Hudson Valley Adventures (HVA) the brainchild of two experienced New York State certified educators, Dr. Dionne Olamiju, a high school administrator in a secondary school, and Mr. Segun Olamiju, an instructor, also in a secondary school has finally been brought to the doorsteps of Nigerian and African parents who desire the best educative hands-on leadership experiences for their children.
The founders observed that as the global village continues to shrink due to social media connectivity and the World Wide Web, there is the urgent need to access global opportunities, especially for students from Africa. As a result of several factors, including political, economic and cultural, African scholars are not consistently offered the opportunity to cultivate the leadership skills pertinent for global competiveness.
To address the challenge, Hudson Valley Adventures, a New York State-registered organisation designed to develop leadership skills in participants through the philosophy of experiential learning which emphasises the significance of sensory experience in the learning process as opposed to teacher centered instruction or learning by rote. Accordingly, the programme consists of strategically selected exciting visitations including college tours and stimulating leadership skill building workshops.
Participants will travel as a group, accompanied and supervised by HVA staff members. The leadership training activities are aligned with its curriculum and will be taught by New York State certified educators, including the founders and other leaders from various disciplines. Participants will receive consistent supervision at all times as the student to teacher ratio is uniquely low. All staff members, including the founders will reside on a secured campus during the duration of the programme.
Founders of the HVA had a similar structured leadership programme called Shaping Tomorrows Leaders (STL) within the school district in New York for secondary school students and this resulted in increased self-efficacy, confidence and academic achievement for participants. These positive outcomes inspired the creation of the HVA, targeted at students from Africa.
Apart from the founders, the HVA team consists of innovative professionals, dedicated and caring and whose disciplines range from education to the field of medicine. Brianna Olamiju is a pre-med graduate from Columba University and currently a medical student at Yale Medical School.
Dr. A. Adebayo, HVA’s health care provider owns his private practice in New York City. Ms. Amy Malone is an instructor and adviser in a secondary school. Mrs. Jackie Iaria is also a secondary school adviser, while the HVA Lagos representative, Mrs. Folake Abayomi, is a guidance counselor.