Yetunde Ajao

Only the people who take learning, growth and skills development into their own hands will be tomorrow’s leaders ~ Alli Worthington


After graduating from CIE, the question I ask myself is: Given all the ways to make the world a better place, how can I have the greatest influence? My goal is to inspire and empower people and communities to thrive and be self-sufficient. Over the years, I have chosen the path that has reflected this passion. I received a Adult Education and English from the University of Ibadan, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Ilorin, and a Masters in Sustainable Development, with a concentration in Community Development and Social Action from the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont USA. These educational experiences have allowed me to appreciate and differentiate what matters. 


Before joining CIE, I worked with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the largest youth organization in Nigeria. In addition to my administrative roles, I coordinated NYSC community development service (CDS) projects with recent college graduates as they gained work experience and practical skills while serving the nation. The CDS projects included mass literacy campaigns, adult education classes, Global HIV/AIDS supported by USAID, and the Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS prevention program in collaboration with the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF). Most of the projects were part of awareness campaign programs that assisted in advocating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in local government areas in Nigeria. My degree in Adult Education was instrumental to my work at NYSC.


At CIE, I furthered my interest in non-formal/popular education and adult education to enhance my understanding of alternative education systems that engage citizens and stakeholders in finding solutions to complex policy problems. For my dissertation, I focused on the role of entrepreneurship education and training in promoting graduate employment outside of traditionally recognized occupations in Nigeria. Since completing my Ph.D. degree, I have worked on deepening my understanding of training and skills development programs for job seekers and employers. Much research is needed on closing the skills gaps in workforce development and labor markets in developing countries. 


I am looking forward to doing meaningful work in international development using education and training as channels to improve the quality of life for women, youth, and marginalized groups around the world. In September 2022 Yetunde started a new position as the Assistant Director of Student Life for Training and Multicultural Programming at the University of Maine Farmington. [9-22]




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CIE Graduate