The outgoing 2012 CYFI fellows celebrated their projects with the program’s namesake, former U.S. Ambassador Walter C. Carrington, at the CYFI Closing Ceremony, held on February 13th. The program marked the successful completion of the 2012 CYFI program year.
Ambassador Carrington, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria from 1993 to 1997, encouraged the fellows to work tirelessly towars the betterment of Nigeria. He called on them to work against corruption, and to stay true to their ideals in the face of challenges.
“Remain faithful to the ideals your parents and others have instilled in you,” he said. “It won’t be easy but it will be fulfilling. You may not end your days wealthy in gold, but rather affluent in spirit with that satisfaction that when you had an opportunity to make a difference, you took it.”
Carrington, who first travelled to Nigeria in 1959 as a group leader with the Experiment in International Living, has a distinguished career in public service and academia. His lifelong dedication to the advancement of human rights, democracy and the rule of law – both in the American civil rights movement and across Africa – have earned him international acclaim. He and his wife, Arese, were warmly welcomed back to Nigeria.
The celebration also featured the presentation of the Consul General’s Award to Tosin Taiwo, an outstanding CYFI fellow whose passion and commitment embodied the best of the program’s objectives. The Vocational Training team was awarded the America-Nigeria Partnership Award for their outstanding and inspirational project, YEC-Academy.
CYFI fellows Seyi Lawal and Raquel Jacobs spoke about their experiences, and thanked the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos and the program’s various sponsors for their support.
The CYFI Board congratulates the outgoing fellows for their amazing performance in the inaugural year of the program. We welcome this year’s 15 CYFI fellows. Please stay tuned to our blog to hear about their projects and exciting ventures as CYFI 2013 begins!