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‘’It is important for young people to own their dreams. For them to do this they need to know themselves. Identifying their strengths and passion will enable them to be the best that they can be.’’ – Phyllis Wakiaga

Did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? How did that influence your decisions growing up? Did you finally end up where you had envisioned?

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For many secondary school students, the thought of careers is something they always put off for the distant future. When it comes to selection of subjects and universities, then it hits them that that future is not so distant, but now. With no one else to talk to, most students choose careers out of peer pressure or the big name attached to it, never thinking for one minute of the impact those choices may have in future. 

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While her years in high school had molded her into the person she now was, Phyllis Wakiaga had also seen many of her schoolmates end up in the wrong careers because of making uninformed choices in high school. In her position as the CEO of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, she had also seen a lot of people who were very dissatisfied in their careers because they chose them without really having an idea of what they would look like. This is why, when an opportunity to conduct a career mentorship session at her alma mater came up, she grabbed it with both hands and on 21st March, 2017 together with her friends she visited Precious Blood Girls – Riruta to the form one and two students.

While Phyllis was really happy to be back to her former school, the students were happier to meet a person of her caliber and to learn from someone who sat on the same chairs and got to be taught by the same teachers. 

During the sessions, the students keenly listened to who shared her road map.  They were amazed to learn that even though she had wanted to be a CEO from her tender age, to rise to the top had not been easy. This, she explained, was one of the reasons she felt there was need come back share her career journey with the students so that they would have an easier road in life. She invested by purchasing Careerpedia resource materials which the students could use after she left.

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At the end of the day the students were able to identify their Values, Interests, Personality and Strengths, or VIPS in short. Knowing this early enough would not only help the students to make the right choices when it came to subject selection, but would also help them in choosing universities, courses and  careers that perfectly fit them.

 There is little factual information that high school students have access to when it comes to subject selection and future careers. This is why we advocate very much for alumni to come together and become career mentors to the young minds that are at this crucial stage of making lifelong decisions. BE THE BIG BROTHER!

 ‘’The mediocre mentor tells. The good mentor explains. The superior mentor demonstrates. The greatest mentors inspire.’’  - Lucia Ballas Traynor

The role of alumni in mentorship cannot be understated. Students tend to resonate more with people that had the same experience they're having. They tend to relate more to the possibilities they see in people that studied in their own schools. There’s a hope they get from seeing a success story that began exactly where they began. We want to create a very vibrant alumni network in secondary schools in Kenya that will champion the cause for career mentorship in their alma maters. A big part of this will involve them conducting career days in the schools and providing Careerpedia resources to the students to help them make the most informed decisions about their future careers. We are calling on all the alumni in every secondary school in Kenya to take up this mantle and inspire a generation of young people who know themselves and are happy in their chosen careers.

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