Your Name: Forster Agbobadah

What do you do?: I am a Co-founder and Executive Director

What's the name of your organization: Change Leads

How did you start your organization?: Change Leads was started out of the need to nurture the next generation's young people to be responsible citizens and inspire them to achieve greatness irrespective of their geographical locations, socio-cultural and economic background. Due to poor family, social, and economic backgrounds, young people with great talents and visions are being confined and restricted in the unleashing of their potential to create opportunities for themselves (and for the development of Ghana). Change Leads was started to bridge this alarming gap in society for the benefit of Mother Ghana.

Tell us a bit more about your company/organization: Change Leads is a social enterprise dedicated to nurturing a new generation of leaders and leading causes for collaborative socio-economic transformation and global impact. We develop young people’s confidence and refine their skills to produce the next generation of leaders and drivers of social change and innovation. We provide mentorship in business and entrepreneurship, career and personal development. We also connect young people to opportunities home/abroad and  support causes that are geared towards human capital development.

Examples of our projects are the Mobile Peer Mentoring project through which over 2500 high school students were mentored from 31 high schools across Ghana and the award winning Techie Skills training where over 120 young people were trained in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in two districts in the Upper West Region.

How did your education and previous experiences help you to become what you are today?: My educational background is entirely different from what I am doing right now even though I strongly believe it has shaped my way of thinking and doing things. I am an experienced Automotive Engineer and with that, people would probably expect me to work in the big automotive industries and service centers in Ghana but here, I am making an impact in an entirely different field and I love what I am doing because it aligns with my passion more than engineering despite the fact that I will be starting a business in that field very soon. [You should] volunteer to learn from any field possible - you never know when you would need those skills.

Being a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Fellow, I have learnt extensively about social enterprise and I am well equipped to take my work to the next level. I have also learnt a lot online free of charge so yes education is very important in every aspect of our life on earth so let's endeavor to keep learning. I have attended numerous seminars, workshops and conferences related to what I am doing so extensively, education has helped me in what I am today.

Is there anything else you are working on at this time?: Currently, I am leading a team of young professionals to build a state-of-the-art learning resource centre for a basic school in the New Juaben Municipality to aid in teaching the Information and Communication Technology course. This project when completed will serve over 600 pupils in the community and also serve as an innovation hub for tech entrepreneurs in the Eastern Region and Ghana as a whole to innovate and find solutions to numerous community problems. This project is unique in the sense that individuals are contributing their personal money to make it happen and I called on everybody to come on-board to make it a success.

What are the top qualities you would require in someone who wants to work with/for you?: Goal Oriented; Commitment; Honesty;  Good Attitude / Character

What advice would you give to students, young professionals and aspiring changemakers/entrepreneurs?: Whatever you dream of, know that it is achievable no matter what and therefore only you can make it happen. Be prepared to change careers if the need be and do what you have passion in rather than working for money. Wherever you find yourself at any given point in time, know that it is never going to be permanent so do the best you can to leave a mark. Respect everybody you come in contact with and never underestimate your co-workers's capabilities.

For more information on Change Leads, use the following links: