GMin Youth Ambassador Mercy Sigey recently returned from delivering a speech on local innovation at the 92Y Social Good Summit in NYC. She shares her impressions and reflections with GMin followers here:
It all started at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. My dad left me at the airport and my journey began. The thought of going to another country was exciting. Others were probably worried about the jet lag but I was thinking of all the new food I would try and people I would meet. Well eventually jet lag did settle in, but it was my first time in the United States and being there in itself felt like an achievement. Never had I imagined myself flying so far away from my country to be a part of something so great.
Culture shock was my expectation but interestingly enough I felt comfortable and welcomed in New York. My schedule began a few hours after landing with an invitation to speak at the MakerCon conference. It was such a lovely experience to meet people involved in technology and hands on learning. Speaking at this MakerCon gave me an opportunity to speak about my team’s prototype, the love I have for animals and the need to protect them.
Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Nothing works without proper preparation. My trip was a success because of the well prepared plans. My speech at the Social Good Summit 2014 was a success because of the preparation I went through, the mentorship I received, the motivation and the encouragement. Elli Suzuki being my very inspirational chaperone not only chaperoned but also made my stay in New York one to always remember. This trip showed me that the world is full of surprises but sometimes you need to do the surprising.
The ‘Mercy’ who left Kenya on 17th September, 2014 is not the same girl who landed on 24th September, 2014. I am a changed person intellectually. People say my team and I are a group of geniuses. I wouldn’t entirely refute that because we did come up with a motion sensor that would detect intruders in game parks and thus curb poaching in Kenya. Though it’s not a matter of just intelligence, but more of seeing a problem and creating a solution. Everyone in this world is a genius we just need to bring out the genius in us.
I now see the world as a place full of great opportunities that we should all reach out and grab. Our world does not end within the boundaries of our countries, it goes way beyond that. At the social good summit, I saw the world in a different light. Everyone has an idea, many people want to do good but how many actually take the step and begin making it a reality. I was moved by the speakers at this conference because I learned that you don’t need publicity, fame and popularity to achieve great things, rather all you need is determination and passion to make your idea a reality and that is greatness.
Taking one step at a time is what I am doing. I am gaining from the environment around me and making an impact on at least one person each day. I now love to speak in front of crowds and enjoy sharing my knowledge with the people I meet. It is after that trip that I now have confidence that anything I set out to do will work in my favor. I thank Global Minimum for giving me an opportunity to grow and better myself. I am grateful to them. I am who I am now because they saw potential in me and helped me come out of my comfort zone. I hope more youth like me will take a similar leap.
Mercy’s full speech from the 92Y Social Good Summit is available here.