U.S. Consul General Encourages Nigerian Youth to Make an Impact

The Carrington Youth Fellowship Alumni Network (CYFAN) was launched Saturday, June 6, during a reception for youth, community and business leaders, hosted by U.S. Consul General Jeffrey Hawkins at his home.

CYFAN is an association of young leaders who previously participated in the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI), a year-long program in which outstanding young Nigerians are selected as fellows and grouped into teams to design and implement a project with social impact. The Alumni Network is now mobilizing to support CYFI and continue community service in the spirit of the program.

“CYFI exemplifies the way in which the United States and Nigeria fit together.  I have no doubt that the alumni network’s energy and enthusiasm will allow the program to continue its success,” said Consul General Jeffrey Hawkins during his remarks.   

CYFAN President Rhoda Williams explained her vision for the organization. “We have pulled our collective energy into the Alumni Network to create a platform where young Nigerians can access support and build their capacity in addressing society’s development challenges,” she said.

CYFI, a program named after former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, is a dynamic youth-based initiative launched in 2011 by the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos. CYFI brings together Nigerian youth of exceptional vision, skills and experience to design and implement projects that have a positive impact on Nigerian society. Former Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, was a champion of civil liberties, democracy and closer ties between the U.S. and Nigeria.

“Youth can be the world’s greatest innovators.  Ask Carrington alumni, and they will tell you about a time they solved a problem in their community. And if no organization existed to solve that problem, they created one,” remarked CYFI Board member and Political Officer Erica Chiusano.

Ibrahim Olalekan is a media writer and specialist. His enormous task as journalist has earned him media space in some leading online newspapers. Aside being a seasoned journalist, Olalekan has keen interest in advocacy, rural development and politics. Olalekan is a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, and can be reach via: or +2348101988313 and @lekanpaul

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