Lagos–– U.S. government exchange programs bring together Nigerian youth of vision, skills, and experience to design and implement projects that have a positive impact in their local communities.
The U.S. Consulate hosted a graduation ceremony celebrating the success of 17 young Nigerians who formed the 2021 cohort of the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI).
Aged 21-35, the 17 graduating fellows selected through a competitive process, implemented social service projects focused on health, education, civil liberties, environment, and economic empowerment during the 12-month long fellowship.
Delivering remarks during the graduation ceremony of the 2021 cohort, U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli highlighted the positive impact the initiative has had on local communities since its inception in 2011.
He commended the graduating fellows for their selfless service and commitment to the values championed by the late U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, for whom the initiative is named.
“You established a farmers’ business school and taught 30 rural farmers to sustainably farm. You upskilled 30 kids in Lagos juvenile homes on ICT skills and advocated policy reforms in juvenile administration. You trained school counselors on addressing mental health challenges in public schools.
“You taught rural women basic recycling skills and trained public school teachers on the use of modern teaching methods and aids. The projects implemented by the 2021 CYFI cohort are truly inspiring. These are meaningful, impactful projects. You have laid solid foundations for future work and I look forward to seeing where these initiatives go from here,” Ibelli added.
Ibelli welcomed the graduating CYFI fellows to the U.S. government exchange alumni community, a prestigious and vast network of like-minded and highly regarded professionals across the country. “I encourage you to take advantage of the exchange alumni group to continue to grow and support each other,” he said.
In a goodwill message delivered at the event, wife of late Ambassador Carrington, Dr. Arese Carrington, congratulated the 2021 cohort and urged them to remain exemplars of honesty and concern for the welfare of the less privileged.
“The innovative projects you designed and carried out during the past year have impacted lives positively. Never stop dreaming or daring to effect the needed change because you are the hope for the future,” Dr. Arese Carrington added.
CYFI is built around year-long social innovation projects that are designed by fellows and supported by the U.S. Consulate and private partners. The 2021 cohort is the first graduating class since the passing of Ambassador Carrington.
To date, CYFI has graduated 174 outstanding young Nigerians who bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the table, and share a common vision with the goal of positively impacting the Nigerian society.
Motivated and self-driven young Nigerians interested in becoming a CYFI fellow can apply by filling out the application form at: http://www.cyfinigeria.org/apply/