Sophie Obomighie; teenspiration per excellence

Sophie is the perfect example of a teenager that has realized that relevance in the 21st century cannot be attained by sticking only to traditional methods of education. A 300 level student of biomedical science, Sophie is also a software developer and the Brand Manager for the Girl Lead Project.

Can we meet Sophie Obomighie?

I am Sophie Obomighie the first child of three children, an 18 years old biomedical science student majoring in human anatomy and in my 3rd year now. I am also a software developer.

What inspired you to explore opportunities beyond the traditional classroom education?

I attended Trinity Foundation primary school where we went on excursions at least once in a term and where there was an abundant availability of extra-curricular activities to engage in like ballet dancing, swimming classes, Taekwondo etc. We were also taught using the Montessori method. So I’ll say that was my first exposure to nontraditional classroom education. I have also come to realise that the more exposure you get; the more sense
your course of study will make. I have a passion for anything that has to do with technology but I didn’t want to
study computer science because I didn’t think I could have a career with that so I opted for the medical line. After
such little time, I have realised I could actually integrate these 2 disparate fields. So traditional classroom education
is important but more relevant when there is more insight into it which can best be gotten by exploring opportunities
and engaging in extracurricular activities especially those which you have passion for. You actually can’t find you passion if you don’t explore things you find yourself loving.

And has it been worth it so far?

More than you can imagine. I have been able to discover my passion even at this young age and confidently pursue a long-term plan with laser focus.

While preparing for this interview, we noted that you were described by a website as a “tech enthusiast”, how did your journey into the world of technology begin?

While growing up, my dad always rewarded our academic excellence, In primary 2 I came 1st in Class and my dad came home the next day with an overly big laptop and said it was my gift for coming first. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to switch it on. I slept very early so I could wake up by 4 am which was the time light was usually restored then. I put it on and I was just getting some funny error messages. I later realised it had no Operating System ( Laughs). That was the first sign that I would be a technology enthusiast. He got another for himself and sometimes I played with it and my mum would tell my sister and I to type documents for her. Even when I got into secondary school, I was the computer girl (there wasn’t any limitation there as it was an only girls school) and I was on the editorial team for the school magazine and did some basic typing and design. So many other things have influenced my journey but that’s basically how it all started.

If there is one thing you wish you had started doing earlier what is it?

If wishes were horses man would ride time unending. Majorly, I wish I started programming earlier. I still do not regret not starting then as I didn’t really know about it as I do now.

What are your hobbies and favourite pastimes?

My hobbies are meeting new people, brain storming to get awesome ideas, learning new things( I always get that  adrenaline rush), spending time with family and really close  friends. I also enjoy talking but when the topic doesn’t
interest me, I get mentally fatigued and begin to feel I’m expending too much mental strength for nothing. I have had so many favourite pastimes due to the fact that I’ve recently been making intentional effort to be optimistic and excited about everything I do. So, everyday always has an element of “favourite
past time”.

How do you successfully juggle academics with everything you are involved in?

Even though it hasn’t been easy especially due to the disparity between my course of study and passion, I’ll say
God has been more than awesome. He always has a way of putting me in situations where when I lose hope, I find someone to encourage and assist me. Having friends who have goals and who have so much passion for their studies
also puts me in check. They are always there to remind me of my most important duty in school and I also have to intentionally make extra efforts. Having a clear long-term goal has also recently given me a lot of motivation
to excel.

Do your parents play any role in your extracurricular activities? If yes, what roles?

My parents and sisters have been a very strong pillars of support to me. They are always there to correct me when I go wrong, lend a listening ear when I need it and a shoulder to cry on when I have to. They all have also been a source of inspiration by always standing out  wherever they find themselves. My mum and dad are the literal definitions of leaders within their individual circles of relevance. My sisters are also more than awesome too.

What do you wish parents in Nigeria should start doing to encourage the creative and entrepreneurial tendencies of their children?

From a very young age, parents should take subtle steps to expose their children to opportunities beyond the classroom.  They should use summer break as an opportunity for the child to learn a trade, learn programming (Applications like scratch and Alice are very helpful, I learnt them this summer) or a sporting activity or even take dance classes. Expose them, put them out there but never forget to still have them close to your heart so that they are free to ask questions and communicate with you when need be. Programming is the language of the century, a child can learn at least a programming language, just understanding the syntax is a good step. All these are not foreign to Nigerians as there are numerous organisations that foster these things . I know of one that teaches primary school children financial education.

What are your plans for the future? What are things you would do if you had no limitations whatsoever?

I am taking life a step at a me but with a long-term goal in mind. I love integrating tech with different disciplines
especially biomedical science so I’m presently exploring opportunities that have to do with my passion for software development and my background in human anatomy. If I had no limitation whatsoever I would be efficient in more programming languages sooner and start my research work involving solving biomedical problems with computer

What is your advice to readers of the TeenAchiever and other teenagers like you?

I’ll say just go for it don’t limit yourself by yourself. A very good friend of mine once told me “ Give yourself  the permission to be awesome” Don’t wait for anyone! Just give yourself the permission and then,  go on and surpass your own expectation. Never believe that you have to be old enough before your impact can be felt, mine is already being felt so many other youngsters have embraced their awesomeness too. What are you waiting for?

Watch Sophie speak on her involvement  with the Girl-LEAD project  here

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