Pelumi Olugbenga is our EduCeleb of the Week. Otherwise known as Ambode of LASU, he is an award winning student leader at the Lagos State University, Ojo. In this interview with ABDUSSALAM AMOO, he shares his success story.
Kindly introduce yourself.
My name is Pelumi Olugbenga, a student at the Lagos State University. I was recently awarded as a Hesselbein Global Academy Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, the United States.
Tell us more about the award.
The award rewards student leaders and young CEOs in different countries of the world.
What were the gains of the award?
Primarily, it is just to sharpen the leadership skills of the selected student leaders and young professions. It is about exposing them to the global communities and the challenges facing our world. It is about deepening the greatness in volunteerism as well as in civic engagements. In totality, it is just about bringing these exceptional people together, and adding value and skills to their lives and careers as well.
What have been your engagements in LASU?
As a student here in the Lagos State University, I have served in various committees and positions in the Students’ Union. I have served as the General Secretary in my faculty’s (Faculty of Arts) students’ association. I am presently the Editor-in-Chief of my departmental press team. I presently chair the House Committee on Public Matters, that is (in the parliament of) the Students’ Union Government. I think the height of them was my role serving as the student representative at the GNS (General Studies) review committee, which was set up by the university’s Vice Chancellor last year and earned a certificate of honour from the university.
How have you been able to balance combining academics with all these leadership positions?
I think it is just about passion. It’s about drive. It is about you having hope for a brighter future. What I just do is that I keep an itinerary trying to outline what I am going to do for the day. And I ensure that I keep up tabs with everything I do. I also discipline myself a lot. I manage my time and try to prioritize. For instance, in a situation like this, where there is a ASUU Strike, I try to read wide. I try to cover a lot of things because by the time school resumes, people start running about for programmes. So, it is just about knowing yourself well and not paying attention to frivolities.
Kindly tell us about other commitments.
I am a young and passionate Nigerian and global citizen. I have passion for writing and children. I presently run an intervention project in North-Eastern Nigeria where terrorism has wreaked havoc. It is called “Save The Future”. What the project sets out to do is to feed and educate children that have been displaced by Boko Haram insurgency. This is because you see that in the present situation, they are exposed to being lured into radicalism. So, the project primarily weakens the lure of radicalism to children, to make it less attractive for them. If you keep on exposing these children to Boko Haram radicalism, you’ll give them (Boko Haram) a pool of fighters by the time they start using children as suicide bombers. So, you need to actually orientate and re-educate these children.
What is your advice for students in leadership positions?
Focus on your goals. Success is no guesswork. It is a product of hard work and tested principles. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives. The difference between you and that person you aspire to be is in the level of hard work he dedicates. It is the amount of time he spends on propelling his goals. So, never give up even when there is failure.
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