CRAZY with SMARTNESS
What do you want to study in college? A student at Open Dreams will have soup with this question. I know you are probably thinking, but there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Yes, you are thinking correctly, but there is a special blend when the answer is coming from a student at Open Dreams. Most junior or senior high school kids will tell you that they don't really know what they want to do in college. Some would say engineering, medicine or communications major. Here comes the best blend with flavour, confidence and certainty; a student from Open Dreams - "I will be studying Chemical Engineering at Stanford University or Medicine in McGill University next year."
On my first day as a volunteer teacher at Open Dreams, I introduced the New SAT Math section and decided to check my students’ levels of preparedness for the test. We had to set some goals, so I decided to ask what each of them wanted to study in college. I got straight forward answers. Why are they different? Well, that is the kind of answers you get when you place students with unique dreams and ambitions on a cross platform and in an environment that harbors tools needed in order to build a dam in a desert! Open Dreams has a unique mission and the overly determined caliber of students at our center have enough backup for their college application process.
Now, am I saying that there’s no problem with being overly determined about pursuing college dreams? Absolutely not! But in the case of Open Dreams students, based on every technological and academic support channeled to the students, they are bound to be successful. This is why at Open Dreams, we are CRAZY with SMARTNESS!
Throughout my volunteer time at the Open Dreams office in Bamenda, I watched each and every student closely. I observed how they used technology and the educational materials made available to them at the center. I was amazed by the difference they showed in the way they do things. Here are a few characteristics that I noticed amongst the students. These are things that they do differently from students that I have interacted with in Cameroon.
They demonstrate good leadership skills and values. This is shown via their interaction with their peers, teachers and workers at the center.
They learn quickly and can easily adopt creative ways of critically analyzing situations, both in the classroom and around the center. This gives them the invaluable skill of effectively managing workload.
They can collaborate with each other, through sharing projects and research insights. By collaborating with one another, their mentors and coordinator, they demonstrate proactivity in managing their time and energy.
With such an enticing set of smart mentees, I decided not to end my volunteering time at Open Dreams! Though I’m out of Cameroon now doing my degree, I still work closely with the mentees at Open Dreams. I believe that they’ve got the incentive to be confident, because Open Dreams has their back as they get on the boat to sail towards their dreams and ambitions. One day, each of their stories shall be bigger and their leadership success and community impact immeasurable!
With President Bill Clinton! No longer just a dream!