A Note of Gratitude to Chevron Engineering Leadership Program Mentors

We would like to thank our network members who did outstanding work as mentors in this year’s Chevron Engineering Leadership Program from 25 June 2023 until 8 July 2023. The Chevron-sponsored African Leadership Academy Engineering Leadership Program (ALA ELP) is designed for highly motivated and talented high school students aged 15 to 18 who are interested in a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). The program seeks to develop future African engineers equipped with leadership skills to lead a change on the continent.

The mentors attended a week-long training where Dr. Oluseyi Aberefa, Mr. Phenyo Tshwantsho, Ms. Eufa Adabie, and the supporting ALA Team prepared them for the next two weeks of impactful mentorship. Throughout that time, mentors shared knowledge, developed their leadership skills, and learned more about the impending program. By the time the mentees arrived, they were ready to lead the young leaders into a better understanding of Engineering.

The students undoubtedly had a blast throughout the program. The curriculum was perfectly planned out with enough time for enjoyment, learning, connecting, and developing their solutions. Some of the activities that were a part of the curriculum were: Leadership Traits Training, covering Autodidact, Communication, Critical Thinking, Ethical and African Traits; presentations from the Program Partners, Chevron; Explore Joburg expeditions; and the flagship of the program, working on their solutions for the Design Challenge.

The students provided raving reviews of the program. Many of them reported that it enforced confidence in them that they do, indeed, want to study engineering. They also appreciate the opportunity to meet and connect with so many other students from all over the continent. Their connections with their mentors, especially, were very empowering and encouraging to them.

From the mentors’ side, this has been a rewarding experience. They created a great bond among themselves and forged connections that could last a lifetime. When asked about their experiences with their mentees, they express excitedly that what they learned and experienced through the program, they can never forget. All the mentors loved working with their diverse teams and cultivating an environment for the mentees to challenge themselves and learn more. They connected with their mentees and even learned a few valuable lessons from them. The mentors would easily jump at another opportunity to mentor a group of young potential engineers and are grateful to ALA for providing them with this opportunity.

The second runners-up were mentored by Thato Matona and comprised of Olly Chitiza, Kikachukwu Ebie, Herman Malima, and Youssef Nassar. The runners-up were mentored by Thembelihle Mnguni, and comprised of Cristino Canga, Abimbola Balogun, Amr Khaled Ammar Saleh, and Keith Tamwa. The winning team was Team 3 – comprising of Varivo Ndjavera, Uchenna Ohiaeri, David Blackson-Hemans, and Tionge Ndhlovu. This team was mentored by Arthur Ndeh and got to walk away with a special prize from Chevron. Well done to all the participating team, to the inspiring mentors, and to the dedicated ALA Team that made this happen!

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