“Education Is A Great Engine for Personal Development”

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Students who went to the final stage of the competition, however, some of them came up with flying colors at the end of the challenge

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Yayeh Initiative, Yayesorie Jalloh, has challenged young women of Liberia to see “Education as a great engine for personal development.”

Yeyeh Initiative, a not-for-profit organization, is run by Yayesorie Jalloh, former Miss African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU). The organization was established in April 2018 with the aim of elevating young women and children to ensure that they have equal rights to education, health care, social-economic status in society.

Ambassador Jalloh made these remarks recently when the organization recently launched its 2021 High School Spelling Bee Competition at the Monrovia City Hall.

It brought together over 300 students from 150 high schools across Montserrado and was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and other partners.

Amb. Jalloh said it is through education that the daughters of the peasant can become a doctor and that the sons of a mine worker can also become the head of a Ministry and agency, and the child of a farmer can become a President of a great Nation.

Amb. Jalloh who in her deliberation quoted former South African President Nelson Mandela, said “It is what we make out of what we have; not what we are giving that separates one person from another.”

Speaking further, Amb. Jalloh told the gathering that the spelling bee competition was designed to develop children’s confidence, presentation and cognitive skills to share positively their attitudes for life and enabling them to attain education.

According to her, this year’s target was to work with 100 high schools with two representatives per school, making it 200 students in total to contest in the preliminary rounds.

“Out of the 200 students, 150 will drop and 50 will contest at the Grand Final where our team will confirm the best three winners of the Yayeh Initiative partnership with the MoE and Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) Youth Affairs Unit 2nd Edition 2021,” She said.

The competition was under the theme, “Spell to secure a future life.” She indicated that the competition was part of the organization’s spelling bee program to benefit schools across Montserrado County.

 “As per our policy, the proceeds of this event are used to sponsor students in schools by providing Scholarships, Books, Laptops, and cash prizes,” Amb. Jalloh added.

(L-R) Amb. Yayesorie Jalloh Founder, Yayeh Initiative & Former Queen: AMEU 2017/2018 including other staff set to hand over various prices to the winners of the competition

However, at the end of the competition, the first winner will walk away with a Laptop, and a cash prize of (L$20,000) including an international scholarship and book; the second winner a Laptop (L$15,000) and one-year scholarship including books, while the third winner will be awarded a one-semester scholarship (L$10,000) as well as books.

At the same time, she clarified that an international scholarship available for the winners is based on the person’s eligibility.

The young Liberian female also noted that the COVID-19 situation has diminished the learning capacity of Liberian children, thereby creating several challenges for parents. As such, academic activities like the spelling bee have also been created to fill in these gaps, enabling the children to improve their literacy and learning key social skills, and developing positive attitudes towards life.

She is optimistic that this will benefit students by helping them to gain from the event, as well as making them more eager to study. She added that it will also help to motivate them to compete in school and prepare them for a leadership role.

Meanwhile, Amb. Jalloh stated that the spelling bee competition forms a part of her organization’s strive in giving back to Liberia as Miss AMEU.

“Our journey goes back since 2018. As Miss AMEU, when I set up my team to embark on our humanitarian endeavors and we single-handedly established relationships with orphanages and Mental Health homes, making donations of relevant logistics, food, clothes, paying school fees, etc. But with your help, we can do more,” Amb. Jalloh said.

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