WMF “Dream Big” Scholars Conference
June 25-28, 2015, Nairobi, Kenya
For the very first time, 45 Wells Mountain Foundation Scholars and Alumni 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 alumni 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 WMF Scholars and Alumni.
Just as WMF provides scholarships to these students to study in their nations, WMF planned to meet the beneficiaries in their region of the world.
With the ample assistance of WMF board member Jordyn Wells’ professional expertise (on the ground in Kenya), the city of Nairobi was selected to host the first WMF “Dream Big” Scholars’ Conference!
Empowerment is the core message and goal that WMF wants all WMF 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 WMF Scholars and Alumni 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 WMF Scholars and Alumni traveled thousands of miles to meet for the first time and grow together!
Between June 25 – 28, 2015, the WMF conference attendees participated in workshops, panels, team-building exercises, community service activities. They heard inspirational speakers, participated in WMF Alumni 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.
WMF 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 WMF 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. WMF Scholars and Alumni were energized and empowered to continue building their friendships and professional networks across Africa and developing nations in Asia.
The next WMF Dream Big Conference will be in 2018 in Kampala, Uganda, and we cannot wait! To become involved with our WMF “Dream Big” Scholar Conferences or to become a sponsor, please contact Tom and Carol Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.