The first female president of the International University of Wisconsin RSC shared her journey to founding an NGO
- Bridget Bonnie Agbenyo became the first-ever female president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the International University of Wisconsin in 2018
- A consistent failure of the former RSC president before her to meet the needs of students motivated her to run for president and gain the power to effect change.
- The young woman created an NGO called PEC Project to provide personal, educational and professional development to children after seeing the poor conditions in which the children of her village found themselves.
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Bridget always had a soft spot for helping people whenever she could and it was very apparent to the people around her. For the kind of empathy and kindness she possessed even at a young age, almost everyone she came in contact with thought that becoming a nurse would be the best option for her.
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The young woman had a lot of admiration for the military and thought that working as a nurse in the army would be a dream come true. Over the years, his career ambitions have taken various turns, but one thing has remained constant; his relentless desire to always meet people where they need to be.
So it was no surprise when Bridget chose to start a non-governmental organization (NGO) to support the less privileged in society. In an interview with YEN.com.gh Bridget opened up about the events that led to her using the money she had set aside for a birthday party in Dubai to support others.
From aspiring military nurse to pursuing marketing at the Lister Professional Institute
Bridget started high school with the intention of studying to become a military nurse and thus joined the school’s caddy. After some time in the group, however, she realized that as much as she liked the cadet, she did not see herself becoming an army officer. She found a new passion, marketing.
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“I realized that I really valued my freedom and I knew that joining the military might not give me that freedom. Right after high school, however, a friend of mine brought it to my attention that I could be a good salesperson given my eloquence.. I thought about it and I was actually convinced that I could pursue that and I did,” she said. YEN.com.gh.
She loved marketing and thought it was the best career path for her. She did very well there and graduated with honors. The next thing for her was to charter the land, but that came to an abrupt halt after finding out how expensive it was.
“The marketing charter required a lot of money and I couldn’t afford it at the time, so unfortunately I had to give up. Fortunately, I still had my unique voice that I had done a few voices off and other media presentations I work with, so I considered going into journalism.”
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She applied to the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and completed a short radio and television presentation course which she thoroughly enjoyed. So much so that she became the representative of the course.
Become the first-ever female president of the RSC of the International University of Wisconsin
In an attempt to learn more about journalism and pursue it full-time, Bridget applied to Wisconsin. International university to read communication. While in college, she was elected vice chair of the school’s entertainment committee (entercom) and this introduced her to the world of campus politics.
“As president of entercom, I have had surprisingly many people approach me with a number of issues students are facing that needed to be addressed. of the RSC at the time, but I realized that all the students’ concerns were constantly not being taken into account and that bothered me a lot.”
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Bridget, being the empathetic and worried young woman that she naturally is, thought of the best way to ensure that the students’ problems were resolved and it turned out that the surest way to do this would be if she was in power. With this, she decided to become the next president of the school’s SRC.
“I have to say a lot of people were really surprised when they found out that I had picked up forms to run for president of the RSC. It was because in the history of the school, no woman had never competed for the job, so many were skeptical he would win.”
For Bridget, that didn’t deter her at all. Rather, it was the perfect opportunity to become the first woman to make history or at least break the long-standing record that no woman had ever even stepped up to run for president.
With resilience and hard work, she forged ahead with her male counterparts and became the school’s first female SRC president.
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“I was so happy and fulfilled when I won because I knew I was now in a position of power where I had access to finances and resources that would help solve student problems and create systems work on campus, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Create an NGO to support the less privileged in society
A visit to her mother in Kajanya, a village in the Ada East district of the Greater Accra region, a few days before her 30th birthday had a huge impact on Bridget. When she arrived, she found school-aged children playing and several teenage girls who had been impregnated by the village men.
“I was extremely surprised by what I saw. It made me sad to see all these children with their whole future ahead of them facing such difficult conditions that caused them to take the wrong path in life. .”
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True to her nature, Bridget became very agitated about what she had seen and knew something needed to be done. For her, celebrating her 30th birthday in Dubai could wait.
“I had saved money to have fun in Dubai in honor of my 30th birthday, but it didn’t feel right to know what I had seen. The money needed to be put to better use.”
Bridget thought of the best way to help as many people as possible and the idea of starting an NGO was born. She named him, the PEC project.
“The aim of the project was to provide personal, educational and professional development to children (boys and girls) in middle and high schools, with the hope and prayer that before arriving at university, they will be well prepared and informed.”
Currently, the PEC project has three running programs; before the 2nd cycle for college students preparing to enter secondary school; before higher education for secondary students on their way to university and finally LCN (Leadersships, career development and networking) for higher education students.
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“The projects are structured to educate students at different stages on what to expect in their next academic phase, whether it be different subjects or courses and career prospects for all programs at this stage. The intention is to give them a fair idea of what each program represents and help them make informed decisions. After each training, stationery and hygiene items are shared for students”
Financing of PEC projects
Bridget’s very first source of funding was the money she had set aside for her trip to Dubai, but over time the people around her believed in the vision and started donating. help where they could.
“My friends and family have been really supportive. There are a lot of NGOs out there who are just there for their selfish gains and so getting more funding from external sources is very difficult. Fortunately , I work as a digital marketer for a fintech company and I also support with my own money”
For her, the long-term goal is to have the PEC Institute for those who are interested in technical and vocational education and who require more funding, hence the need to seek external support. She therefore calls on all those who can support in any form to come on board.