VIDEO: Mandela Washington Fellows reflect on lessons learned in Lubbock
By: Norman Martin
Ettamba Agborndip admits she had never heard of Lubbock before arriving in West Texas in mid-June. The Cameroon resident was among a group of young African leaders selected to participate this summer in the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative.
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The fellows spent six-weeks exploring Lubbock, and even made a trip to Austin. While at Texas Tech, the group participated in many lectures and discussions. They also took part in leadership training and had numerous networking opportunities throughout their stay.
"I feel like there is no other place which would have been better for me," Agborndip said. "Lubbock is a beautiful town with so many amazing and warm people."
The cohort hosted by Tech was part of a larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington fellows studying at institutions across the United States this summer, said Amy Boren, the Academic Director of the Texas Tech University Mandela Washington Fellowship and an assistant professor in Tech's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications.
The fellowship program welcomes African civic, business and community leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 to U.S. universities and colleges and gives them access to free online courses in topics like climate change, entrepreneurship and human rights.
Boren explained that the fellows spent the first half of the six-week program participating in a Public Management Academic and Leadership Institute at Tech sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. They visited businesses, media outlets, nonprofit organizations and governmental offices in the area and participated in daily lectures and discussion forums about leadership, conflict resolution and public policy. They also gave back to the Lubbock community through service projects at various sites like the South Plains Food Bank GRUB Farm and the Guadalupe Neighborhood Center.
Reporting/Production by Allison Hirth & Jeff Ramazani
CONTACT: Amy Boren, Assistant Professor - Agricultural Leadership, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2816 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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