The 24th President president of the Lagos State University Students Union (LASUSU) cum human rights lawyer, Yusuf Temilola Nurudeen has been selected alongside 56 outstanding Nigerians by the United States Government to participate in the 2023 cohort of its flagship exchange programme, Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Nurudeen is also a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Young Young Lawyers’ Forum, Ikeja Branch and was popularly known as Optimist during his stint at the Lagos State University (LASU)
Why Yusuf Nurudeen Was Selected
Nurudeen has a non-profit organization named Foundation for Public Interest Law and Development which provides free legal services and also secures the release of prison inmates who await trials.
Not too long, a 44-year-old man, Muideen Bilau, who had been held at the Kirikiri Correctional Centre for almost 10 years without trial was released at the intervention of the Foundation.
About the Mandela Washington Fellowship
The programme was launched in 2014 by the then President of the United States, Barack Obama.
The US-sponsored programme is for Young African Leaders who empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.
Yearly, the fellowship provides hundreds of outstanding young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills as they participate in a six-week intensive academic and leadership programme at US colleges and universities, with a focus on Business & Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, Public Management, and Renewable Energy.
Upon conclusion of the Leadership Institutes, the fellows will attend the annual Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit. They will engage in high-level workshops and dialogues with top US government officials, representatives from businesses and organisations interested in Africa.
How The Former LASUSU President Reacted to the News
“I feel so excited to be selected for the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship, and I consider it a great opportunity which I will forever cherish.
For the 2023 application cycle, of the 14,000 young Nigerians that applied, less than 200 applicants made it to the semi-final stage and only 56 of us were eventually awarded the fellowship. I am happy to be amongst the selected change makers.
In June, I will be heading to Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts to study Leadership and Public Management. I look forward to learning new things and creating meaningful and long-lasting relationships and partnerships that will enhance the growth of my non-profit foundation and expand the scope and impacts of our work.
I believe the fellowship will also provide me with a plethora of opportunities in the International Development space, helping me forge strategic alliances with colleagues across Africa and the United States. It will also empower me with the requisite skills to work in a multicultural and global environment.
Nurudeen’s Plan for His Foundation
The former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Young Young Lawyers’ Forum said his Foundation for Public Interest Law and Development would continue to use the instrument of law to help those in need find trust and solace in the justice system.
Nurudeen reacted thus:
Our organisation is dedicated to using the full strength of the law to help those in need find trust and solace in the justice system. Our thematic areas are legal research, legal education and advocacy on issues of public interest law, access to justice, the rule of law, civil rights and development.”