A young Nigerian Man named Noel Ifeanyi Alimona has earned a 100,000 dollars global prize nomination for teaching young children through his Non Governmental Organization.
Noel Alimona is currently a master’s degree student at Vanderbilt University in the United States. He is also the founder of Boys Champions, a Non Governmental Organization that teaches boys to shun violence against women.
He bagged his bachelors degree in Arts at Pontifical Lateran University, Rome in Italy. Noel had a rough and traumatic childhood in Nigeria. Noel is the first in his family to ever graduate from the University (first generation student).
He mentioned that when he was nine years old, his mother who was pregnant got raped and died as a result of the complications. Another challenge he faced was the Boko Haram insurgencies in Nigeria. The attacks began to increase where Noel lived in northern Nigeria, which brought riots, displacement, and the destruction of many schools.
Noel said that he was out of school for two years. Later, as he was finishing high school, his father lost his life in one of the attacks leaving Noel and his siblings to fend for themselves. He added that all of this terrible events changed his life forever.
Though the countless challenged never stopped, Noel said he made sure not to let them overshadow his life. While in the university, he founded ‘Boys Champions’, a youth-led nonprofit organization supporting boys and men on their journey to manhood by teaching them positive masculinity and showing them how to relate to women respectfully.
He stated that Boys Champions also brings books and educational resources to rural communities via a mobile library, with the aim of raising the next generation of future leaders. Noel said seeing the Nigeria Educational system not involving people with disabilities is not a good stance for the country.
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This therefore inspired him to study special education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College for his masters degree. He said he wants to become the most impactful special education teacher Nigeria has ever seen.
Noel was admitted into Vanderbilt based on scholarship. He is the first African in nine years and the first ever Nigerian to be admitted to the master’s degree with an annual scholarship of $88,000.
In 2022, Noel became the first African to win the Award for Young Global Citizens, for his NGO selected from over 700 young global leaders from more than 100 countries. He is also a Generation Change Fellow of the United States Institute of Peace, and the founder and Executive Director of Hope for African Children.
The organizers of the Global Student Prize, Cheff Inc. said Noel was nominated because of the way he had used his platform and opportunity to impact and reorient young boys across the world.
Reacting to his nomination, Noel expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the prize for allowing him and other student showcase his dedication to impacting knowledge and positive change.
”I am grateful to Chegg for providing a platform that empowers students like me to showcase our dedication to education, innovation, and positive change. The Global Student Prize has been an inspiring journey, and I am humbled to be part of a group of such talented and passionate individuals from around the world,” he said.
Noel said he would open a centre for children with special needs, launch his endV app, encourage more young leaders and entrepreneurs, and expand Boys Champions to work with the United Nations, AFS Intercultural Programs, Enugu State Government, and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Women Affairs if he wins the Global prize.