My name is Sarah Oladokun. I’m 21 years old and currently residing in London. I have just completed my second academic year, studying Journalism and Media Communications at Goldsmiths University of London and will be entering my final year this September. In my spare time I run an online platform called ‘Sarah Destiny’, which allows me to inspire others and bring out the best in them through YouTube videos, tweets, daily motivational messages and many more. I am also a peer mentor and student representative for the Media Communications department at my University.

I have always aspired to inspire others and become a leader but just never knew how or where my voice would fit in within our generation and often doubted myself, my plans and most importantly my future. Especially with the media and production industry I would like to get myself involved in, just like many other industries, competition is extremely high, so doubt often creeps in every so often.

When I first applied for the Aleto Foundation (formerly known as the Powerlist Foundation) Leadership Programme, I didn’t really know what to expect from it altogether. I had heard great things from friends who had been on the programme in previous years and they all emphasised its positive impact on their lives, how it motivated them to take the next steps towards their career, the workshops, friendships created and being around like minded individuals. So when I received the email that I had been accepted onto the programme, especially after hearing that there was a huge increase in applications this year and deciding on 60 young people was challenging, I was extremely overwhelmed.

My mentor was Tunde Bello and my buddy was Mayowa Igbalajobi – the best mentor and buddy on the 2017 cohort if I do say so myself. Not only did they provide genuine and helpful advice, they made us all feel comfortable and what was only three days felt like so much longer with the bond that we had formed.

I can wholeheartedly say that everything on the programme impressed me to the fullest. Every discussion, every workshop and every speaker deposited something within each and every one of us that I know we will value and take on board to be the change this world needs and become future leaders of our generation.

The Q & A with members of the Alumni really stuck out to me. The panel consisted of Ambrose Cooke, Barbara Ahland, Jasmine Ennis, Melanie Okuneye and Olayinka Afolabi. It was encouraging to hear from people who were in our present shoes just a few years ago. They didn’t just let the programme end and forget about it, they went on to do great things, apply for great positions and physically implement the skills and advice that they had learnt at the Leadership Programme towards their everyday lives. Throughout the Q & A, they really highlighted the importance of building up your resilience. They opened up my eyes to understand that if I am not failing at anything then I am playing within my comfort zone and not giving myself potential to grow and in order for me to be the best person that I can be, investing in myself is key.

I really didn’t know what to expect from the programme however towards the end, it really resonated with me that it was just the push, motivation, reminder and encouragement that I needed to prepare myself for my future and the next level of my life. I learnt that it is the foundation of my life that will determine how far I will go as a young leader and it stems from my mind-set, my plan and my networks. Three things that each speaker emphasised when sharing their story of success with us all. Leadership is not about you, but about the people you are leading and once you tap into that mind-set you can trust in your capabilities and your plan to build networks with the right people on your journey to leadership.

Building bonds with like-minded individuals who are determined to make their voices heard and to make a positive impact in this world, are friendships that are priceless. The most important lesson I learnt was about making a plan and then working my plan so that I have a story to tell. Just as Tom Illube, the Most Influential Black Briton reminded us “Until the lion learns to write, the hunter will always tell the story. So tell your story or someone else will tell it for you.

The Leadership Programme was one of the best highlights of my summer and I am extremely grateful to be part of a family who continue to look for ways to inspire the next generation. I look forward to seeing us all become game changers and the leaders of tomorrow.

My name is Sarah Oladokun. I’m 21 years old and currently residing in London. I have just completed my second academic year, studying Journalism and Media Communications at Goldsmiths University of London and will be entering my final year this September. In my spare time I run an online platform called ‘Sarah Destiny’, which allows me to inspire others and bring out the best in them through YouTube videos, tweets, daily motivational messages and many more. I am also a peer mentor and student representative for the Media Communications department at my University.