Founded in 2022, Full of Possibilities is a woman-led philanthropic 501 (c)3 organization to provide needed resources for young African women to attend secondary boarding school (high school).
We view the charitable provision of scholarships for education as a critical pathway for women to transform their future and become positive change agents in their communities. Our scholarship recipients will receive all resources for an academic experience enhanced by additional mentorship in life skills to improve and empower their lives.
We focus on women because they are at the center of community life, yet have been under-represented or denied educational opportunities for many historical, familial, and cultural reasons.
We believe that an important means to improve a student's performance while providing her with educational opportunities is to provide training in life skills. Our organization embraces a model of resilience (mental and emotional health). We realize that entering a new educational program requires multiple adjustments and pressures for young women, especially from rural areas, to meet new social demands and academic expectations. This experience may represent a first-time away from home and community in many cases. Therefore, our organization also will provide both printed and video materials witten to students and their mentors from an evidence-based curriculum focused on positive life-skills training.
When anyone faces new and challenging goals in their lives, it can serve as a source of stress. Stress, if ineffectively managed, can lead to common mental, emotional, and physical problems—these difficulties are barriers to realizing dreams and reaching goals. Unfortunately, treatment for stress-related challenges, such as anxiety and depression, often carries social and cultural stigmas in many countries. As a result, it is difficult for individuals in rural or other underserved communities to receive help or counseling when experiencing stressful problems in living, even when it is available.
Global mental health initiatives have shown that mental and emotional strength training can reduce or prevent problems associated with stressful situations like the pressures and social demands of secondary school.
Programs that emphasize teaching life skills such as emotional regulation, problem-solving, and mindfulness, can increase resilience. They provide a way to reduce or prevent common mental health problems by building on strengths and personal resilience and delivered in community settings. We provide scholarship students and their local mentors life skills training materials based upon emotional-centered problem-solving (EC-PST) to help students achieve their own goals. Life skills training based upon EC-PST has been successfully applied to many individuals in a practical and user-friendly way (through educational materials and mentoring) globally. Years of research support the effectiveness of EC-PST which provides sustainable strategies to improve resilience and emotional intelligence in people from many walks of life. Specifically, this approach teaches people how to:
Dr. Christine (Chris) Maguth Nezu, Founder and President of Full of Possibilities, Inc., is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences. She has been an active clinician, professor, administrator, and researcher, for over 3 decades. Additionally, she is a mother of three and a grandmother. Dr. Nezu attributes the positive changes in her life and her family, students, and patients, as rooted in access to education, use of life skills such as problem-solving, and spiritual and emotional support. Grateful for the educational opportunities that she received despite the experience of early stressful life circumstances, she founded Full of Possibilities, Inc. to provide young women, underrepresented in the secondary educational system in Kenya, with the resources needed to pursue their education.
In her professional work as a psychologist, Dr. Christine, along with Dr. Arthur (Art) Nezu, are best known for their collaborative work as the co-developers of (Emotion-Centered) Problem-Solving Skills Training and Therapy (EC-PST). This "real-life" training is a positive approach that focuses on building skills to help people effectively manage the challenging stressors they face in life. It has been developed for many different people from all walks of life in countries worldwide.
Their work has been adopted by many different medical, academic, and clinical organizations in the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan, Viet Nam, China, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.
Dr. Arthur (Art) Nezu, Vice President and Treasurer of Full of Possibilities, Inc., is a Distinguished University Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Professor of Medicine, and Professor of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia. An award-winning clinical psychologist and researcher, Art has a strong background as an editor of prominent academic psychology journals. He and Chris Nezu have dedicated their 40-year partnership to discovering ways to help people, particularly those from underserved groups, reduce suffering and reach their valued life goals.
Ms. Ali Nezu, Board member and professional educator, is an experienced teacher with a demonstrated history of educational leadership in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Skilled in Grant Writing, Program Development, Project-Based Learning, Career Technical Education, Education Policy, Classroom Management, and Differentiated Instruction, she brings expertise in secondary education to our Board of Directors. Ms. Nezu has been recognized for her commitment and success in cultivating business, community, and school partnerships to support an inclusive workforce in the arts, media, and entertainment industry. She is passionate about the mission of educational opportunity for underserved communities.
Elle Paczona is a high school Hollywood High School freshman in the New Media Academy in Los Angeles, California. She provides review, critique, and consultation of our media, branding and marketing projects. A trained dancer in classical and contemporary genres, Elle has a love of travel and exploration of international culture.
The Nezu Stress and Coping Lab at Drexel is made up of psychology students of all training levels. Currently led by our advanced Ph.D. students (Jenna & Kelly), our doctoral, masters, and undergraduate research assistants provide invaluable voluntary contributions to our training and animation projects.
Ms Nikita Shah, who studied at the London School of Finance in the UK, resides in Kenya and is the Director of Operations and Head of Finance for Secluded Africa Trust and Safari Lodges.
Despite her busy professional life, she tirelessly volunteers as a cultural consultant and local mentor for the students supported through Full of Possibilities.