Globally Minded Students Support Nigerian Entrepreneurship

Five Visitation students are eager to make a difference for one business in Nigeria. Together, they’re problem-solving and fundraising, led by Nicky Campos-Vasquez ‘21 as part of the Leadership Initiatives’ International Business Internship Program (IBIP). 

This summer, Nicky attended the Advanced Medical & Public Health Summit at Georgetown University, developed by Leadership Initiatives. Students in the program had the opportunity to diagnose a patient in Nigeria. “I saw I was helping someone who was sick, and I wanted to help more people,” she said. IBIP gave her that chance; she applied to the selective program to become a team lead, and was accepted. 

Her first to-do was finding the right team members; she looked to her Visitation classmates to help, calling on their specific skill sets. Nicky recruited friends and fellow sophomores Lila Nalezyty, Ella Rohall, and Mia Reynolds. Lila is on The Wicket staff, and familiar with news writing; she is in charge of media and is developing a script for a Netflix documentary. Nicky describes Ella as a people person who builds relationships easily; she took on communication with their assigned Nigerian business. She knows Mia is someone who takes charge, so she asked Mia to be the team’s Special Projects chair. Milena Negussie ‘21 had also attended the summer program, and understood the mission - to make a difference in Nigeria. 

Together, the team is working to fundraise for a power-generating business in Nigeria. They spoke with the business owner over Skype for more than an hour as he shared the problems he faces, and students chose one particular issue on which to focus. This year, they’ll raise funds to help him get access to the resources he needs. The owner often travels long distances to borrow tools from others.

As she began to research power generation, and how big companies are pushing out smaller businesses in Nigeria, Nicky began to realize how much of a larger issue this is. A lack of electricity affects food storage, communication, and other vital parts of a community. “I’m saving and changing lives,” she said. 


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