As part of our YALI experience, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln provided each one of us with mentors based on our interests/work and I was blessed with Robyn Murray whom I had to share with Lilian Kaivilu from Kenya.

I don’t know if it’s because you’re a South African woman but from the day we met, we just hit it off.

I know that you weren’t the initial plan but you were the perfect fit to mentor both Lilian and I. You set aside time and made sacrifices to have hour long drives between Omaha and Lincoln. Your sacrifices and dedication did not go unnoticed. You listened, you understood and you provided a relevant, tailored mentorship experience. All the people we met, everywhere that we went was on brand and insightful. This was remarkable considering the short notices and it being the summer (vacation season) in the US. You made it not only work but it was extraordinary.

Learning how NPR works through the discussions and the tour taught me vital lessons about processes and diversification. Their ability to create inspired me to create better stories by writing, podcasting and through videos. It was pretty cool how young the workforce was. Conversation and ideas flowed and Lilian didn’t want to leave.

The Female Writers’ Circle
The female writers group
This was a safe space for creative women that I didn’t know I needed. It was great to feel included in their writing journeys and to give feedback on their stellar work. I came to learn that the fears we have in my female bloggers WhatsApp group are the same for female writers here in the United States. I had never considered having physical spaces for women to have reading spaces and discuss their work with other creatives. I’m gonna put out some feelers and start these meet ups. They are great for market research and the support from the members increases confidence as a writer.

These people are Journalism lecturers that teach students on how to tell the news better. I got some ideas on how the curriculum can be adjusted to be more impactful and more practical. I’d like to incorporate these systems into the female bloggers group to provide more experiential learning. At KVNO they also let me take a picture of the board which was a consice list of best practices when creating videos. This helps me in my budding vlogging career. As a digital marketer, the free TOOL is gonna assist me in gathering data and tracking digital campaigns.

Dinner at the Mill
I came to support Lilian because it was solutions journalism related. The one thing that I had learnt by now is that Robyn really thinks these meetings through. I was not disappointed, I got to meet John Heaston. He is basically what I want to be when I grow up. A storyteller that owns a digital agency. I’m all about multiple sources of income and diversification of products.

I hope you finally get around to completing that book.