Chinenye “Nenye” “Cha-Cha” Sarah Ogoko was born the second of five children in March 1992 in Owerri, the capital of Imo State in southern Nigeria. She attended God’s Time Nursery and Primary School in Nnewi Anambra State and graduated from Bishop Lasbrey Girls Secondary School in Owerri in 2008. As a youth her father inspired her to help to make the world a better place. His motto and the title of a book he wrote was “Your Heart Determines your Height” and he encouraged his daughter to follow her heart and to use her experiences to contribute to the development of her community.
In 2009, at the age of 16, she founded her first social enterprise, the Youth of Purpose Network (YPN) to help young people in Imo State. YPN seeks to train and empower young people to live purposeful lives that will impact their generation through educational programs and mentoring sessions in which youths are matched with professionals. While still in secondary school she began volunteering for HOPE Worldwide, an organization that provides health services, disaster relief, and support for community development. She obtained training through the MTN Foundation as a peer-educator and used her new skills to do even better work for HOPE Worldwide.
Ms. Ogoko went on to become involved in many organizations and events that seek to assist others. In 2014, she was selected to represent Nigeria in the Mobilizing Youth International Summit of the United Network of Young Peace-builders (UNOY) in Amsterdam, Netherlands, through which she emerged as the first prize winner in the Pitch for Peace contest held at the Summit. She also founded Future Blueprints in 2014. Future Blueprints is an organization that seeks to bridge the gap between education and employment in Nigeria. It provides CV screenings, free online counseling, business development seminars, interview preparation, and job hunting workshops.
Ms. Ogoko is a social entrepreneur who specializes in non-profit organization management. In 2015, she was selected as a Watson University Scholar. Located in Boulder, Colorado in the USA, Watson University is a is a degree-bearing institute that serves as an incubator for entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders working to solve the world’s toughest social and environmental challenges by offering short ‘master courses’ taught by leaders in their fields.
In May 2015, Ms. Ogoko was recognized as a Star Awardee because she is someone who has made a difference in the lives of others. She has been named a Starting Bloc Fellow. The title enabled Ms. Ogoko to gain experience as a change-maker through a five-day institute hosted by StartingBloc in late October 2015. Starting Bloc Fellows stretch themselves and network with like-minded others using proven frameworks for delivering change.
Based on the literature on international development and personal success, why has Ms. Chinenye Sarah Ogoko been so successful in her undertakings?
Some key characteristics come to mind:
Ms. Ogoko values people and is PASSIONATE about what she does. She enjoys teamwork and COLLABORATION.
She is willing to break with traditions that she views as antiquated or unjust, such as those that encourage young women to place a premium on getting married and being caregivers at home and to care less about developing their potential and contributing to the advancement of their communities and countries.
To challenge traditions that encourage women to rely on their husbands and family members for financial support, Ms. Ogoko became an ADVOCATE for girls’ and women’s education. Ms. Ogoko believes that through education females will have higher self-confidence and self-worth and be more likely to pursue their life dreams. In August 2015 she launched The Go Girl Nigeria Project (TGGP). TGGP is a girl-empowerment project designed to prepare young female Nigerians for entrepreneurial and career success. She hopes to provide financial literacy and enterprise educational services, apprenticeship, career mentorship, and funding opportunities for young girls who are determined to succeed through this project. Ms. Ogoko believes that all people, including all females, have enormous potential that should be encouraged and that societies based on gender EQUITY AND FAIRNESS will best serve all of humanity.