“4 Youth By Youth… we are thankful that such a platform exists.”

Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘MEET THE TEAMS’; we have an exciting read for you!

Hello, we are Team Knack Health, and this is our story and experience as participants of the 4YBY Prep4Youth competition 2022. Team Knack Health is a team of four young 500-level medical students who, in their own ways, care about the good of humanity. We weren’t a team until the competition, though, and I guess you’re wondering how we all came together. So, sit back and relax, while I walk you through. This is our genesis story.

It all started in February 2022. Dufa was surfing the net when she came across the 4YBY page on Instagram and shared the flier about the designathon with Ome. They were writing exams in school at the time, so they shifted it aside and focused on their exams. A little while later, mid-exams, Ome told Adibe about the competition, and he showed interest. But, because the exams were still on, they all kept everything aside to focus on the exams. After the exams, Dufa, Adibe, and Ome met to discuss the idea. After a series of brainstorming, arguments, eureka moments and all, the concept of Knack Health was born, but they felt something was missing. The team had Ome, who is a community manager, Adibe, a UI/UX designer, and Dufa, a social media manager at the time, but they felt they needed one more member. They knew an analyst would be needed in the team so Dufa reached out to Ebube who had some experience analyzing data trends. He agreed to be part of the team. After Dufa, Ome, and Adibe explained the idea to Ebube, Ebube made contributions which helped solidify the idea. The idea was submitted 3 minutes to the deadline with crossed fingers. It was exciting, scary, and fun with all the hysterical energy flying everywhere in a bid to beat the deadline and, thankfully, we did submit.

Team Knack Health

In April 2022, we were shortlisted for designathon and words could not describe how excited we were. Aside from the idea of new adventures and new places, it was also a very needed break from med school. We saw it as a chill, getaway vacation that would just require ‘smalllll’ effort from us. Oh, how wrong we were. It was 72 hours of intense working and learning, and honestly, it was mentally draining. It was the first time we all worked together, and it wasn’t a smooth ride. I guess adaptation and tolerance set in, and we managed each other’s differences and respected each other’s opinions, to some extent. It was our first time being housed with young people of the same age group of different demographic origins, to unleash our creativity and find solutions to problems. To us, it was a big competition, and unfortunately, we did not have time to mingle with our peers. Though, we did make a few friends like Adeiza. The guy’s energy was second to none.

In as much as we didn’t come with a winning mindset to the designathon, it quickly changed to us aiming for nothing less than winning. We put in 18+ hours each day to work, and sincerely, it was almost equivalent to the stress we face in medical school. It seemed like you had to use 100% of your brain power because it required a lot of speed and accuracy. Each new piece of information altered our idea. We kept practicing our presentation, and we were so delicate with time. Every single second mattered. During our presentation, the odds were just against us. There were a lot of technical difficulties which ended up disorganizing our presentation, and we lost all hope of winning after the presentation. Not making it to top three (3) made the feeling of defeat worse. Not making it to the top seven (7) that would progress to the bootcamp was just so saddening. We felt like our idea and all our work were not worth much.

So imagine our surprise when we were called back for the bootcamp!

It was sudden and unexpected, a chance we could not give up. The question was if we would go and ‘how’ we would do it. We were/are medical students. Despite the ASUU strike, we were doing our clinical postings at a teaching hospital, some of us had just finished writing re-sit exams for the exam we had just completed before the designathon, we had missed a lot of postings already. Leaving school for a month would have serious consequences. But you know what they say, “See the opportunities in your obstacles”, or something like that. We mapped out plans, set up contingencies, and we made it work. In July 2022, we flew to Lagos for the Bootcamp, as this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we were not about to miss it.A major question we had throughout the flight and upon arrival in Lagos was “What are we going to be doing in Lagos for an entire month?” Well, the next day, we all went down to the hall and our schedule for the month was explained to us. We also got to see a lot of beautiful faces we did not get to notice during the designathon because of how busy and competitive it was. After breakfast, we were told to mingle with everyone, and yeah, we did that and made a lot of friends by the end of the bootcamp.

The first two weeks was purely learning, and somehow, learning was exciting, though exhausting, too! However, we were kept in a conducive environment which enhances learning, and it was done mostly in an exciting but informative way. We learned about crowdfunding, storytelling, leadership, and more. Our endurance was tested beyond its elastic limit when we were told to do the CITI test. It was going pretty well till we came across one of them that had 48 modules: in local parlance ‘Na there we discover say wahala dey oh’. But somehow, we all helped each other out, completed it and earned our certificates. The entire bootcamp built our endurance, teamwork, creativity, speed, research, and analytic skills. After 13 days of intense work and learning, we had a day off. They organized something like a get-together where we played a lot of games and watched movie, too. It was fun. In the 3rd week, we went back to our states to gather data and information, but unfortunately, we had another medical school. We gathered as much data we could while we prepared for the exam which we wrote on the Friday of that 3rd week. After that, we went back to Lagos for the 4th week. It was all about the pitching of idea and things got busy again. After the event, we did not make it to top three (3) again, but we got to mingle with our peers and we were happy we met a lot of young people with a lot of potential, doing amazing things in their respective geographical locations. It was beautiful to see what young people could do. What we liked about the bootcamp the most was that the organizers, irrespective of the age difference and their status, were able to mingle with us. They knew all our names, played games with us, and cheered us up when it got tough. It was beautiful.

The only future plan we have right now as a team is ‘the implementation’. We have been active on your social media handle, sharing contents and posting. The aim is to solve the problems associated with PreP usage among young people in our area and that is basically all we are going to be doing throughout the implementation phase. You can check us out across various social medial platforms like Facebook: Knack_Health, Instagram: Knack_health, Twitter: Knack Health, and LinkedIn: Knack Health.

While doing that, we will carry out our own personal activities which would include gaining skills that would make our project go well and sharpening our already existing skills. We will also keep in touch with friends we made from the bootcamp and see how we can help each other out. Speaking of learning new skills, Dufa also became a Google certified data analyst while at the bootcamp to help support Ebube since data analysis would be a huge part of the medical research that we’ll be implementing… Talk about ‘women-in-tech’!

4 Youth By Youth has shown us that there are young people doing amazing things. The entire idea of bringing young people together, providing basic amenities for them, and watching them bring solutions to given problems is fascinating. This platform gave us the ability to think outside the box, to think about life outside medicine and made us realize that life doesn’t revolve around being a doctor. It also taught us that once respect is involved, status may be overlooked. What interested us the most is how the older people freely mingled with us despite the big age difference and their statuses. Seeing young people of our age, with a lot more in their portfolio than ours, made us realize we had more work to do on ourselves, and in all, we are thankful that such a platform exists.

To our future contestants – well, it is a bumpy ride filled with wonderful and unforgettable experiences. It’s not a battle for the weak because you will be tested in so many ways. It will come with a lot of learning, struggles, stress, and perseverance. But, just keep in mind that after this competition, you will be equipped with many wonderful skills that will differentiate you from your peers, and you will also meet people that may help your future dreams come through. So please, don’t make it 100% competitive, feel free to mingle with your peers, keep an open mind, be willing to make mistakes (because you will learn from them), and ask questions whenever you are confused. There is always someone willing to help you. Work hard to win, but also do not let the spirit of winning overshadow you. Make friends, and interact with your fellow young people. You will see how amazed you will be.

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