From Peddler to Degree Holder: How Pauline Wlati Nagbe Demonstrates Possibilities

first_imgIt was a picturesque scene on Tuesday, April 21st when one of Liberia’s prime and prestigious institutions of topnotch education, United Methodist University, graduated five hundred and fifty one Liberians in various disciplines.  Facial smiles, joyful tears, and blissful contentment characterized the commencement convocation as relatives, friends, well wishers and a host of dignitaries rose to the occasion.  In spite of intermittent rainfall, the weather was sunny.  Cool breeze blew across from the Atlantic Ocean while the fresh air from the mangroves floated.  The beautiful landscape and portrait within the statuesque and historic Unity Conference Center ideally located in Virginia City was a perfect match for such ceremony.   For many of the graduates, the road to achieving this milestone did not come on a silver platter, rather through diligence, dedication and deportment.  The struggle for tuition and other fees, tussle for transportation and bank payment, as well as jostle for registration and competing priorities still remain memorable.  Thus, each graduate has a unique story that marked the beginning of their amazing journey towards earning the rights and privileges as a degree holder. It is here and now that I would like to share a humble story about one of the graduates, Pauline Wlati Nagbe, who walked away with a degree of Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. As Founder and Executive Director of a leading grassroots, voluntary driven, and accredited youth-led development organization, Youth Exploring Solutions, I have a great pleasure working with young people all over Liberia towards making people problem solvers as well as tolerant and critical thinkers in the areas of sustainable development, environmental conservation, human rights, education, health and agriculture. However, I have rarely been as impressed or inspired as I am with Pauline Wlati Nagbe.  I believe she is a super star. There are few people that I have met who possess the ability to motivate positive change, inspire young people, motivate women, and who have also overcome exceptional odds by living and growing up in a country torn apart by fourteen years of intermittent Civil War.  I have known Pauline, personally and professionally, for about three years and I must confess that she is among the most capable and talented volunteers of our organization.  She represents a group of young professionals unrivaled in resourcefulness, tenacity, and creativity. Pauline stands among her peers for many reasons. She began her tertiary education through a simple call on the famous JKB Night Show hosted by J. Kolva Beyan of Truth FM.  On the show, Pauline highlighted her eagerness to wash and iron clothes for anyone who was willing to assist her acquired higher education.  Fortunately, that very night, she received calls from some listeners pledging support.  Among the many that made generous contribution was Dr. Julius S. Nelson of the University of Liberia who encouraged and provided opportunity to wash and iron clothes in return for scholarship to attend United Methodist University. For only one semester, Pauline benefited from Dr. Nelson’s benevolent succor.  Howbeit, Pauline refused to be left behind.   She mustered the courage and used challenges as the stepping stones towards achieving her ultimate desirous outcome.  Pauline began to mobilize, organize, and plan innovative approaches to expand her network.  Luckily, she built a wonderful rapport with some staff members of the National Port Authority and eventually obtained a part-time job as a Tally Clerk assigned on a ship.  Pauline utilized remuneration from the job to settle tuition and other arrears in addition to take care of basis needs and sustain her family.   Her ability to continue her academic sojourn did not cease despite being affected by downsizing exercise and subsequent termination of contract. Through the depths of disappointment and discontentment, Pauline nurtured her character, and embraced a life of service to others. She spent one year serving as a Community Based Enterprise Marketing Assistant at Monrovia City Corporation, where she encouraged many people to create community based enterprises in an endeavor to collect solid waste from the community.  In essence, Pauline put her boots on the ground and led a team of diverse multicultural backgrounds to engage, educate and empower young Liberians to become entrepreneurs in the area of solid waste management.  Again, she used compensation from the contract to pay her fees and look after her family.Pauline’s involvement in Youth Exploring Solutions came as a result of a mentorship program organized to train emerging leaders. From there, she expressed interest and continued to work for the organization.  Her contribution in our organization has been beyond our expectations, and she has played crucial role in helping us develop, implement, and design educational and outreach programs in the areas of women’s leadership, gender issues, girls’ mentorship, early childhood education and social justice.  She is the brain behind our Girls’ Mentorship Club, Reading Enrichment Program, and Women’s Leadership and Governance Project.  Moreover, Pauline has developed additional programs in accordance with Youth Exploring Solutions strategic action plan for 2015 which include, but not limited to:  Speak Out Girls Panel, Young Women’s Speech Competition, as well as Giving Women Voices project.  Her experience, wisdom, and professionalism have been a delight for our board, staff, and volunteers to be around. Because Pauline is a 100% volunteer who have not received any stipend from Youth Exploring Solutions that is primarily self-supported, she decided to do something uncanny as a graduating senior in order to liquidate her arrears and care for her family.  She refused to just complain, but decided on an appropriate course of action.  Late one night, she called me and said “Stephen, I have made up my mind to start selling doughnut in Red-light Market.”  It was a complete disbelief for a senior student at United Methodist University to peddle doughnuts in the bustling and teeming Red-light Market.  To my greatest surprise, I saw Pauline selling doughnuts the next morning.  Pauline managed to put aside shame and refused to worry about perception emanating from other people.  She was gradually able to scale up the quantity of doughnut sales and began to save some of her profits.  Eventually, Pauline settled her tuition as well as paid some graduation requirement fees.  Due to the success of the doughnut business, she has begun providing doughnut catering service for small workshops.  Pauline also uses personal scarce resources to support Youth Exploring Solutions and lend her voice to making people achieve their full potential and measure of happiness in aspirating for a better future.Having seen Pauline’s work first hand for the last three years, I am certain that she is capable of doing anything she puts her mind to.  She is a quick learner and most importantly a moral human with a heart full of compassion for people, and the challenges that face them in the 21st Century.  Indeed, Liberia is lucky to have such an inspiring young woman possessing such brilliance and determination to make the World a better place.From the Xenophobia attack in South Africa, to the rising death toll of African migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, to the capture of school girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria, to post Ebola recovery in the hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, Pauline story resonates that good things can come from Africa’s oldest republic despite enormous challenges.  It teaches us to look inward and believe in ourselves, and as well demonstrates that possibilities are endless in post-conflict Liberia in spite of overwhelming difficulties.   It edifies us not to give up in life, but look for opportunities in the midst of crises.Now is the time to hold the ladder for Pauline to climb up to success.  The time has come to give Pauline the opportunity and platform to excel in every aspect.  From this moment onward, let us show to Pauline that she deserves a decent job, a country that cares, and a citizenry that appreciates her quest to acquire education, thirst for quality life, and passion to serve humanity.  About the author:  Mr.  Stephen B. Lavalah is an advocate and the Founder & Executive Director of Youth Exploring Solutions (YES), a passionate, non-profit and voluntary grassroots accredited youth-led development organization. For more information about YES’ work in Liberia, please visit http://www.liberiayes.org.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

4 arraigned for narco possession, smoking utensils

first_imgFour men on Thursday appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Wales Magistrate’s Court charged with possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking and the possession of smoking utensils.Dennis Brewster, 41, a farmer of 116 Victory Valley, Wismar, Linden, pleaded guilty to the possession of narcotics charge and was placed on ,000 bail; while Anastasia Marques, 23, of Industrial Squatting Area, Mackenzie, Linden, pleaded not guilty to the possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking and was remanded to prison.In addition, Naugubie Saul, 23, a mason, of Victory Valley Squatting Area, Mackenzie, pleaded guilty to a possession of narcotics charge, as well as a possession of a smoking utensil charge and was sentenced to 50 hours of Community Service. Finally, Andrew Brian, of Wismar who was arrested after an arrest warrant was issued for him was remanded to prison on a possession of narcotics charge.Brewster, Marques and Brian will make their next court appearance on December 20. The charges were laid following a raid by Police ranks for possession and sale of illicit drugs in the Wismar and Mackenzie Area.Several raids were conducted in the Victory Valley Squatting Area and Industrial Area, Mackenzie and the three men and the woman were arrested for trafficking in narcotics, possession of narcotics and possession of smoking utensils. The raids were done with the intention of getting rid of illegal drugs from the streets.last_img read more

`The Bear’ is back

first_img“When they cancelled turf racing at Hollywood Park,” said Abrams, explaining his dry spell, “it hurt my program. Without turf, my horses aren’t too good. I have 30 maidens and they were all getting ready for Santa Anita. “With the weather clearing, we’ll start winning races again. Hollywood Park and Oak Tree were difficult. I didn’t have any horses ready for Oak Tree and there was no turf racing at Hollywood.” Abrams’ best two horses have been Lennyfromalibu and Famous Digger. Lennyfromalibu won the 2003 California Cup Mile in 2003 for a $52.20 upset, then two months later set a track record for 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course in 1:11.13 on Jan. 22, 2004. He claimed Famous Digger for $40,000, and in 1997 won five stakes races with her, including the Honeymoon Handicap and the Variety Queen at Hollywood Park, and the Del Mar Oaks and San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar. She later was sold for seven figures to Fusao Sekeguchi of Fusaichi Pegasus fame. The show plungers – those who wager vast sums of money on horses to show – were back in force on Thursday and lined up to bet on Healthy Addiction, the 3-5 favorite in the $79,750 Paseana Stakes. Healthy Addiction, ridden perfectly by jockey Garrett Gomez, won the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares by two lengths over Freakin Streakin in 1:44.95. A total of $374,861 was bet to show on the race with $350,523 of that amount wagered on Healthy Addiction and creating a minus show pool of $69,765. Healthy Addiction, trained by John Sadler, paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. It was Healthy Addiction’s seventh victory from 16 career races and her first start since finishing 13th – and last – in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last October at Belmont Park in New York. Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey announced last Wednesday that he will retire after the Sunshine Millions on Jan. 28. “You hate to see somebody like him go, especially a fierce competitor like Jerry,” Gomez said. “He’s someone who will be missed, but it will open up a lot of doors for a lot of riders. Jerry was one of the best for years and I’m sorry to see him go.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Not only did his stable go 0 for 30 at the Oak Tree meeting, but he also was 0 for 10 at the Hollywood Park fall meeting. However, that winless streak pales in comparison to the news he received early last winter when doctors informed Abrams, a non-smoker, that he had inoperable throat cancer. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded cardChemotherapy treatments were required and “The Bear,” as he is affectionately known around the race track, has lost more than 50 pounds because his diet has changed dramatically. But 2006 is looking much brighter for the Arcadia resident, who was born in Minsk, Russia. “I’m feeling good, my health is great and I go one day at a time,” said Abrams, who continually is upbeat about his situation. “I go every five months for checkups and if everything is good for four years, then I’ll be home free.” Things have been looking up on the racing front as well. He already has saddled three double-digit winners at the meet, including Presidential Heat ($18.40), Lady’s Champagne ($14.20) and Meet The Heat ($25). center_img ARCADIA – Last autumn was a tough time for 51-year-old trainer Barry Abrams. In fact, 2005 probably was the roughest year of his life. last_img read more

Five players out but possible Spurs XI still looks good in ‘must win’ UCL game

first_img 23. Christian Eriksen (central attacking midfield) 9. Vincent Janssen (striker) 5. Jan Vertonghen (central defence) 20. Dele Alli (central midfield) 11 11 4. Toby Alderweireld (central defence) 1. Hugo Lloris (goalkeeper) – scroll through the gallery to see the possible Tottenham line up against CSKA Moscow in squad number order 11 11 7. Heung-min Son (wide forward) 11. Erik Lamela (wide forward) 11 11 11 CSKA Moscow v Tottenham is live on talkSPORT from 7.45pm on Tuesday 27 September.Spurs are playing catch up in their Champions League group already.Mauricio Pochettino’s team travel to Moscow to play CSKA with one loss to their name already having been beaten by Monaco at Wembley.“It’s true that it will be a tough game,” he told tottenhamhotspur.com. “We must win because we need to go to the next round and to have the possibility to go through to the next round we need to take the three points.”Moussa Sissoko is among five members of the first team left behind by the manager as a result of injury, so talkSPORT looks at how the team may line up without their stricken players.THIS IS HOW GOOD HEUNG-MIN SON HAS BEEN THIS SEASONScroll through the gallery to see the possible Tottenham XI. 11 12. Victor Wanyama (central midfield) 11 2. Kyle Walker (right back) 33. Ben Davies (left back) – Remember, CSKA v Tottenham is LIVE on talkSPORT from 7.45pm (BST) here. 11 11last_img read more

District chief set to retire

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“I’m in my 12th year and my family has said, `You’ve worked enough years. It’s time for you to retire and do something different,”‘ she added. Shattuck started with the district in 1963 as a teacher at D.D. Johnston Elementary School in Norwalk. She became an administrator in 1974 and later served as principal at Dolland and Glazier elementary schools. In 1986, she was named director of elementary education for the district, which today has 18 elementary schools, seven middle schools and three high schools. She became deputy superintendent in 1993 and was named superintendent in 1994. She took over at a time of bitter divisions within the district’s Board of Education over a variety of issues, including whether the district should spend money on a program to curb gang involvement. The board eventually voted to fund the program. Things have quieted down a lot since then, Shattuck said. “There were lots of political problems then, but that’s no longer true,” she said. Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Superintendent Ginger Shattuck, who became the first woman ever to lead the district, serving more than a decade in the post, is retiring, Shattuck announced Monday. The 65-year-old Long Beach resident, who served 111/2 years as head of a school district with about 22,700 students, will step down on June 30 of next year. Shattuck said Monday she was announcing her retirement now in order to give district officials sufficient time to find and name her replacement. Her reasons are mostly personal, she said. “I have mixed feelings about leaving,” said Shattuck, who has spent 44 years in public education. “I love this district. I’ve been here since I was a kid. Indeed, it was Shattuck’s leadership that set a course for the district that endures today, said board President Pauline Deal. “It’s a great loss to our district,” Deal said. “A lot of the policies and direction the district has \ for the better has come from her leadership.” One such policy Shattuck worked with the board to adopt is the district’s goal of having 90 percent of students reading at their grade level. Reaching that goal by a 2007 deadline appears doubtful, but Deal said the board remains committed to improving students’ reading skills. Officials plan to launch a nationwide search for Shattuck’s successor, she said. They hope to have a replacement named by early next year to ensure a smooth leadership transition, Deal added. Looking back on her tenure as superintendent, Shattuck said she is most proud of helping the district sway voters into passing a $160 million bond issue in 2002. The money will allow the district to make renovations and launch modernization programs at most of its campuses. Some of that modernization work has already started. She also said she is proud of having helped improve the relationship between the district and its employees, and on working to focus the district on student achievement, Shattuck said. “She really moved student achievement and professional accountability to the forefront,” said Darryl Adams, the only remaining member of the school board that hired Shattuck as superintendent. “We are really focused on trying to have all of our students be successful.” mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Sportsday Podcast on talkSPORT 2: August 7 2017

first_imgThis Monday morning on Sportsday we bring you your essential round-up of the morning’s top sports stories.last_img

Football Talk: Celtic eye Lucas, Alves on Rangers interest

first_imgScotland hasn’t had the best track record with Brazilian imports but Brendan Rodgers could be about to change that.The Celtic boss is in the market for a Champions League-class midfielder and is reported to have turned his attention to one of his former charges at Liverpool. Lucas Lucas is out of contract at the end of the season and could be persuaded to head north.Rangers have been linked with a move for Portuguese defender Bruno Alves and he’s commented on the situation. It’s not the first “come and get me” plea of the summer but he’s talked up the atmosphere in British grounds.Elsewhere, Barnsley have offered a fans’ website money for a star player, Dennis Bergkamp has shown that class is permanent and there’s the worst or best own goal ever scored, depending on your perspective.last_img read more

Stratford football blanks Pittsville to clinch at least a share of conference title

first_imgTigers win seventh game in a rowBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterPITTSVILLE — The Stratford football team clinched at least a tie for the Marawood Conference championship with a 43-0 shutout of Pittsville on Friday night at Pittsville High School.The Tigers are now 7-1 overall and 7-0 in the Marawood Conference after winning their seventh game in a row. The victory assures Stratford of at least a share of the conference title for the first time since finishing in a three-way tie with Edgar and Marathon in 2013.Stratford’s season finale is next Friday at home against winless Phillips. A victory would give the Tigers their first outright title since 2007.Pittsville drops to 3-5 overall and 3-4 in the Marawood. The Panthers must win at Marathon (7-1, 6-1 Marawood) next Friday to qualify for the WIAA playoffs.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)last_img read more

Banyana ready to tackle Tanzania

first_img29 August 2014South Africa’s women’s football team, Banyana Banyana will wind up Women’s Month with an international friendly against Tanzania at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday evening.They returned from Zambia earlier this week after a 4-0 win over She-polopolo and went straight into camp ahead of the African Women’s Championship in Namibia, which takes place from 11 to 25 October.On trackCoach Vera Pauw said in a statement that her charges’ preparations are on track for the biggest women’s football tournament on the African continent, which will also serve as a qualifier for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup, with the top three finishers qualifying to play in the finals in Canada.“We travelled back to South Africa on Monday and we gave the players a day off on Tuesday but the girls are looking great. We will be ready for Tanzania come Sunday,” Pauw said.Amanda Dlamini is recovering well from a knee injury which she suffered in match against Namibia at the Dobsonville stadium on 10 August.Places up for grabsWith Pauw yet to name her final squad to compete at the African Women’s Championship, competition among players for a place in Namibia is stiff.“Everyone is working hard in the team. It’s not going to be easy for the coach to make the final selection as everyone is putting in great effort,” Banyana Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk said.African Women’s Championship preparationRunners-up in the last African Women’s Championship in 2012, South Africa qualified for this year’s finals after thrashing the Comoros 13-0 away from home in May. The islanders subsequently withdrew from the return leg of the tie, opening the way for Banyana Banyana to play a number of friendly internationals as preparation for the continental showpiece.In eight outings in 2014, all against African opposition, South Africa has won six matches and drawn twice against Zimbabwe: 2-2 in Johannesburg in April and 0-0 in Harare in July.Banyana’s other results include the 13-0 thrashing of the Comoros, a 4-0 defeat of Botswana on 7 June, a 2-1 win over Namibia in Windhoek on 5 July, a 2-0 victory over the same opposition on 10 August on home soil and the recent 4-0 victory over Zambia in Lusaka.GroupsSouth Africa has been drawn in Group B for the African Women’s Championship finals, alongside Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana. Group A consists of Nigeria, Namibia, the Ivory Coast and Zambia.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Servant Mentorship

first_imgAlmost everyone recognizes how important mentoring is.  I don’t know anyone who is successful who did not have at least one good mentor. I  know I am grateful for mine.Similarly, I don’t know any good leaders who don’t mentor to some degree.  It is more than a mark of a good leader; the mentoring makes the leader stronger by what he or she learns from the mentee.Of course, people define mentoring differently.  It should be more simply than showing someone the ropes or sharing inside baseball.A good mentor should have a vested interest in helping his or her mentee succeed.  Yes, I recognize that this definition begins to bleed into sponsorship as many define it.However, I believe the line between mentorship and sponsorship can be somewhat artificial.  In my views, the best mentorships include a sponsorship component.  The term I use is “servant mentorship.”One way that mentors can sponsor mentees is by opening doors for them.  “I can’t do this but I think this would be a great opportunity for you.”In these cases, the mentor feels good about the opportunity that he or she has provided. While this may benefit the mentee too, the mentor is benefiting by having someone safe do what he or she cannot.Don’t get me wrong.  That’s not a bad thing.  But it’s not as wonderful as it may make the mentor feel.For me, the best test as to whether someone is a servant mentor is whether they lean back so their mentee can lean in.  That means giving up an opportunity for the mentee so that he or she can grow.“I can do this, but I think you would be great. If you want it, it’s yours.”Mentees know the difference.  And, I believe, they respond in kind.Opening a door for someone when you cannot walk in is not “servant mentorship.”  Not walking in the door when you can but sending your mentee instead is.Next month I will be giving my monthly slot to a mentee.  Thank you to SHRM for joining me in service mentorship.last_img read more