Journal: Ola Idowu

It is said the hardest part of most new endeavours, is starting them. This was true for me in my experience with Operation Black Vote. In my case, I had to overcome the anxiety of being apart of programme that has produced numerous individuals who have gone on to do many great things; the anxiety of not knowing whether I could meet the expectations of the programme. These apprehensions were quickly overcome once the programme had begun.

From the start of the induction, an atmosphere of unity and support was present. This led me to realise that I was not alone and that one quality that I shared with every other person in the room, was the desire to do what I can and make a difference in my community. Hearing the testimonies and advice of past alumni from the programme helped me to consider what I wanted to get out from the programme, I felt empowered by hearing their experiences and wanted to ensure that I did what I could to make the most of the opportunity that I had been granted.

For me, the best part of the programme thus far has been the guidance of my mentor. He has been really forthcoming and friendly, he has invited me to extra meetings that are not apart of the official programme and introduced me to several people who are civically active in different ways. Because of his mentorship, I feel that have been able to gain more from the events that I have attended as I am able to ask him question and discuss things with him that have improved my understanding of the decision making systems that are in place and how change is implemented within our community.

Although it is early in the process, I feel that my confidence has grown and I am learning about what it means to be a civic leader.