Africa

Brenda Chiuneme McWilson Accepted Into Watson U This Fall 2017!


Yet again, we receive another success story of Brenda Chiuneme McWilson! Brenda has been accepted at Watson U School of Social Entrepreneurs this fall 2017! Watson U is a program specifically designed for young social entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world, located in Boulder, CO, USA. College-aged innovators can apply for either the Semester Incubator Program (3.5 months) or the Full BS Degree Program (2.5 years).

Read her letter below!

Brenda Chiuneme McWilson

My name is Brenda Chiuneme McWilson. I have a Bsc. degree in Psychology and Biological Sciences from the University of Manitoba, Canada. I am starting my program in Psycho phonetics soon with options to study in Panama, Germany or Slovakia this summer 2017. I also hold an advanced Diploma in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. I have always been an ardent reader and follower of Opportunity Desk since 2015. First, I would like to say thank you to OD.

Last year, I think I stumbled on the Brightest Young Minds of Africa Program (BYM) on this platform when Oyindamola Johnson was featured. I went online to search for BYM 2016 and I got accepted to come to Durban in South Africa. Although, I couldn’t make it because of school. So getting selected for Watson U is actually the second opportunity that OD has made me achieve.

I applied for Watson U program last year but didn’t make it top the final list. Then I decided to apply this year and I did only 2 hours to the deadline. I just saw where I bookmarked it on my phone and decided to apply immediately. I got an email which says, “After reviewing hundreds of applications from 40+ countries, your application stuck out from the crowd thanks to your passion, thoughtfulness, and commitment to creating a better future. I want to personally congratulate you on making it to the second round of the Watson U Application! That means that you are in the top 36% of applicants, and that is a huge accomplishment in itself. Then I was instructed to complete and submit a Watson U task which is the stage 2 of the application process. The task was for them to see my thought process, my commitment to and knowledge of the problem, and my drive for my social venture I am working on.

Brenda addressing primary school children in Laguna community in Toledo

Brenda addressing primary school children in Laguna community in Toledo

After completing and submitting the task, I received an email few days later saying, “Thank you for submitting your Task to Watson U. We have evaluated all submissions, have selected our finalists, and we have decided to continue with your application. Congratulations! You have officially made it to the  final round of the Watson U admissions process: the interview. You are now in the top 26% of applicants from this application period!  I did my interview on Skype which was the 3rd stage of the selection process. I knew at that moment that I would be selected because of the expression of awe by the founder when I answered a question he asked. I received an email saying congratulations and I got a 10,000USD scholarship. I am to pay the remaining 5000USD and I hope the OD family will help me realize this big opportunity.

All I can say is that, young people should apply these major values whenever they are applying for an opportunity or going for an interview: honesty, integrity, transparency, and authenticity. Always be yourself and never exaggerate. The Watson U program would go a long way to helping me accomplish my mission in changing the narrative of mental health in Nigeria, other West African countries, Canada where I reside, and in the world at large.

Currently, I am managing my Mental Health social enterprise called Ephphatha Transformation Academy which I started in 2014, where I offer therapeutic (using psycho phonetics model) to address childhood trauma, overcoming addiction or bad habits, and teaching youths leaderships skills, resilience, ignite innovation, create an environment that supports recovery, and help maintain a high self-esteem despite their mental health status. I also work as a financial sales representation for MBNA Master card; I am a freelance writer (only academic writing) and a friseur. Thanks to Opportunity desk for the amazing works you are doing.

Congratulations Brenda! We wish you all the best!

Have you been successful in any of your applications? Be an inspiration to others by sharing your story with us and keep us in the loop of activities as they unfold. Send a mail to [email protected].

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