Before I commenced my doctoral studies, Youth Alive Foundation (YAF) provided me with the platform to learn while also making an impact in the development sector.

While at Youth Alive Foundation (YAF), my competencies and skills grew exponentially across the board. A valuable takeaway for me from YAF was my ability to engage and work closely with Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). The skills I took away from YAF have contributed to my doctoral research because I am now able to create the synergy and connection between theory and field experience.

It was humbling to receive the email from the Country Director of YAF appreciating me for hosting the YAF’s “Hello Africa” series, which is premised on “Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)”. The third paragraph is the most exciting part of the letter. It literally made me blush.

Appreciation letter from Dr. Udy Okon YAF Country Director

It was a pleasure to host the program, and it was even more humbling to be appreciated by the Country Director of the organisation. It is like being appreciated by the President. This is not an email that should remain in my inbox. It requires a public celebration and attention.

The take-home message here is simple: Celebrate every step and acknowledgement. It also pays to keep in touch with past employers. The world is a circle. You might need them someday. As for me, I might have left YAF, but I will always be a YAFITE.

Thanks Dr. Udy Okon and my YAF family. This is more than a letter to me, it is fuel to keep pushing.

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