Girl Boss Advisor Interview: Naomi Elim
This interview was conducted by Maanasi Shyno, a Dartmouth sophomore interning in Marketing and Communications with Launch gURLs.
In this series, we talked to several of the girls and advisors in our pilot program about their experiences with Girl Boss. This week we interviewed Naomi Elim Arunye, a Girl Boss Advisor from Nanyuki, Kenya. In addition to being a GBA, Naomi also makes an incredible impact as a social worker and is part of the Leo Project. We asked her the following questions and these were her answers!
What has your experience as a GBA been so far?
It has been so fun and engaging, I have personally learnt a lot about the program. I have created a good rapport with the girls and so facilitating or advising them on concepts they find hard has been easy. Everyday is different, and I keep understanding each participant better and better as we progress in the program. I have learnt to appreciate the fact that learning is different for each girl and hence having an individual approach to every girl in accordance with their abilities and potential.
What is your favourite thing about being a GBA? Is there anything you have learned about yourself?
It is the look of inspiration or “lightbulb moments” , to see a struggling participant overcome a challenge and a brilliant girl boss finds their world open up as she gains both knowledge and ability to understand. I believe in my girls and I know that they can accomplish anything as long as they set their mind to it. I have a very positive outlook for the participants. I show them that they each are capable of achieving great things in life and that they have the ability to use the knowledge they are gaining from the Girl Boss Curriculum.
I have learned a lot about myself as a GBA since we started the program. I have learned that I’m patient, I love children, and that I genuinely care about each one of my girls. I know that as I grow as a facilitator/motivator I will discover many more things about myself that I never noticed. I am very excited for this period of my life and cannot wait to impact many young girls’ lives in a positive way!
Please share one story or interaction during Girl Boss that you have particularly enjoyed.
Choosing one as a favourite is a bit difficult as most of these sessions are enjoyable in different ways. It is the banter with the girls, the hilarious moments both meant and not meant that makes all the difference. There is however one day I went home feeling great and very proud. Barnice Muthoni joined the rest of the team a few days later and has since been reading more to catch up and to understand better. She grasped the content easily on her own until Level 4, Activity 3 when she needed help understanding how Rita came up with her opportunity statement and designing her MPV/MVS. Here, I learnt that I have a great deal of patience which is very important especially in dealing with girls of that particular age. Over and over again i would explain to her how to arrive at her opportunity statement. Finally with patience, she figured it out. At that moment I couldn’t have been more proud; with patience and a little help the girl was able to complete the activity that I knew she was capable of doing.
What makes the program successful for you? What is your secret sauce?
I share real and familiar examples to emphasize a concept, for instance, when we were reading about Chouchou’s app the girls were somehow confused and so I gave WhatsApp as an example because it is more common here than any other app. I also use illustrations which help in attracting attention, aiding retention, enhancing understanding, or even creating context. I am having a group of younger girls now and most of them like hearing the experiences of someone they feel is successful, how they defeated their challenges and anything that empowers them. Shortly before introducing a new/different activity, I take some minutes to give my life lessons and here they really pay attention. I am warm in social interactions and a bit strict in class, this keeps them on track.
What are the most engaging aspects of the program for the girls? What are they learning?
The girls love role playing (a game where each plays as an entrepreneur in their business), they are attentive when i share stories and even comment and this helps illustrate concepts and they love journaling too. The girls are learning critical thinking skills especially when writing what they have learnt in their own words, confidence when discussing with others and when presenting their ideas, asking/ answering questions as well as leadership especially in their group works since each group has a leader. Accountability is also something the girls are learning as each girl is paired with an accountability buddy to keep them on toes regarding any activity that needs to be done. These are just a few skills the girls at Leo are gaining as the planner is exhaustive on the most important skills such as entrepreneurial, leadership, and digital skills.