"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants"
~ Sir Isaac Newton
On 24th April 2021, The Mathematics Society (TMS) of the University of Ghana (UG) in collaboration with MeetMentors, put together arguably the largest event to have rocked the Department of Mathematics of UG.
As the maiden edition and the "first child" of The XPLORE Initiative by #MeetMentors, the program dubbed "Mentoring for Mathematicians 2021" sought to provide a mentoring session for student mathematicians who seek to further explore the infinite number of opportunities that mathematics is rife with.
With over 200 registrants, spanning across three universities in Ghana, that's UG, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and the University of Cape Coast (UCC), with international registrants coming from Nigeria, Burundi, and the likes, the program held on zoom started at 5 pm GMT with a prayer and briefly introduced by the Executives of TMS. The speakers then took turns to impact immeasurable knowledge and valuable information to participants. The program also streamed live on Facebook on the official MeetMentors page.
Three speakers, two of whom have mathematics backgrounds and the Founder & Team Lead at MeetMentors, graced the occasion and deposited a plethora of wisdom into the participants on that day.
The first speaker, founder & Team Lead at MeetMentors, George A. Sarkodie has amassed a great deal of experience in mentoring and coaching youth across Africa, Europe, and Canada, and even now, gaining a wider reach through MeetMentors. George spoke on why MeetMentors was established, the importance of mentoring to the youth in Ghana, and in Africa at large, how beneficial it is, that as students, we should seek mentoring. He, later on, posed the big question which got people reflecting on their lives and aspirations "Where have you placed mentoring in the pursuit of your vision or purpose? "
Dr. Angela Tabiri, undeniably one of the finest brains in mathematics in Ghana and Africa at large. Dr. Angela is currently an AIMS-Google AI postdoctoral fellow at AIMS-Ghana and then founder of Femafricmath, an NGO that aims at promoting female African mathematicians and empowering young girls to take up careers in the area of STEM. Dr. Angela shared her journey to becoming a PostDoc fellow at AIMS. She highlighted the different mentors she had at each stage of her journey, and the impact they made on her life, helping her shape her career path and dreams.
The third speaker Dr. Ralph Agyei Twum, a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics Department opened up on the career opportunities for mathematics students, the skills needed to thrive in the area of mathematics, and ways to acquire these requisite skills to thrive. He also talked about the future of jobs, with regards to Artificial Intelligence(AI).
The program ended with a Question and Answer (Q&A) Session, where doubts and misconceptions were cleared and questions were answered. The participants left filled with so much knowledge.
Mentoring is a key aspect in the attainment of goals, dreams, and self-actualization.
Programs like these are needed to shape the perception of mentoring and its importance in the lives of young Africans. The benefits derived from this program were true exponential.
MeetMentors takes this opportunity to thank the executives of TMS and everyone who supported this event.