- Chebesi Daphne Ngenwie, Open Dreams Pre-Scholar
I have to risk it all to achieve!
Being accepted into Open Dreams to me is like finding light at the end of a dark tunnel! It gives me hope and certainty for a better tomorrow. My experiences wouldn’t really mean so much if I don’t let you know how and why applied. So, August 2016, I am this super-ambitious girl leaving high school with lots of uncertainties ahead of me. I was hoping to make the best out of life once I got out of high school. Though my dreams were so big, circumstances around me did not allow me soar so high. Amidst the uncertainty, I had to give in to the Cameroonian stereotype of having to get into the public service. In Cameroon, we don’t really get to follow our dreams; rather, we embrace whatever opportunities we find available.
I’ve always known my biggest limitation is me. I therefore refused to be where I did not want to be. Studying in a Higher Teacher Training school did not give me enough opportunities to challenge myself as much as I would have loved to! Some man was just going to come marry me off after three years! I am still young and vibrant and I have to risk it all to achieve what I want to achieve. Then I come across Open Dreams and there my journey of a thousand miles starts! Blaise Buma, one of the co-founders of the NGO gets to tell me his story and I am like, “Oh! That’s definitely me in the making”. So here am I, at last, at Open Dreams! I really do not need to see what lies ahead of me; I just need to take the first step in faith.
My first week in Open Dreams has been very challenging. I’ve come across people who are smarter and more determined than me. Most of them even younger than me and that’s a very big challenge! It’s like I am in a battle with them for the finish line. Life is an endless battle. I took my first SAT practice test and it wasn’t that good. I cried though but as Bill Cosby would say, ‘My desire for success should be greater than my fear of failure’. I have also had many interesting lessons and I have made many new friends. I have had super-amazing moments playing games with Flashcards. Guess what? I learnt to use the Google Drive App in my phone! I never knew what that was meant for in my entire life! I’ve also learnt how to write essays, blog posts, how to type faster and better! I discovered that I have to work on my Math! I’ve met lots of inspiring mentors! I’ve also drawn lots of inspiration from the mentees of previous years who come visiting. It’s also been a tiring week. The long hours of lecture and practice but it’s worth it. In fact, it’s been an interesting journey of a few days and I enjoyed every bit of its fun and challenges, while chasing my dreams!