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Okonkwo Bags Rotary International Youth Leadership Icon Award

-Offers Scholarships to 20 Indigent Youths
By Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu

Business mogul and founder of Pro-Value Humanity Foundation. Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, was Wednesday night in Abuja, conferred with the Rotary International Youth Leadership Icon award in recognition of his support for youth development in the country.

Dr. Okonkwo also announced the award of 20 scholarships to indigent students. The scholarships, offered under the auspices of the Pro-Value Humanity Foundation, which focus is to enhance humanity and help youths to acquire leadership and trade skills, will go to 20 indigent students to be nominated by District 9125 of Rotary International.

He also promised to ensure that youths from the RYLA Camp, who are qualified for employment, get the opportunities they need to prove themselves.

Presenting the award to him at an event tagged ‘An Evening With Dr. Obiora Okonkwo’, at the Rotary Youth Leadership booth camp, a Past District Governor of the club, Chief Nnoka Mbanefo, said Dr. Okonkwo’s support for youth development is unrivalled.

According to him, Rotary had taken note of Dr. Okonkwo’s continued support for youth development leading to the sponsorship of 100 youths from Anambra state to attend the booth camp where they received trainings in leadership and self-realization skills.

Chief Mbanefo, who also decorated Dr. Okonkwo with the Rotary KickOutPolio Campaign badge, lauded him for not shying away from the challenges of youth development in the country and putting youths in the front burner of his campaign for a better Nigeria.

Commenting, Dr. Okonkwo who thanked Rotary International for the honour on him, pledged to further support Nigeria’s youths towards creating a better atmosphere for their development.

Encouraging youths to strive to be the best with the story of how he combined trading at Onitsha Main market with schooling in his early days, Dr. Okonkwo reminded youths that for them to grow to become useful citizens, they must imbibe, and live with, positive values that enhance their lives.

Dr. Obiora Okonkwo recieving the Rotary International Youth Icon Award from Rotarians Nnoka Mbanefo and Baba Abdul, Chairman of the RYLA 2019 committee

Speaking through thunderous ovations by the youths, Dr. Okonkwo cautioned them against negative vices, which he said has derailed many, adding that good morals open doors of progress and development for youths. He said “no matter what you do, you must also put God first”.

According to Dr. Okonkwo, “you are the future of our country and for you to take advantage of that future, you must stay away from negative vices and aspire to become positive role models through your lifestyles and the choices that you make”.

“I always tell youths in my village that Chinua Achebe wrote ‘Things Fall Apart’ in his 20s. He wrote that book in the village using kerosene lamp. He had no internet. He had no cell phone. He had no computer and no electricity. You have all these things and are therefore better equipped. So, you have what it takes to achieve much more than he did”, Okonkwo said.

Speaking during the ‘Evening With Dr. Obiora Okonkwo’, the Chief executive of The Dome Entertainment Limited, propped the over 300 youths at the event to draw positive messages from the challenges facing them and aspire to become better citizens.

Recall that speaking during the opening ceremony of the event, Dr. Okonkwo, who spoke eloquently about his focus on youth development through skills acquisition, had urged participants at the camp to ensure they leave better than they came in.

According to him, “no training is a waste” adding that “Nigeria’s youths cannot face the challenges of the future if they do not imbibe leadership skills”.

He urged the participants to be more disciplined and take advantage of every skills development training at the camp to grow.

Dr. Okonkwo also congratulated youths who were selected for the training camp urging them to see their participation as another gateway into a better future.

He also thanked Rotary International for organizing the training and urging it to do more in reaching out to more youths as he expressed optimism that trainings such as the RYLA Camp, will help direct youths towards right career paths.

“Surrender yourselves to the rules and disciplines. Overlook every discomfort you experience because that is the sacrifice that you have to make for your future. Keep your eyes on the goals and remain focused. Do let anything distract you while you are here.

“Make sure you leave here better than you came. No training is ever enough and you must keep learning because of your future because without knowledge and skills, your future will be tough. Therefore, you must acquire skills and knowledge in order to have a better future. Make the best of the opportunities that you have so that at the end, you will become the best of what you want to be”, Dr. Okonkwo told the participating youths.

The camp will close on Friday.