- The tour, the second in 2023, was graced by the presence of nine international speakers from the United States and other parts of the globe, representing a concoction of wisdom, inspiration, new perspectives, and tested and approved approaches.
- In total, the team reached and empowered nearly 12,900 students.
- Fagan, the team leader, noted that the tour has been a time of impacting young lives, as well as being impacted by the enthusiasm and witnessing of the learners’ potential and bright future.
Within the minds of the young people lie the potential to achieve great things; they have the advantage of time and vibrant minds, which they can use well and shape their lives, parading themselves for the successes yonder.
When Top Talent Agency visited Kenya for the Keynote Tour, coming along with renowned and accomplished keynote speakers from the USA and other parts of the planet, it posed an opportunity to have more young people reached out to and empowered on the secrets of life and how they can start sinking into the fullness of their potential.
The Kenya Keynote Tour, which is the third since 2022 and the second this year, was organized and held by Top Talent Agency, a company helping authors, entrepreneurs, thinkers, public speakers and change makers to publish their books, get them to the media, and become best-sellers.
It was done in collaboration with Civility Tours and Travel, an award-winning company owned by Amb. Dominic Obadiah offering tours and travel services, and Arise Circle KE, a leadership and development training company by Edinah Kangwana MBS, MHC, offering professional training, coaching, and mentorship to corporates and empowering young people through Role Modeling Initiative, its social outreach wing.
Running from September 11-17, 2023, the tour aimed at changing the mindsets of the young people reached out to in high schools and universities and getting them on course to setting the right goals, pursuing them, and remaining resilient along the journey.
The voyage was graced by the presence of nine international speakers from the United States and other parts of the globe, representing a concoction of wisdom, inspiration, new perspectives, and tested-approved approaches.
The team was led by David Fagan and his wife, Isabel-Donadio Fagan, the founders and proprietors of Top Talent Agency, and it incorporated authors, business moguls, international speakers, founders, CEOs, empowerment coaches, and thinkers pursuing different pathways of life.
Each of the keynote speakers had a message for the young minds, and it was evident that they saw and believed in the great potential and vibrancy the young learners exhibit.
Isabel-Donadio expounded to the students about the tenets of the great goals and ambitions they are nurturing.
She urged them to be specific with their goals, with a clarity of thought on what they want to do or achieve in life, whether in short- or long-term.
“Have deadlines,” she said, adding, “In life, you’ll have assignments and people you have to answer to and be accountable to and for. It is important that you set deadlines for yourself and stick to them.”
She also urged them to believe it’s possible. By breaking down our goals into steps, it becomes easier and possible to achieve them bit by bit, a step at a time.
Believe it’s possible
While at times it is easy to feel like people are lowering our value when they don’t support us, it is untrue.
“People will shove, push, beat or even kick you, but no matter how hard they’ll do it, they’ll never change your value or snatch from you the God-given talents,” said Fagan.
Using a demonstration, he reminded the audience that life is all about balance. “There’s time to push, and time to let go,” he noted.
“We all have talents. When we give them away by helping those around us, blessings will come to reward our kindness,” he encouraged, highlighting the essence of uplifting one another.
He also urged the participants to lead a life of forgiveness.
Life skills 101
Loretta Wetzel, a prominent family entrepreneur and the CEO and President, The Wetzel Group Inc, gave them life skills lessons about life and its dynamics.
Mrs. Wetzel encouraged them to be problem solvers: “You add value to other people when you solve their problems,” she noted.
During the tour, Mrs. Wetzel encouraged the students to think past the challenges of today and the stumbling blocks on the way, finding solutions to society’s lingering problems.
She challenged them as well to build long-lasting relationships and strong networks.
“Nobody can do it all by themselves,” she said, adding that we are all endeavoring to improve the world.
As an international public speaker, Mrs. Wetzel underscored the power of excellent public speaking, adding that it demonstrates confidence, clarity of thought, and leadership skills.
“Everybody wants to be associated with excellent leaders and public speakers who share what they value,” she observed, encouraging the students to embrace positive energy in whatever they do.
“If you want to make your dreams come true, take action. We all have similar time length; use yours well,” urged Perran Wetzel, an accountant and entrepreneur.
He noted that true leaders embrace continuous learning and are always experts at something.
He urged the students that if they want to become heroes, they must rise above what people around them say to demean them.
Women are warriors
Leslie Lew is a best-selling author, Women’s Empowerment Coach, International Speaker and the Founder of Reclaiming Your Courage™, a company focusing on helping and empowering women to protect themselves using their voice, body and mind.
Underscoring the power of supporting one another, “Elevate yourself and also those around you,” she urged the students.
She added that as humans, we don’t need to be the strongest, most intelligent, or tallest for us to stand out; we only need a strong mind, voice and body.
Lew firmly believes that women can be warriors, and actually are.
Mark Geroux, speaking at Kereri Girls, admitted that “True men support and accept the leadership of their queens.”
At the same time, he urged the young “queens” to also support their male counterparts in life, for “We move forward as a society and country by loving and supporting each other.”
He registered his continuous support for women and girls, adding that without supporting women, men cannot rise.
In his message, while speaking to students from different schools during the tour, Geroux urged them to aspire and work towards becoming great leaders, yet start by leading with love, just as they would love to be led.
In everything they venture into, young people need confidence.
According to Karissa Adkins, Founder of The Alpha Queen Collective and a Mindset and Empowerment Coach, confidence can be tapped by tuning your mindset and doing scary things that those around you think you can’t.
“When we believe in ourselves, and also when others believe in us, we find the confidence to rise above what holds us back, and do great things,” she clarified.
During the tour, she reminded the young people that they can do anything they put their mind to.
Towards your goals
To achieve this, she gave four tenets of the journey to fulfilled goals:
Think it: The mindset coach says that it all starts in the mind by thinking and figuring out what and who you want to become.
Write it: Your dream is part of your plan. Writing it down enables you to refer to it regularly and remind yourself to work towards achieving it.
Say it: Speaking out about what you want in life gives you more confidence, ownership and accountability.
Do it: To make it happen, you must take action.
At times, we are tempted to sink into the sorrows of what’s hemming us in, and feel justified to let circumstances around us define us.
“Your circumstances don’t matter. Think about the bigger picture and remember that nobody will question you about where you were born or studied from,” Edinah Kangwana MBS, MHC, enthused the young minds.
She is a Leadership and Governance Practitioner, Youth empowerment enthusiast, Founder and CEO of Arise Circle KE and Founder, Edinah Kangwana Role Modeling Initiative, an initiative that gets alumni back to their alma mater with the aim of empowering and being visible role models for the young learners.
Reiterating to them to believe in their goals and work towards achieving them, Ms. Kangwana assured the students that their dreams are valid and that they are capable of rewriting their stories.
In all these, mental wellness and stability are vital.
Janice Burt, an author, motivational speaker and certified Spanish-English Interpreter, shared how she exited anxiety and stress and jumped into a fulfilling and peaceful life.
Taking deep breaths: She said that being purposeful and taking deep breaths when stressed helps relieve the mind.
Focusing on gratitude: We usually focus on the bad side of life. When we mind positive things, that’s where our attention will be, sinking us into happiness,” she observed.
Journaling: She said that self-expression heals.
Her trip to Kenya was her Grand Prize after winning the speaking competition held by Top Talent JV Mastermind in August 2023.
It takes courage
Introducing the team to Cardinal Otunga Boys High School, Kenya’s current second-top school in terms of academic excellence, Amb. Dominic Obadiah told the students that it took him confidence, self-belief and hard work to start achieving his goals.
“I set and worked on my goals and ambitions and I believe I networking. I have been able to travel a lot, both in Africa and abroad,” he said, urging them not to let anyone stop them.
Amb. Obadiah, a youth empowerment enthusiast and peace ambassador, is the Founder and CEO, Civility Tours and Travel, a company offering guided touring services and logistics.
“Two days are important in life; the day you were born, and the day you discover your purpose,” he told them, challenging them to chase their purpose.
Education, a gift
While still a child, Teresa Lawrence’s father, a professor, was tagged an enemy and traitor of the state for not supporting Cuba’s communist government.
He was imprisoned, leading to a period of anguish and distress for the young family of four children before they finally managed to exit Cuba and go to Spain, where the father became a doctor before they relocated to the USA.
“When everything is taken away from you, you remain with education, for your mind cannot be taken away. It is the strongest weapon you can ever have,” she shared with the youngsters during the Keynote Tour.
Teresa further encouraged them that when they become leaders, it is upon their shoulders to train more leaders around them.
“You all have a gift; it’s in your mind,” she said. She also urged them to embrace and normalize continuous learning.
Now a renowned author, Teresa teaches children to dream big, and adults to be like children who dream, by chasing their dreams.
Fagan, the team leader, noted that the tour has been a time of impacting young lives, as well as being impacted by the enthusiasm and witnessing of the learners’ potential and bright future.
“We want to help them through influence, credibility and exposure,” said Fagan during a courtesy call to the Senior Principal Kereri Girls, Tabitha Mogonchi, on September 16, 2023.
He marveled at the great number of young learners the team was able to speak to and empower, adding that the team is proud to be associated with the students.
“As teachers, one valuable thing you’ve done for us is giving us your students for an audience,” he appreciated.
In Cardinal Otunga, the team spoke to 2,600 students; at Itierio Boys and Girls, they empowered nearly 1600 students; at Kereri Girls, over 3,000 students were reached; at Kenyatta University, nearly 1,000 students were empowered.
At Ezesha Plus College, they equipped over 500 young minds, 750 at Manga Girls, and 2200 at Mobamba High School.
At Nyamuya Community School (5 schools collectively), they spoke to around 500 young learners, and at Sekenani Girls High School in Narok, the team empowered nearly 750 students.
In total, the team reached and empowered nearly 12,900 students.
“We are happy for the visit and the exposure and empowerment it is set to give our students. They’ll be equipped to achieve.
This being your second visit to our school this year, we have now become partners, working together for the benefit of our learners,” said Senior Principal Mogonchi.
The Senior Principal appreciated Top Talent Agency for considering the school for the second visit, and the visitors for changing the lives of the young girls.
During the event at her school, she was honored for her efforts and top-cream leadership and management skills in shaping the girls fro the world, and keeping them calm and focused, despite the school’s ballooning population.
From Amb. Obadiah, an iChange Nations (ICN) Civility Ambassador, Ms. Mogonchi received an ICN Civility pin badge in honor.
Across the country, beyond empowering young minds, Top Talent Agency and the great international speakers the company brings along have been sponsoring students from different schools, donating water tanks to schools and sanitary products for girls, building libraries, equipping computer labs, and other forms of assistance.