Tag Archives: Networking

Second inspiration by CCI that is going to affect my life!

Do you all remember the moment you heard about CCI? I still remember the sparkling that I felt. I was sitting in the back of the classroom and listening about what is CCI and how could we apply? Every sentence that I heard made me so excited and my eyes wet. I don’t know why, but I was so hopeful at that moment. I am telling you about back then because I ensure you, I felt the same thing during the Pathways to Success Program Alumni meeting.

We had done lots of things at Pathways to Success Program (PSP). This program was organized for us to keep on fresh and stay motivated as CCI participants. Also, we had a chance to engage with students from other colleges and countries. We heard about their action plans and CCI experience stories of participants that were in the panel. Shortly, all workshops we had were to help us improve ourselves.

Eylül with other CCI NOVA participants

I am kind of a person who likes listening success stories, mainly if the story somehow related something that I am trying to achieve in my life. On the 5th day of PSP, we started to hear about some alumni success. I was paying so much attention because I knew that I could find the inspiration that I need for my action plan. Firstly, we learned about Ana Lucia Cole (Costa Rica). She won the AIEF funding with her group, then we saw that Gilbert Sabinga Lekalau (Kenya) found a system to save elephants in his area. Jaya Gulo (Indonesia) helped his community children, providing them with books, bags and other school materials. Mokgadi Sharon Papetswa (South Africa), helped her community by starting a green company and giving the opportunity to women to start their franchised businesses. Pradeep Kumar (India), his NGO became #1 on TripAdvisor website and Vanesa De La Cruz Pavas (Colombia) created a CCI Colombian Alumni Club to stay in touch as alumni while volunteering and helping their community.


Eylül with CCI Alumni: Pradeep (India), Vanesa (Colombia) , and Sabinga (Kenya)

Hearing their stories from first hand has given me the courage to improve my action plan and after hearing them, I already feel filled with motivation, but as soon as they entered the room; I surprised and amazed. As I saw them, I felt the same sparkling in my heart as when I heard about the CCI Program. It is essential to have the same feeling, because that first sparkling was the reason that I am in the program now. I hope with the second one I will accomplish what I want from my Action Plan!

I also had a chance to engage with Vanesa. She was the person who inspired me the most. She replied my all questions patiently and sincerely and she made me understand that it isn’t a big deal to fail sometimes. It is important to have the courage to continue. Thank you, Vanesa! Thank you for sharing you story with me, I appreciate it!


Eylül with Vanesa de la Cruz,2016-2017 CCI participant at NOVA-Annandale from Colombia

I think that almost everyone had lots of fun in Arizona! Meeting with our country people, sharing our memories, making new friends and networking was excellent.  I already feel sorry that it ended. I am sure that we all are going to remember everything about it, and I hope we will, also remember the workshops and ideas that CCI has given to us. Those were precious moments that we can’t get at the same time and same place. (Again) Thank you, CCI!


Eylül and Berke (Turkey) with NOVA CCI staff.

Post written by Emel Eylül Akbörü  from Turkey, a 2018-2019 CCI participant at NOVA-Annandale.

International Young Leadership Assembly- Aug.10.2018

Alka Sharma (India) at the International Young Leadership Assembly at the World Bank in Washington DC

As we fly from our home country every CCI participants dreams about their successful academic and professional development. In order to take a step towards our professional development we got the chance to meet some important delegates, entrepreneurs, social activist and some business professionals of our various fields of study at the International Young Leadership Assembly, which was held at World Bank, Washington D.C. on August 10 2018.It was a great platform for all of us to interact with different people, discuss about major topics of concern to the world and how as a young generation, we can contribute our quota..

There were many young and motivated people. The experience for all of us was new and knowledgeable. As an individual, this platform was right for me as I also want to lead as well as give back to my community. The many entrepreneurs shared their experiences, ups and downs and how they overcame their problems. To be a leader it is important to have the full support of your team, and to lead your team from the front. The most important thing that struck me was   that age is just a number. As young as we are, we can impact to our societies greatly both directly and indirectly to the world. I want to open an institute that helps underprivileged students living in my community. I did not know how to go about it, but now I can work on my plan and give it a right start. The best part of the whole assembly was where we were given the chance to ask for advice from the experts. It really helped to erase many doubts we had concerning our future as young leaders.

The whole experience widened my knowledge about many things and increased my confidence for the start of my future.

Blog written by Alka Sharma from India, a 2018-2019 CCI participant at NOVA-Alexandria. 

My Experiential Learning

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” (Benjamin Franklin).

It is sad when something so special to you comes to an end, my time would end in the United States of America very soon, but on the other hand, I am so grateful and happy for the incredible experience in a place where I never imagined I would ever venture to go to. CCI is the program which provide me this golden opportunity to visit my dream land. This program provide me many opportunities in these 10 months to learn technical skills, enhance my leadership capabilities and strengthen my language proficiency, networking and service learning, for which I am very thankful. I am going to talk about one the best opportunity provide by this program to learn and develop my professional skills is the internship program or experiential learning.

Currently I am working as a program assistant in Lincolnia Senior Center Virginia, United States. This is a community center which provide residence, meals, supportive services, medical guardian, transportation, shopping services and social, physical, emotional, and intellectual needs for older citizens. I am incredibly happy to have been a part of this organization as I have a strong will to help others in my life. My duties are to create a weekly calendar, Manage activities for seniors, engaged them in activities and games, maintaining suggestion programs, taking interview and making their life stories. I spend most of the time learning administrative stuff like, planning and implementation of activities for residents. Designs programs to encourage their social life, provide entertainment, relaxation, and fulfillment, and improve daily living skills. This is a wonderful opportunity I got to learn new things.

I was thinking that it will be very hard for me to adjust and understand in a new organizational culture and stratification in the beginning but when I start communicating and discuss thing with my director I felt relax. As a program assistant, I work under the guidance of the program director Miss Carolyn Martin who has an experience of almost 30 years in her respective field, and I feel fortunate to have met all the other staff as well. They are all colorful characters; people who have experienced a lot and are willing to share their knowledge with the younger generations. This is also a wonderful opportunity for me to make Networking. It prepared me to produce, team work and enhance leadership skills. Furthermore, what I most embraced about this internship is, I got chance to work in a democratic leadership environment that they include every staff in meetings, discussions and making decisions. My director always give much value for my openings and that gives me a great sense of importance, belonging and encouragement. I learned to be patient, to show good judgement and respect the different backgrounds and experience of a diverse group of people. I have increased my knowledge, humility, faith, hope, and passion I learned from my boss that I should not limit myself. Go out there and explore the world that is meant to be explored. She is one of the special, and influential person that has been a big part of my life. She gives me wonderful advice, and has taught me a lot about life.  She has taught me so much in such a short amount of time.

Post written by Naveen, CCI participant at NOVA 2016-2017 from Pakistan