The trajectory of our lives can be determined by a single dream. At Akili Dada, we work together to create the spaces and develop the tools necessary to transform that dream into a vision that can be grown into and actualized. Mentoring sessions are key in creating the conversations which goals and actions develop through. These sessions are where we practice autonomy, independent thoughts and collective vision for the Africa we want.
During our last mentoring session at Loreto High School, three Alumnae, Director of our Young Changemakers Program, and 6 mentors met with students around the topic, “My plan to reach my goals”.
Lillian Nyaranga, one of the mentors, introduced the concept of “SMART” dreams. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound. Using this concept, she shared the criteria for forming attainable:
Specifying dreams helps work one through the process of defining the visionMeasurable dreams can have goals and benchmarks set against them to help stay the course.Attainability can serve as motivation that is rooted in an end goal.Realistic dreams are may also depend on the dream itself, but can help one decide what is needed to live or reach that dream.Time-Bound dreams create a framework in which to develop the steps necessary to achieve that dream.In groups, the students shared their dreams, how they plan to fulfill, and some of the key values they fell they need to live by in order to achieve theses dreams. Some of the values mentioned were integrity, determination, hard work and excellence. Students also learned how to classify their dreams by categorizing them as short-term or long term.
The most inspiring part of the session was how much the students are already doing to create change around them in the name of their dreams. For example, Catherine, is passionate about education, and has already started a library with 56 books. By the end of the year, her goal is to have more that 100 books in the library. Others talked about their plans to expand their social change projects in the short term, and in the future finish university and continue to give back while also pursuing their careers in a number of different fields.
Every interaction among mentors and peers in these sessions contributes to building a sisterhood that serves as a constant reminder of the value of each young woman and the strength built through working together.