"I left YYGS with the following 8 takeaways..."

Chizoba Oluebube Eziuzo

In YYGS, we had lectures from different keynote speakers from Yale university on topics like Neurobiology of memory, HIV/AIDS, 20th century environmental law and sustainability, problem solving and innovation. We had seminars on topics like an outbreak of Ebola, Human-Wildlife conflict. In these seminars, I began to understand that the western educational system is based on interactive classes. Students are the ones that contribute effectively in the classroom. After a brief introduction on the topic, the students would be divided into groups to brainstorm on the topic. After each lecture we always had discussion section, where students are free to discuss and debate about the lecture. Two instructors moderate the discussion but let us speak openly.

      One of my favorite parts of the YYGS program was our family/residential-life time. In one of our family time gatherings, we watched ‘The danger of a single story’, which is a TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie. This TED talk made me believe in myself once again; it really inspired me. After watching the video, my family leader asked us if we had a single story to tell.

      My single story was that when I went to Ghana to attend the Yale Young African Scholars Program, my new Ghanaian friends said that the one thing they loved about Nigerians was how proud they were of their country. I recently discovered from my Ugandan and Tanzanian friends that Nigeria has a good entertainment industry. One girl from Zimbabwe said that people thought Zimbabweans don’t speak English. Another girl from Israel said that people think that since she is from Israel she has to cover herself up. I was so happy after watching that video because Chimamanda Adichie really made Nigeria proud, which I hope to do too.

I left YYGS with the following takeaways:
  • Students should speak up because they have the freedom of speech.
  • All students should know how to use computers and how to write academic papers.
  • Schools should organize capstone project for students with two or more teachers assigned to them.
  • TED Talks should take place in school because this is an opportunity for students to voice their dreams and life goals.
  • Student-teacher relationships should be strong.
  • Students should form the good habits of asking questions and contributing in class.
  • Students should be avid readers.
  • Student should know about their country and what is happening in their country. As a Nigerian citizen, I should think of what I can do for my country and not what my country can do for me.
When I left the USA to go back to Nigeria, I was filled with mixed emotions. I missed my new friends and the cool and lively environment of YYGS, but I was happy to go back to Nigeria, because there is no place like home sweet home. After YYGS, I strongly believe that I will be back in USA.

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