Youth should understand that anyone can be a leader. While some are born leaders, others acquire
the ability to lead by improving and polishing their leadership skills. – Maureen Tare, Bayelsa State Coordinator , Not Too Young To Run
Why I joined the NTYTR movement
I joined the Not Too Young To Run movement to redirect the youth. They had been relegated to the background and acted as political thugs, causing violence and destruction instead of occupying leadership positions and injecting fresh ideas to stimulate national growth. I needed to expand on what had been taught during Youth Organizing School and go beyond my normal daily activities, which were mainly about advocating for women’s rights and participation in governance.
A major challenge I faced
The most challenging part for me was gaining the state legislature and leaders’ acceptance of the bill. I remember how I was walked out of the office of the Speaker when I insisted that I needed to see him. Instead, I was asked to come through the member representing my constituency in the state assembly, but in the end, I had to pass through another member representing another constituency.
What I’ve learned
Most youth felt that being part of the process should earn them some stipend, but instead I was asking them to volunteer … I learned how to locate youth with like minds, inspire them to serve, and share a vision that motivated them to push for approval of the bill in Bayelsa state.
My most memorable experience
The most memorable moment for me was after the state assembly sat, considered the bill and was to sit the next day. I was called to be on air to talk about the bill by 7 a.m. and the air waves filled with phone calls. The state voted yes to the bill. That was a very big sigh of relief for me and my team members.