Dream Big Conference 2015
June 25-28, 2015, Nairobi, Kenya
For the very first time, 45 WMI Student and Graduate Scholars from nine countries gathered for three days of learning and networking. “Dream. Plan. Do.” They make us proud and give us much hope for the future. Onward to change the world! – Tom Wells, Founder and President
The Empowerment Through Education (ETE) program has continued to grow and supports powerful change makers, community leaders, ambitious Graduate Scholars and inspirational community members. As the tenth year of this program approached, Tom and Carol Wells decided it was time to bring everyone together to learn, network and create in-country fellowship groups with current Student and Graduate Scholars.
Just as WMI provides scholarships to these students to study in their nations, WMI planned to meet the beneficiaries in their region of the world.
With the ample assistance of WMI board member Jordyn Wells’ professional expertise (on the ground in Kenya), the city of Nairobi was selected to host the first WMI Dream Big Conference!
Empowerment is the core message and goal that WMI wants all WMI Scholars to embrace and embody: empowerment of yourself, empowerment of each other, empowerment of your family, empowerment of your community and empowerment to have the courage to change nations.
All WMI Student and Graduate Scholars were invited to attend the conference at no cost and were supported by a generous travel grant. These grants greatly reduced the costs associated with traveling to Kenya from Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. However, participants still were required to raise funds to make this opportunity a reality. Forty-five WMI Scholars traveled thousands of miles to meet for the first time and grow together!
Between June 25 – 28, 2015, the WMI conference attendees participated in workshops, panels, team-building exercises, community service activities. They heard inspirational speakers, participated in WMI Graduate Scholar and community service panels, performed cultural dances and humorous skits, formed new friendships, and built new networks. They learned new skills and motivated each other.
WMI had the honor of welcoming as evening guest speakers Mr. Kennedy Odede, founder & CEO of Shining Hope for Communities Kenya, and Ms. Nebila Abdulmelik, head of communications at FEMNET – The African Women’s Development and Communications Network.
The WMI team of five staff and board members from the United States were inspired and humbled, and came away determined to do more for these amazing young people. Their intelligence and passion for a better way forward and their commitment to be positive change agents were wonderful to behold.
As the conference came to a close, the energy within the meeting rooms became alive with hope and determination. Each attendee left with a plan on how he or she was going to move forward with their academic, community service and professional goals. WMI Scholars were energized and empowered to continue building their friendships and professional networks across Africa and developing nations in Asia.
The next WMI Dream Big Conference will be in 2018 in Kampala, Uganda, and we cannot wait! To become involved with our WMI Dream Big Conferences or to become a sponsor, please contact Tom and Carol Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.