Founder | Youth Advocate | Community Revivalist | Political Protégé
Life, I perceive, is a string of interconnected series of events, people and situations. Community forms the basis of this life. I am Bridget Bonnie; a youth advocate, community revivalist and a political protégé, but above all, a child of the community. Some say, we run faster when we move alone, but I say, you build greater when the foundation is solid. I am wary of who I am associated with and the groups I join, but my greatest inspiration is to see people grow together. One day, a picture would be displayed of me and other young people around the world, and the world would understand the interconnected stories of tomorrow's leaders today. People inspire me.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
A growing woman in my country is expected to earn a decent level of education and adequate home-schooled vocational skills to take care of a home. We are never adequately prepared to take care of a country. To be able to drive a mile on a road equips you to drive extra miles. I have been blessed to find myself amongst men who feel that wearing a skirt does not prevent you from jumping high. I have humbled myself to learn and be taught the ways of men in leadership and been acknowledged by other women that #togetheritspossible.
Getting engaged in the PEC projects has given me the opportunity to identify and train new leaders who reflect both community values and a deep level of discipline and integrity required for tomorrow's success. Seeing marginalized children go through life unaided by means of family background or location often disturbs me. That is why meeting children who were out of school in the remote town of Kajanya, still in the capital district of Greater Accra, moved me to action.
The sight of a 12 year old pregnant girl neglected by family and friends and with no livelihood and just a barely-enough-to get by would-be father of her unborn Baby spurred me on the more. These apparent struggles gave birth to the idea of The PEC Institute. It was not easy initially, but through some consultations, we have been able to reach out to some deprived ones and hope to do more. The PEC Institute looks at the Personal, Educational and Career development of children (both male and female) in Junior and Senior High Schools, with the hope and prayer that before they get to University they will be well groomed and informed, Before University Drive and LCN - Leadership, Career & Networking Drive (Targeting University Students) and Skill Development Drive The Project was launched on the 11th of April 2021.
What books are you currently reading?
- I am currently immersed in books relating to communication and leadership; Power of Communication and Obama's Audacity of hope.
- I am also inspired by visual and auditory and moved by movies such as Akheela and the Bee, Men of Honour Red Tails and sometimes, softer ones such as planes; all with a denominator of survival and determination.
- Speeches like Martin Luther King's infamous 'I have a dream' and John F. Kennedy's The President and the Press Speech.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Yes. Family has been very supportive, however many friends and colleagues have usually misunderstood me especially when it comes to pursuing dreams on uncharted paths. The #NeverHasBeenDone theory has always been my greatest struggle and at the same time, my best inspiration.
From hindsight, I would learn to carry people along on a mission, rather than wait for the end to justify the means. I am continually teaching myself and others to become better versions of ourselves or any other model figures we seek after. We can make a difference.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your success?
Education. Education. Education. Expert power and authority is also important. The excuse of being female and being tolerated has been overplayed. I don't see myself as a feminist screaming loud to announce my gender. My gender is clear enough. I am human, first of all and I know what I aim for. In 2018, I was confronted with the biggest challenge of vying for the Presidency of the Students' Representative Council at Wisconsin University. An alumnus who had seen previous elections turnouts asked a vital question "Why the Presidency? Women are known to contest for the position of Secretary and the clearly qualified position of Women's Commissioner?". I simply smiled and said why not? Benjamin Franklin once said "People see the way things are and ask why. I see the way things are and ask, why not? He smiled again and said you are a tough lady. Today, I have changed the narrative by going down in the books not just as the first female SRC President, but one who brought change to all - both men and women.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
Today, I know you may not need everybody on a journey. We all have our lives cut out for us and the essence of strategy is using the least amount of resources to achieve the greater good. I know one day, I will speak to an audience beyond my immediate community, I will speak on a world stage representing not a single but global culture, but I will always keep in mind the significance of the red, gold and green flag behind me. A star that represents the hope of Africa, the world's next biggest thing.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Let's all grow together and do our parts. Systems are made up of parts, the beauty of symphony comes from the single tiny voices and the accordion of instruments that back the sound. One day, I will give an elevated speech. I know neither the time or the place or the circumstances. But when I do, It would reflect all your voices and opinions put into one. Keep being you. You are here for a reason.