On Friday the 6th of October, 2017, the Hidden Figures initiative kicked off in Nigeria with 120 students from four selected public schools; Kuramo Junior & Senior Secondary School, Victoria Island and Maroko Junior & Senior Secondary school, Ikoyi. This initiative based off the movie Hidden Figures is set to educate students about the many contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math and to inspire more students to enter those fields.

Pioneered by Infor CEO, Charles Philips alongside other business leaders in the United States, this initiative plans to offer free admission to the movie, to thousands of middle school students globally.  Over 25,000 middle school students in New York alone were beneficiaries of this program, successfully executed with the partnership of organizations such as 20th Century Fox, Google, Facebook, Infor, and AT&T.

The critically acclaimed movie tells the true-life story of three brilliant African-American women who were mathematicians at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a spectacular achievement that became one of the historical moments the world remembers.

Gbenga and Aisha Oyebode in partnership with the Murtala Muhammed Foundation and Harbor Point Limited thought this a valuable initiative to be brought to Nigeria. The movie portrays the value of perseverance, diligence and hard work in a time when these qualities were subsumed by race and color. The three women featured in the movie, fought those odds to become the honored figures they are today. These lessons are key in encouraging the youth of today.

Representatives of Harbor Point Limited, Olufemi Oyinsan, Mariam Shuaib, and Funmi Oyinloye, spoke with the students after the screening at Genesis cinema, Palms Mall, Lekki to further discuss the lessons learnt. The students were inspired and visibly motivated to become their bests regardless of the circumstances.

Olufemi Oyinsan, pleased with the students’ response said, “We realize that not everything can be taught in a classroom and so the importance of alternative education, especially in current times, cannot be overlooked.”  He stated that this movie experience was only the pilot and that Mr. and Mrs. Oyebode have plans to expand this initiative thereby giving more students such experiences in future.

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