This blogpost originally appeared on the GFAR blog.
Yeah, yeah, another blog post from me.
So sue me.
I noticed that there is something missing from all the blog posts that are going up: getting to know the YAP people better.
I understand. In the mad, beautiful rush that was GCARD3, with all the faces and names flying about, it was hard to keep track of anyone, let alone these five amazing people connected to the YAP. So let me take a minute of your time, and introduce to you each of these incredible people.
Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Without further ado, meet my five partners-in-crime:
Nikki Pilania – Everything about Nikki radiates passion and love. Even talking to her for five minutes will give you an idea for her passion for her work, her passion for giving people a better life, and ultimately, her passion for change. It is her love for this idea of a better tomorrow through agriculture that gives her the courage and strength to face the challenges of being a dairy farmer, a mother, and a young agripreneur.
Thanks Nikki, for lighting that same fire inside of me.
Kellyann Allicott – Even though Kellyann made her grand entrance into the YAP mentoring sessions a little bit late, I remember having this instant “click” with her. Throughout our remaining mentoring time together, this became our mantra: “Mad is good!” In the best way, being mad means thinking outside of your box, leaping out of your comfort zone, and finding creative solutions.
Thanks Kellyann, for giving that mad scientist in me a friend to play with.
Lillian Beauttah – Lillian was actually the first friend I made at the GCARD3 conference that wasn’t from home, because she and I actually made the time (and boy, did we ever, considering our vastly different time zones) to meet via Skype conference. We talked about our insecurities, our fears, and our anxieties going into the event. And yes, knowing that, somewhere out there, there was a kindred soul who felt like a lost little lamb like me, made me feel braver about my being there.
Thanks Lillian, for inspiring me to overcome my own fears.
Jony Girma – Hey, it’s the man making money from honey! Jony’s story of how he put up his own company is one of courage and a willingness to take a chance, so if you have the time, let his journey inspire you. He’s always more than happy to talk about his personal experience as an “agripreneur”. You find out, that sometimes you have to take a gamble, no matter how small the odds may seem.
Thanks Jony, for reminding me that there are risks worth the reward.
Anil Regmi – As much as it saddens me to say that I was not able to meet Anil in person during the GCARD3 event, there’s definitely a silver lining to everything: it gives me all the more reason to be excited to meet this amazing young man in the future! More power to you buddy, and the other YAP people and I are definitely going to make you a full partner-in-crime soon enough, because social media makes the world a smaller place.
Thanks Anil, for showing me that one doesn’t have to be physically present to make a connection.
And of course…
Michelle Kovacevic– Never in my life have I ever met a lady so dedicated to bringing young people into the forefront of change. Her passion for pushing young people, for me, stems from an unerring belief in our potential, maybe because we combine the idealism and enthusiasm of the young, with the determination and education of someone who is on the threshold of becoming an adult.
Thank you Michelle, for your faith in me, in us. We won’t let you down.
And me? Well, I’m probably the simplest person out of this little group. Just listen for that maniacal laugh, sniff for that wisp of cigarette smoke, and you’ll know where to find me.
Blogpost by Josine Macaspac (josinemacaspac(at)yahoo.com), one of six finalists in the Youth Agripreneurs Project, a pilot project targeting young agricultural entrepreneurs (“agripreneurs”), co-organized by GFAR and YPARD. The YAP Finalists launched their projects during the #GCARD3 Global Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 5-8 April 2016.
Read the original YAP proposal here.
Photo Credits: 1-4,6,7-Kiara Worth/IISD; 5-Anil Regmi