Most stories start from the beginning but I will like to start mine from the ending.
As the last speaker was dropping the mic and the audience giving him a standing ovation, that was when a question welled up in me (and I’m reasonably sure the same question was in the mind of my team members) - did we achieve it?
In order for you understand the “it” that we achieved, or whether or not we in fact achieved “ït,” here’s a perspective just for you.
When I and my team members - other campus ambassadors - first met, the first challenge we faced was finding a theme for the event. We wanted our event and the community we would be building going forward not to be filled with individuals who were already established in the world of tech or the “Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) student”. Rather, we wanted both beginners and pro, non-STEM and STEM students, as many girls as boys, in short, we wanted all who are interested in tech regardless of their department, gender or experience levels. So we came up with the theme “Tech for All”. We made sure the e-flyers was on every WhatsApp group on the campus, and we spoke to as many individuals as we could find.
The second challenge was finding the speakers that will touch the core of our audience with their words and achievement, speakers that will make the audience put in their very best in whatever they have set out to do. We wanted our speakers to be diverse as is our audience, so we selected speakers from different backgrounds.
- Iyanu Adams talked about Digital Marketing
- Yusuf Ola talked about UI/UX design
- Adeleke Idowu talked about Data Science
- Akintomiwa Abolade talked about Programming
Believe me, when I tell you I could not have asked for more from the speakers, they were all we ever hope they would be and more. They could relate to both the beginners in the room and the expert at the same time, they took their time to answer all questions to the understanding of the audience.
Similarly, two of my team members both talked about Ingressive and GitHub - who they are, what they do, and their commitment to the growth of tech communities in Nigeria campuses.
Our sponsors did go beyond and above for us. Special thanks to GitHub for the stickers.
Now to my initial question, “Did we achieve it?” have we succeeded in creating an inclusive community where everyone is welcomed, where nothing else matters but pushing each other to become the best they can be? I would have loved to spontaneously reply with an affirmative, Yes we did it!, but it takes more than one meetup to achieve this, but the foundation we have built is solid, and we are not afraid to build a castle on it.