TAKING THE FIRST STEP IN FAITH!
For me, being accepted into Open Dreams was like finding a light at the end of a dark tunnel! It gave 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 to this college access and mentorship program. In August 2016, I was a 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. Although my dreams were so big, circumstances around me did not allow me to soar very high. Amidst the uncertainty, I had to give in to the Cameroonian stereotype of joining the public service as my only career option. In Cameroon, young people don’t really get to follow our dreams; rather, we embrace whatever opportunities we find available.
I’ve always known that 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! I could picture some man 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 in life. I came across Open Dreams and there my journey of a thousand miles started. One of the co-founders of the NGO told me his story and I could see me in the making. So here I am, 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 of the Open Dreams program was very challenging. I came across people who are smarter and more determined than me. Most of them were even younger than me, and that’s a very big challenge! I took my first SAT practice test and the result was not that good. I cried, and then remembered the Bill Cosby quote: “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. I learnt to use the Google Drive App on my phone to make up for when we do not have computer access. I have also learnt how to write effective essays, blog posts, how to type faster and better. I have discovered that I have to work on my Math skills.
Through Open Dreams, I have met lots of inspiring mentors. I have also drawn lots of inspiration from the mentees of previous years who come visiting. I have begun an interesting journey of a few days and I have enjoyed every bit of its fun and challenges, while chasing my dreams. The light at the end of the tunnel is burning brighter.
Blog post written by Open Dreams student Chebesi Daphne Ngenwie