Yesterday, amidst a gentle drizzle in the heart of Lagos, the Tech Skills Hack Campaign embarked on a remarkable journey. Led by the visionary founder, Iniobong Udoh, and a team of passionate tech experts and educators, Adaora Maduka, Anthony Eyo and Emediong Akpabio , the campaign took its techvangelism to Gbagada Girls Junior Secondary School (GGJSS). As the clock struck 9:40 am, we arrived at the school, welcomed warmly by Mr. Gbajiyi, the Vice Principal of GGJSS. The excitement among the students was palpable, and their anticipation of the day’s events filled the air.
The Team that made it happen
After settling in, we familiarized ourselves with the school and swiftly set up, preparing for the much-awaited event scheduled to begin promptly at 10 am. As the hour approached, more than 300 girls gathered, with a majority hailing from the final year of junior secondary school. Their recent completion of exams had only added to their eagerness and joyous spirits. It was evident that they were ready to absorb the knowledge and inspiration we had to offer.
Our Founder, Iniobong Udoh with Mr Gbayigi, the Vice Principal of GGJSS, Lagos.
Iniobong Udoh, a beacon of inspiration herself, was introduced to the students by the Vice Principal. As she took the stage, she passionately shared the significance of STEM education, particularly in the field of technology. She encouraged the young girls to position themselves as active participants in the ongoing tech revolution. With great enthusiasm, she highlighted various avenues through which girls from low-income backgrounds could benefit, including tech boot camps and government programs such as the Cadbury Bournvita Bootcamp and EkoEXCEL.
Iniobong also emphasized the importance of utilizing the internet effectively, directing them towards platforms like YouTube and Khan Academy that offer immense learning opportunities. In her empowering address, she shattered the misconception that technology is limited to specific professions, urging the students to embrace tech regardless of whether they pursue science or art careers. With wisdom and grace, she provided invaluable advice on choosing the right career path, instilling in them the confidence to pursue their dreams.
Accompanying Iniobong Udoh and the Tech Skills Hack Team, was Mr. Emediong Akpabio, a passionate advocate for children’s rights. He enlightened the girls on optimizing their studies and shared invaluable insights to guide them as they prepared to embark on their senior secondary school journey in just three short months. His career pep talk left an indelible mark, empowering the girls to make informed decisions as they stepped into this crucial phase of their education.
As we reflected on the day’s activities, it became clear that our impact extended beyond the realm of technology. While our tech evangelism left an indelible mark on the girls, the signing-out parade emerged as another highlight of the day. This custom, commonly practiced in Nigerian universities and colleges, had also found its way into secondary schools. It was a time for JSS 3 students to celebrate their final day together before moving on to new schools for their senior secondary education.
Our Founder with one of the excited students who just signed out
Witnessing the excitement radiating from the students as they playfully marked each other’s clothes and faces with markers was a heartwarming experience. Amidst the defacement, the joyous laughter, and the bittersweet realization that some friendships might be tested by the upcoming transitions, we couldn’t help but feel a profound sense of camaraderie and nostalgia. These young girls were on the cusp of a new chapter in their lives, and we were honored to be a part of their journey.
As the Tech Skills Hack Campaign’s visit to Gbagada Girls Junior Secondary School drew to a close, we departed with hearts filled with hope and optimism. The day had reinforced our belief in the power of education, technology, and the untapped potential that lies within each and every girl. Through initiatives like Tech A Girl, we will continue to bridge the gender gap in the tech industry, paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.
With each step we take, with each girl we empower, we move closer to a world where technology knows no bounds and every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Together, let us unlock the limitless possibilities that await us in this digital age and empower girls to become the architects of their own destinies.
Tech A Girl – because every girl has the power to change the world, one tech skill at a time.