News Brief

Return Home Highlights of CCIP students

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Students in the Community College Initiative Program (CCIP) share how the program helped them:

Muhammad Ilyas, Pakistan, 2014-2015, Entrepreneurship Certificate

Ilyas hails from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.  From July 2014 to May 2015, he has completed Entrepreneurship Certificate from  Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) under the US Department of States funded Community College Intuitive Program (CCIP).

Since departing BHCC, Ilyas has joined the Center for Research & Security Studies (CRSS) as a Coordinator of Harnessing Future Leaders (HFL) program, which is a youth leadership skills development program. The program aims to build youths’ knowledge, understanding and organizational capacity in issues that are pre-requisites of social peace and harmony (peace building and tolerance of diversity), rule of law, rights and responsibilities, conflict-prevention and mitigation through the provision of CB trainings (capacity building), practicum activities in the first and social action in the second phase.

Under HFL program, Ilyas has facilitated 40 capacity building trainings and awareness sessions in different colleges and universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. More than 1800 college and university level students have participated in these capacity building trainings and awareness sessions. 1800 students who have participated in these sessions will play the role of message multipliers in their societies.

Ilyas also is contributing to the Center’s website, his written testimonials of the center radio shows can be found on the mentioned link on the title of Sabawoon Showcase, and has appeared in Center’s radio shows as guest on Entrepreneurship and US culture and stay.

Ilyas has joined Media House Islamabad as a Communication and Outreach Consultant which is a Pakistan based training and research center with a mission to train the youngsters and media professionals on media advocacy and awareness techniques to protect journalist and social activists’ lives in conflict zones.

Ilyas has also worked with Badloon (Change) Radio Afghanistan as a communication and outreach consultant. For Badloon he is designing strategies to advocate and aware the listeners through radio shows on the issues like gender equality, education, cleanliness and climate care, eliminating violence, religious harmony, respect for diversity and rule of law.

Beside this, he is in contact with some universities and colleges to establish the culture of volunteering and student societies, and make volunteering a part of the student course completion. Fortunately after his suggestion, the government has made it compulsory for college level student to participate in student societies, like students clubs in America.

He will be soon taking admission in a Management Institute to peruse his master in business administration along with his job.

"This program was a paradigm shift in my life, the hesitation, lack of confidence and ineffective communication skills, all of it, has been changed now. It has boosted my confidence and leadership skills, made my communication very effective. Interacting with my American friends, teachers, mentors have given me a look of another world full of hope, success, and prosperity. I learned a lot and enhanced my skills during the program through community services, internships, and academic activities. I am more committed to social causes now, and care about every minor issue. I know, i have enough hurdles in my country Pakistan, which is uncountable, but still I have hope that one day we will tackle it." - Muhammad Ilyas

Lungile Makhushe, South Africa, 2013-2014 Entrepreneurship Certificate

During my time in Boston I searched for a local South African group which was called Ama Boston. We met every first Sunday of the month for supper and to discuss African politics in the states and how we could improve our continent. It was with sad news that we heard of the passing of the late Nelson Mandela a memorial was hosted in his memory and this is where I met a South African lady who had visited Durban. She introduced me to a lady called Mische and told me about this wonderful program that was happening in my community. I invited the lady for coffee and we met as I wanted to find out more about this program that was happening in my community. As we sat down and discussed she told me about the Mamelodi Initiative program which is a program comprising of South African volunteers and American volunteers who come from CRU which means Campus Crusade for Christ. They send their students to teach disadvantaged South African students English and math over the South African winter break... The program hosts over 400 kids from grades 8 to 12 and they also do workshops which comprise of soccer, Frisbee, American football to chess and engineering. The children are also given life skills. I volunteered for the program in 2014 as a co-teacher and I taught English and math. In 2015 I then got a promotion because of my dedication to the community of Mamelodi and my hard work, to being the director of the new Mamelodi Initiative Program which was to be hosted at a different section in Mamelodi. The program was called Mamelodi 2.0 and we had a very successful program this winter which so us teach an amount of 50 students English and math. Although the amount is small, the decision was made that since it was a new program we would cater to grades 7and 8 and we would increase the grades as the years went by. Currently, we are now planning for our January program which will cater for 80 children grades 7 through 9. I also received another promotion and I am now also the Assistant Program coordinator and I am now earning a substantial salary. We touch and impact the lives of children in Mamelodi every year and this makes me feel so privileged to have gone to United States of America for a year as I have gained valuable experience.