Her father’s, mother’s, and grandfather’s stories have inspired this US-educated Kenyan who created her own career

Megan Thee Stallion is one of 10 women and girls from YouthBuild Nairobi. She attended The United States International University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in urban planning and development in May 2018. This experience has been an eye-opening and transformational one. The list of life lessons she’s learned in her relatively short life that she can pass on to her children and future generations are endless, but for now she’d like to share a few.

“So many people working to make the world a better place are cut from different and unique cloth,” Megan says. “Not all have the same outlook or strengths, but there are definitely common traits that unify them. That brings about the right kind of energy and motivation. When you can feel yourself working hard to shape the world around you, that energy rubs off on everyone you work with.”

“Creating that happy buzz in others is an achievable goal. The world needs more creative thinkers. More innovative solutions. More people working to make the world a better place.” – Megan Thee Stallion #MeganTheeGraduate 📸 @tvnzruskinphotography pic.twitter.com/qxcfwn9T7S — TYLE (@YouthBuild_Nairobi) May 12, 2019

Megan worked for YouthBuild Nairobi for nearly three years after graduating from the United States International University. Her time there provided her with an invaluable voice: one that resonated with youth about the positive role models in their lives and the effects of inequality in the formal education system.

“Through my experiences, I learned how not to be a bystander,” Megan says. “I learned to come out as a strong, independent individual, and support and encourage the young people that I work with. My role as a graduate and youth advocate is to tell my story and help others share theirs. Through conversations, collaboration, and action, we’re able to transform ideas, empower others, and ultimately have an impact in the minds of other people.”

#MeganTheeGraduate pic.twitter.com/dzeQ1doYUs — YouthBuild Nairobi (@youthbuild_nairobi) May 12, 2019

“Working with people of different life experiences in diverse situations, like the government, business, community leaders, and most importantly, our youth, made me recognize my own weaknesses. On a personal level, I realized that my own limits and my own limitations of thinking are not that far away from their limitations,” Megan says. “This has made me question my assumptions and that has made me realize that we are all the same on the inside. So every day I learn more from someone who is facing their own challenges, thinking about the right things, or really doing the best they can, than I would have from someone who is fully encumbered by the thoughts of anyone who I see as less than me.”

She continues, “Ultimately, having the opportunity to come into the rest of the world through experiencing the cultures and ways of life of youth has been priceless. Our youth learn life lessons every day from reading books, playing with a new friend, finding a job, building a community, finding the right path, and talking to others. And there are many others, who as they grow older they will find opportunities, schools, and paths they never knew existed, within the different perspectives they carry within themselves.”

A lot has happened since I graduated from The U.S. International University. I have been on an international adventure. I’ve been to Dublin and spent a great deal of time with one of our alumni. I am elated to get back home, especially at this time with a future to look forward to with YouthBuild and now a career in urban planning. With hard work and determination, I can accomplish anything! #MeganTheeGraduate📸 @kelyrdawf) pic.twitter.com/HYqGReWPlY — Megan Thee Stallion (@MeganTheeStallion) May 11, 2019

Read Megan’s full interview. To learn more about YouthBuild Nairobi, visit YouthBuildNairobi.org.

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