What did you want to become growing up?

What did you want to become growing up? 150 150 Scholar Bridge Initiative

A doctor? A pilot? A nurse, an astronaut, name it, we all had dreams growing up. We wanted to be something great in society and we admired the people that were successful in the family and around us.  our friends and family would often point to us to these lucrative careers and even go a mile ahead to explain to us the benefits of being in such a career.

Do you know why this was so easy for you though? It is probably because you had people around you that modeled these behaviors, as they say, kids do what you do as opposed to what you say. This is to say you wanted for instance to be a doctor because you knew a doctor or had watched one on the television and wanted to emulate their lives. For instance, growing up in the village I did not have much to emulate, and so I just wanted to be like my auntie that lived in Norway and all I wanted was to just dress nicely like her and buy great clothes. This is to say that behavior is modeled and it is easier for children to use what they have access to in their environment.

Let me shock you, however, there are kids in this country that have had no access to television or any form of social media, most of them live in the slums and have not had many models to follow after. One day as I was doing some mentorship in Kibera, we asked some kids what they wanted to be when they grew up, the answers shocked me a little. There were answers from the garbage collector, to a tout, to a tailor, etc. Now there is nothing wrong with the above examples that these kids gave, what I learned is that these were the models they had around them. They were speaking their reality and they were honest about it. There is nothing wrong with being a tailor, I mean we need clothes, a garbage collector we need spaces clean and a tout, well the behaved ones get the transport system working which is necessary.

After talking some more with these kids, I illustrated to them other things that they could probably aspire to be such as musicians, engineers, doctors, policymakers etc. I could see the enthusiast in their face as they listened to what entailed to have these careers; one of the boys even asked me what an engineer makes…

That day I was inspired to reach out more to these kids, I was happy to be a model that they may not have in their family and society. Showing them possibilities and what the world out there presents and that there was no limitation to their future.

Would you love to make a difference in a child’s life? The Scholar bridge initiative makes sure that the gap that exists between the well-off communities and the not-so-well communities such as the ones in the slum is bridged. You have an opportunity to join us today through your giving or by becoming one of our mentors. Visit www.sbi-africa.org for more information.


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