This week, the U.S. Consulate celebrated the graduation of 50 fellows from the 2023 cohort of the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI). The ceremony showcased the exceptional achievements and growth of the young leaders who have undergone an immersive and transformative experience that has equipped them with the skills, knowledge, and network to drive positive change in their communities.
In his remarks at the graduation ceremony in Lagos, U.S. Consul General Will Stevens encouraged the graduating CYFI fellows to continue to implement programs that foster economic growth, enhance democratic governance, and champion civil liberties.
“Today, we celebrate not just the end of a program but the beginning of a new chapter for these young leaders. The Carrington Youth Fellowship has provided them with the skills to become change-makers and advocates for progress,” Consul General Will Stevens said. “Their passion and dedication are a testament to the potential of youth to shape our world for the better.”
At the graduation ceremony hosted by Consul General Stevens, exceptional fellows were recognized for their dedication, creativity, and resilience in tackling pressing challenges focused on civil liberties, economic empowerment, education, and health.
Their projects spanned a wide range of sectors, demonstrating the breadth of their commitment to building a sustainable future for their communities.
At the event attended by CYFI program partners as well as the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu, 65 new fellows were inducted into the 2024 cohort of the intensive one-year program.
While inducting the 2024 cohort, Consul General Stevens said, “As the torch of service and leadership is passed on to you, remember that the journey ahead is challenging. But as we’ve seen from our graduating fellows, it is also filled with extraordinary possibilities.”
This year, the Carrington Youth Fellowship Alumni Network announced the expansion of the program to eight states, including Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Rivers, and Enugu states, with support from partners such as the Kensington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation, Access Bank, and LEAP Africa.
The Carrington Youth Fellowship, a dynamic youth-based initiative launched by the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos in 2011, aims to nurture a network of accomplished young Nigerians who are committed to making positive change in their communities. CYFI is named after former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, who was an advocate for civil rights, democracy, and stronger ties between the United States and Nigeria.
Since its inception, over 278 outstanding young Nigerians who are positively impacting Nigerian society have graduated from CYFI. They have gone on to become entrepreneurs, innovators, activists, and agents of social change. CYFI is proud to have contributed to their success and looks forward to seeing the impact of the next generation of leaders.