Growing up, we all had dreams of who we wanted to become and the things we wanted to achieve. Doctor, lawyer, engineer, even president – those were our dreams. 

We didn’t know how to go about it. A handful was lucky to have parents that charted the course of their lives in the direction of their dreams. Some were unfortunate to have parents who imposed certain courses on them for personal pride and glory. A greater percentage dispassionately picked any course during JAMB to get by. A desperate lot who were offered a different course from the one they applied for had their career trajectory changed for life. As the case may be, the choices that we made or were made for us led us all to different paths in life.

A handful of people are happy and fulfilled. Some are just going with the daily grind. Many more are yet to find their footing; they are still asking why I am here? What path should I take in life? How will my daily choices lead up to my career prospects? 

The saturated status of the Nigerian labour market is not helping matters, with a greater percentage of youths without jobs, or at best, working menial jobs just to put food on the table. Though Nigeria happens to be the most populous country in Africa with one of the largest youth populations globally, comprising 211,400,708 members, statistics show a worrisome escalation of the unemployment rate, which reached an all-time high of 53.40% in December 2020.

This unemployment problem portends a depressing prospect with millions of angry, frustrated, desperate and delinquent Nigerian youths. To add to the sad story, Nigerian universities churn out millions of graduates who are integrated into the jobless market every year.

Adejayan Temilade saw the need to educate young people on purpose and life planning and rose up to the challenge. Adejayan is a graduate of Law from Obafemi Awolowo University. Based in Lagos, she is an education advocate passionate about preaching the good news of education as a tool for nation-building. Temilade strongly believes that every child is a nation and that when you build a child, you build a nation.

With this promise in mind, Adejayan Temilade set out on the project “Teenage to Purpose” in conjunction with the DO-Take Action Team. She launched her project under the Decent Work, Economic Growth and Trade program. 

The project was carried out in Faddy Academy Nursery/Primary School in Jakande Estate, Isolo, Lagos State, where she educated 28 students on the meaning of purpose and living a life of impact.

The details of the projects entailed the following;

  • A keynote presentation on the essential role of life planning in attaining a fulfilling career choice to inform the students on the need to discover who they are and their capabilities early to make career decisions that are in line with their purpose
  • A self-assessment test to evaluate the students on their understanding of what has been taught to ensure comprehension and assimilation
  • Selection of peer educators to advocate for life plan and career choice development in their respective communities and sphere of influence. This will ensure the continuity of the good work and exponential results as the student advocates engage their peers.

In the project, the students were given a self-assessment test on Teenage to Purpose, and a minimum of 80% of the participants scored 80%. In addition, 90% of the participants committed to following through with the necessary coaching process of life plan and career choice development. The crux of the project was when 12 participants selected as peer educators pledged to advocate for life plans and career choice development within their community.

Adejayan Temilade believes in changing the world one child at a time, though 28 is a good number. You, too, can start with what you have to initiate the change you want to see.

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