“The support and encouragement I felt during my SUSI program made me a bolder and more confident individual. Every day I try to live like a leader, letting my life be worthy of emulation and a good example to others.”Mirabelle Morah is only one year out from her Study of the U.S. (SUSI) for Student Leaders Institute on Social Entrepreneurship hosted at California State University, Chico and she is already transforming her home nation. Morah’s efforts since returning from her SUSI experience have led to her position as a 2018 Global Teen Leader with the We Are Family Foundation while remaining the Editor-in-Chief of BlankPaperz.com, a platform for young writers writing about social issues. Morah holds writing workshops for young writers to show them how storytelling, literature, and the power of the media can help to solve society's problems and influence youth. “I use a lot of personal development and leadership activities learned from SUSI to mentally engage the young writers.”
Morah was very excited to travel to the United States for the first time with the SUSI for Student Leaders program. “I wanted to experience a different educational system… and when I learned that I was going to be tutored by the founder of SAGE Global (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship), meet real life social entrepreneurs from Google, Deloitte, Kiva.org, etc., I knew that my stay in the U.S. would be an amazing experience.”
Mirabelle has shared the skills and knowledge gained from SUSI through presentations and participation at the Calabar Youth Council for Women’s Rights, the Teen General Assembly and during the Ashoka Changemaker Xchange retreat in Dakar, Senegal. Less than a year after her SUSI experience, Mirabelle was also invited by Ashoka Africa to speak at the Impact Africa Social Entrepreneurship Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa as an Ashoka Africa Youth Champion.
When Morah travels, she remains in close contact with other SUSI alumni from her cohort. “When I visited Senegal after my program, my SUSI family came to visit me. Every time I visit a state or country where fellow SUSI students reside, I try as much as possible to connect with the students who live there.”
When asked to share some advice with future SUSI participants, Morah had plenty to say. “Remember to have fun, outdo and challenge yourself, offer value to people, learn all you can, live in the moment, and connect, connect, connect with people, with the universe, and with your innermost self because your community and the world are waiting for you. Don’t hold the genius ideas back.”
To learn more about SUSI and other Department of State programs at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, check out our website at www.eca.state.gov, our Facebook @Study of the U.S. Institutes and Twitter @StudyoftheUS.