Welcome to a great week!

RISE Youth of the Week is Grace Ihejiamaizu, a Nigerian Social Entrepreneur.

Grace is a Social Entrepreneur and Educator working to promote quality education and empower the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. She is a Lecturer at the University of Calabar as well as the founder of iKapture Networks (formerly known as RYPE Initiative), a youth development organization strategically focused on providing afterschool services to students and out-of-school youth in Nigeria using creative learning methods and ICT. She is also the founder and chief editor of Opportunity Desk, one of the largest online platforms with over 500,000 visits monthly that shares relevant global opportunities for youth.

A Mandela Washington Fellow and World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Grace is passionately committed to creating value and making a difference. She holds a Masters Degree in Sociology (in view) and a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Connecticut, USA, with several other certificates from training courses on Entrepreneurship, ICT and Leadership.

Grace is a mentor to many young people and very recently, she coached a team of teenage girls to develop mobile apps to solve a problem in their community. The young girls, Team Charis, represented Nigeria and Africa at the 2015 Technovation World Pitch in San Francisco where they emerged global winners.

Her outstanding leadership skills has earned her multiple national and international awards and recognition including being named one of Google’s 12 Brightest Young Minds in 2011, and the recognition by the US State Department as the ‘International Exchange Alumni Member of the Month for September 2012.’ The changemaker joined 59 other youths for the British Council Global Changemakers’ Summit in Brussels, Belgium 2012 and was one of 11 outstanding speakers at the TEDxYouth event at Bukoto, Uganda, same year. In 2013, she was one of the Honorees of the Future Awards Africa Young Person of the Year Prize and has been recognized by many other organizations in Africa for her work. She has spoken at several youth conferences and has facilitated sessions at both local and international events including the 2015 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China and the 2015 UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris. Grace now serves on the Executive Team for TEDxCalabar and has just been selected for the Technovation Master Educator program.

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