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Mathew Oluwaseun
University of Ilorin (Unilorin)
Mechanical Engineering
500Level, Nigeria.

A 400-LEVEL student of Lagos State University, College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Tolani Odukoya, has been selected as one of the participants for the 2020 Harvard Crossroad Emerging Leaders Programme, slated to hold in Dubai.

The programme is a prestigious and a fully-funded career development opportunity for students from Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia, who are the first member of their family or the first generation within their family to attend university and facing challenges of financial and social circumstances.

The event will also serve as an opportunity to develop the capabilities of tomorrow’s leaders as well as foster collaboration across the region. To the organisers, the ultimate aim of the Crossroads Programme is to create a diverse pipeline of future graduate students at leading universities, such as Harvard, and future leaders from across an array of social-economic, racial and cultural backgrounds.

Speaking with The Guardian, Odukoya, joyfully said, “I am extremely excited and really pumped to have been selected for the Harvard crossroads emerging leaders programme. It’s really a dream come through for me having gone through a series of the application process.

“Well, the programme is quite a competitive one as well over 6000 people applied from the initial stage. We had to go through a series of the application process before the finalist were selected. The programme will hold in Dubai. Over 6000 applicants applied for the programme and just 80 persons were finally selected to attend the fully funded programme across 97 countries. I am glad that Nigerians were considered in this year’s cohort unlike the previous.

He further stated ‘I look forward to learning new skills, gather relevant information and knowledge that are applicable to my career aspiration from Harvard faculty board members and professors. I also look forward to meeting fellow change makers across the world who will also be attending, share my experience of how I’m leading change in my local community while also learning from them being as global citizens.’

“I couldn’t think of myself in-plane my whole life considering the fact that I came from a very humble background but here it is having to travel down to Dubai for a very prestigious program all fully paid, I mean our dreams are truly valid and the best thing we can do for ourselves is to keep leading frontiers and pushing above all odds.”
And I would love to tell every undergraduate and youths is that they should keep fighting and keep pushing for their dreams are indeed valid.

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