MY TESTIMONY: HOW THE 2013 Y.E.S EVENT CHANGED ME.

As every opportunity will come but once, giving us an urge to grab a chance before it leaves, the YES 2013 program was not an exception. Whereas all our expectations never came to pass, what some of us gained from the program was beyond what we had expected. Some anticipated going home with transportation fare; others with job opportunities; and a few with start-up businesses. While none of these things was available, some of us went home with something far more rewarding: knowledge that inspired us to turn ideas into opportunity, which is the governing philosophy of YES.

I left Ugep for Calabar a day after the summit. On getting to Calabar, I discovered I am now 101 times better than my colleagues. ‘Oh Endure how loaded you are’? My spirit spoke to my soul. The summit which presented remedies to political, economic, and cultural challenges elevated my spirit when one motivational speaker Mr Ubong King, explicitly narrated how he overcame poverty and rose from a jobless person to become the CEO of a corporation with minimum capital. That inspiration reinforced my desire to start my own firm. I told myself that if Ubong King could make it in life, then I have no excuse to fail. I must make it, no matter how small I start. I started asking myself, what can I do with my life?

Today, I can proudly say that I am the CEO of Komz Technologiez company – a company established to provide technical consultancy services, and have five staff members comprising of a highly prolific team of consultants. Between August 2013 and January 2014, we have spread our tentacles beyond Cross River State. Besides our Calabar office located at 77 Calabar Road by Watt market, we also operate an office in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, located at 148 Aka Road by Samsung center.

Very importantly, the knowledge gained from the 2013 YES program inspired me to think of what I might do to support democracy and good governance even in my local vicinity. One of the ideas I learned was that online journalism has become ‘a window to democracy’ in today’s globalized world. There and then I started making plans to initiate an online news portal known as Yakurr Reporters – and to use journalism to beam a critical lens on the political situation in Yakurr Local Government. This dream has resonated with many stakeholders (home and abroad) and would soon become a reality.
When will the 2014 edition of YES rock Yakurr again? What shape will it take? And who are we expecting as guest speakers? These are the questions in the heart of every Yakurr son and daughter, both those who missed the 2013 edition and those who made it. I hope my story will encourage other young people to take advantage of the YES program in developing themselves and their communities.

God bless the YES Action Platform!
God bless Dr. Obasesam Okoi!!

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