Hello #Better Breeders!
We’re back again! We couldn’t let the month go by without featuring one young Cameroon doing inspiring work. So if you need something to give you confidence in brighter future for our country, let’s introduce you to Ms. Arielle Kitio Tsamo, our first Youth of the Month featured for 2018.
Arielle hails from the West Region of Cameroon. She is a researcher and tech social entrepreneur passionate about innovative solutions for education. She states that her mission on earth is to be as useful as possible, to help in constructing an egalitarian ecosystem where everybody (especially young people) is open-minded enough to realize their full potential. Given the current tech-driven era, she strongly believes that ensuring our citizens have a flexible/adaptive education is KEY to progress.
We had the pleasure of reaching out to Areille this month and she graciously answered five of our questions.
1. Tell us more than a bit about what do you do Areille
I am tech/education innovator and the founder of CAYSTI. CAYSTI which stands for Cameroon Youth School for Tech Incubation is a tech-education/empowerment center specialized in personalized learning and dedicated to providing innovative tools and methodologies to promote equal access to quality STEM education. We target youth from 07 to 19 with a particular interest to girls. We aim at developing their creativity, infusing to them as earlier as possible, the passion of STEM as fun, powerful tool. We give them soft skills and attitudes that will make them responsible leaders and citizens.
Coaching the talent and encouraging the blossoming of every young person (regardless of sex, religion and geographic origin) is what CAYSTI stands for.
On the other hand, I am a postgraduate researcher in the process of completing my Ph.D. thesis on software engineering for disease surveillance and also teach some courses at the Unniversity of Yaounde I.
2. What current plans/projects are you involved in which our readers should be aware of?
I am mostly preoccupied with the projects CAYSTI currently runs. As I said we use, develop and vulgarized innovative tool for quality education from soft skills, coding to artificial intelligence even virtual & augmented reality for school orientation, etc…
Within the next few months, we will be releasing abcCode our brand new software K-12 programming. abcCode is both an intuitive programming language and an intelligent e-learning platform. The language aims at initiating K-12 (kids from 7 years of age) to code and project-design while having fun. If a kid knows how to communicate already (in either French or English for now) then he/she can learn how to code with abcCode.
The abcCode software program embodies our belief in providing personalized learning experiences and teaching kids through engaging their interests and passion. This innovative approach led us to win the Social Venture Prize by Orange 2017 in Cameroon and gained us a place among the global top 10 finalists for the competition. We were similarly awarded “The Grand Prize for Innovation” (PMExChange) 2017 and a secured a nomination as Best National Project in the category of “Education & Learning” at the World Summit Awards 2017.
3. What are your ambitions? (What should we look out for in future?)
For the nearest future (that is, this year), we are aiming at training 1000 young inexperienced techies through our personalized learning experiences. We want to usher in the new faces of tech in Cameroon (you can read more about this HERE).
My overriding ambition is for CAYSTI to be the reference in the category of personalized education, known for the development of creativity, and helping youth discover their inner talents. We have several other exciting projects underground, but providing a meaningful learning experience for each kid through technology is the common end goal. So any educators, parents and schools at large who want to prepare their children/students to be ready for the digital revolution should contact us, it will be an honor to partner.
4. Tell us about some of your achievements, particularly your most recent selection as a Next Einstein Forum Ambassador
In the last year, CAYSTI empowered more than 5 000 young people through large-scale activities held in both urban and rural areas in and out of Cameroon. We have had 55 new young tech leaders pass through our center who have produced several innovative prototypes, three (3) of which are currently under incubation with one recently winning the SAGE Innovation Prize. This has been an overwhelming achievement, not solely for me, but for the team I work with and all our young techies.
Aside from this, my repertoire thus far includes certification as a mentor from the US Standard Mentorship, Queen’s Young Leader finalist 2016, Techwomen Emerging Leader 2016 and the recent honor of being named the Next Einstein Forum Ambassador for my country for the next two years.
As NEF ambassador my main job will be to highlight science and tech champions from Cameroon to the NEF community in other to increase their visibility and especially opportunities. I am equally required to facilitate the organization of activities with primary and university students showing the tremendous opportunities that are available within the STEM fields.
So I hereby take this opportunity to invite everyone with innovative (STEM) projects, to contact me so I may highlight their work to the international Next Einstein Forum community!
5. What you think our Cameroonian youth need to know/do to be the Better Breed?
I have two statements I often repeat to my self and the young people I work with: First, “Never too young, never too girl, to make an impact… a global impact” and the second is “Debug your life”.
I hope these statements are self-explanatory, but in case they are not, let me give some back ground. In my opinion, while our environment is responsible for many of our handicaps, limitations, problems etc. each of us, each Cameroonian has a part to play in either maintaining the status quo or changing this. So let’s play our roles for the better with beauty, majesty, integrity and ambition. Take the responsibility of your life.
To achieve this, our young people (myself included LOL) should know, find or create their mission on earth (what do I want people to remember me for 30 years from now? What legacy do I want to leave behind? I believe in everyone finding their inner passion, because only then should can they express themselves fully and live to their utmost potential. With discovering this sense of purpose comes a drive which makes you find that you are never “too anything” to not succeed at making an impact. A positive impact on yourself, your community and the world at large.
This is our guiding philosophy at CAYSTI: helping each kid to realize how unique and important s/he is, the importance of the strength of their mindset (smart-thinking, hard working, creativity, positivism, resiliency, and the audacity of dreaming big). Within that lies the power of learning.