Tell us what your impact projects are all about?
That is the webinar we held for over 240 participants from 7 different countries, where we had different Forbes under 30 scholars speak to graduates about professional development.
Also, we visited a secondary school in one Kwara State’s community to interact with the students and explain reasons why they should acquire education. We had an interactive session which afforded us an opportunity to know the students’ areas of weakness.
Furthermore, we successfully organized outreaches to special needs schools, where we trained the deaf students vocational skills like soap making, production of bow ties and lapels, and photography, to mention a few. There are a lots of them, and for me as CEO of CareerEdu, it is a life long journey.
How did you start those projects?
Well, we started the projects by planning and creating a solid structure. Then we built a team of volunteers who are passionate about giving back to the society. More importantly, we drew our calendar and guide for the things we wanted to achieve.
What are your challenges?
As we all know, volunteering and NGO work is very expensive and time consuming. Some of our challenges include limited number of persons who can communicate in sign language. But we are trying to curb this by creating a sign club, where many people can learn how to sign. Then, there is the challenge of funding and sponsorship for our projects.
What do you aim to achieve with NeedsEdu for special needs?
NeedsEdu is the arm of CareerEdu that focuses on students with special needs (disabilities). Our aim is to get them empowered with quality training and kits for various vocational skills that will make them also relevant in the society.
Also we effectively want to create a mentor-mentee platform for them, where they feel free to share their burdens, ask questions and relate with individuals who have same disabilities, and are living beyond the problem. We also hope to connect them to the labour market.
How can Nigerian youths enhance their career growth?
Nigerian youth need a problem solving mindset in their journey to the top. Many youth need to reduce their sense of entitlements. It is true that the government is responsible for creating opportunities, but, we also need to find ways to contribute our own quota irrespective of the challenges we are facing.
Do you have any drive?
Well, my drive remains creating an open environment where we all can thrive, live in harmony and keep been voices to those whose voices needs amplification.
What does the world means to you?
The world to me is a place meant for humans to live, learn, survive, inspire others and create safe spaces for those coming behind.
Enlighten us about solving problems
My view about problem solving is simple. Go all out to find a solution! If you cannot, find people who can. Keep talking about it like you will pitch your business.
Where do you see Yourself in the nearest future?
In the nearest future, I look forward to being involved in policy making and governance. You will agree with me that this is what goes a long way to guide and describe the action of government.