Developed counterterrorism measures with Yobe State University in Northern Nigeria to protect the local community from Boko Haram.

Received intelligence and security training from former top officials from the NSA, Pentagon, and U.S. Military.

Earned a grant from leading professionals at the Department of Defense, Air Force, and FBI to implement my security solution.

Chinweoke Onwuama

Brentwood College School

Class of 2023

Learn more about Chinweoke here.

Chinweoke was first introduced to Leadership Initiatives (LI) in the summer of 2021 when she attended the Business and Leadership program based on the recommendation of a family friend. After the summer program, Chinweoke joined the International Internship Program (IIP) as a team lead. In 2022, Chinweoke became a Team Lead for the International Leadership and Business Internship, in addition to attending the National Security and Intelligence program.

Prior to LI, Chinweoke was a member of the National Junior Honor Society at Dhahran Middle School in Saudi Arabia for three years. Upon transferring to Brentwood College School in Mill Bay, British Columbia, for her high school, Chinweoke was awarded academic colors in her sophomore year with a 4.0 GPA. In addition, Chinweoke is a member of Brentwood’s high school dance program, performing and competing in various competitions around BC. As Chinweoke is approaching her senior year, she hopes to attend a university in the United States, where she plans to major in Business Management, with a minor in Marketing.

The programs Chinweoke has attended at LI, and her time as part of IIP, have taught her more about the world around her. LI instilled a desire in Chinweoke to bring the skills she has learned to vulnerable communities. Chinweoke is excited and cannot wait to work with each of you to see how LI will transform and equip you for the future.

Read more about Chinweoke's achievements here.

In this national security proposal we will be addressing the issue of safety on the Yobe State University campus. More specifically, we will be discussing improvements and changes that can be made in means and modes of communication. We will touch on communication between three main parties, the security, students, and teachers. Our goal is to have safety and security through communication. We will achieve this once we establish transparency throughout the whole school, a sense of protection, a safe space to learn, and most, if not all, students feel comfortable on campus.

My Grant Proposal

Leadership Initiatives is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating future leaders across the globe through experiential learning.

At the conclusion of the internship, I presented my research proposal to a distinguished panel of judges, which included Rusty Capps and Bill Stefan.

View my grant proposal presentation here.

In the National Security & Intelligence Internship, I worked directly with some of the world’s leading counterintelligence and counterterrorism experts to learn about national security and intelligence.

My Grant Proposal Presentation

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The Threat To Yobe State University

Established by the Yobe State government in 2006, Yobe State University is one of Nigeria’s leading education institutions.

The university is seen as a safe refuge for its 12,000 students studying a vast array of subjects from agriculture to sociology.

The university’s unique role in the education of youth has made it a major target of Boko Haram.

How The Community Is Placed In Danger

Founded in Maiduguri, Boko Haram has been a consistent presence in northeastern Nigeria since the start of the millenia.

In the past five years, the radical sect has taken to attacking Yobe State University, resulting in over 150 civilian casualties.

Fortunately, military intervention and the university’s security department have mitigated some of the community's fear.

The Threat to the Community of Yobe

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Story Of The Firm

Terrorism In Nigeria


Current Threats

Yobe State Security

Firm Statistics

Yobe State University Security is located in Yobe, Nigeria.

The security department consists of 140 guards responsible for patrolling about 40 to 60 yards each.

The security department has a variety of male and female staff ranging in age from 17 to 68.

Due to economic hardship, only five guards have full security kits which include defensive and offensive weapons, security tools, and a uniform.

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Boko Haram and education are intrinsically linked. In the local Hausa dialect, “Boko Haram” means “Western education is forbidden”.

Poverty and resentment of Western culture has driven many students, clerics, and unemployed professionals to join Boko Haram’s cause.

As a government-sponsored entity, Yobe State University is a prime target for terror attacks. The school can be unsafe for students and employees, especially those who live on-site.

The university’s security department has become essential for ensuring the safety of the people that call Yobe State University home.

Story Of The Firm

Musa, A Yobe State University Security Department Officer

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Boko Haram is a militant terrorist group that promotes anti-western education ideals and has been based in Northeastern Nigeria since 2002.

The terrorist organization’s main priority is establishing, spreading, and maintaining an Islamic State to oppose the Western values that threaten their ideology.

Though they have been active for nearly twenty years, they have gained most of their notoriety within this last decade through demonstrating their ability to carry out major acts of terrorism.

Most notably, in 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 Chibok school girls. Over 100 girls remain missing.

Terrorism In Nigeria

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Yobe State University is the heart of Yobe. The university encompasses a large area of land and serves upwards of 10,000 students.

Due to Covid-19, the university has lost the income it generates through in-person sessions and has been forced to reduce its security department.

The fiscal reduction of the department leaves the school vulnerable to Boko Haram and affects the livelihood of hundreds of people.

Along with this financial hardship, the university has faced consistent problems of understaffing, a lack of security tools, and comprehensive training on counterterrorism.

Community Impact

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Within the last few years, there has been a spike in insurgent activity in Yobe and Borno.

In addition to this, the security department has to handle disgruntled ex-employees and students who are returning to cause damage as revenge.

In June of 2021, Boko Haram attacked Gubijba Town, which is just 20 kilometers away from Yobe State University.

Boko Haram is taking advantage of this phenomenon and disguising themselves as students to gain entrance to the university. A suspect was arrested for this very reason in April of 2021.

Current Threats

Internship Highlights

Rusty Capps

Meeting the Security Firm

Experts & Mentors


Security Tours

Rusty Capps is a retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent. He is at the very forefront of counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and security awareness education.

He is currently president of Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence (CT/CI) Training Partners LLC, as well as an accomplished educator with experience teaching at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia. He was able to provide my team with invaluable insight into the field of national security and intelligence.

His other notable experience includes his appointment as the first national manager of the Development of Espionage and Counterintelligence Awareness (DECA) program in 1990.

In 1994, he was assigned to manage the private sector outreach program at the newly created National Counterintelligence Center (NACIC), which was staffed with counterintelligence experts from across the US Intelligence Community.

Our team began the solution-development process by expressing our interest and motivation to support the Yobe State University Security Department through a Zoom meeting with its employees.

Through this call, we learned more about the daily life in Yobe and the shadow terrorism casts on the lives of its citizens.

By evaluating and discussing the problems that Yobe State University faces, our team was able to outline the external and internal forces that impact our security partner through a SWOT analysis. The acronym stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.”

During our brainstorming, the on-staff project coordinators and national security experts helped facilitate the process and ensured that we were asking relevant questions.

Our team was able to work with a variety of national security and intelligence experts, including Ben Taylor, Bill Stefan, Christine Halvorsen, Dick America, Chris Fox, and Josh Alphonso.

Through their mentorship and expertise, we gained a basic understanding of the counterintelligence community, learned about each panelist's impact on the safety of the nation, and received advice and instruction about establishing a career in counterintelligence.

In addition to this information, we had the opportunity to ask these speakers questions meant to further increase our understanding of the counterintelligence community.

Operations Security or OPSEC is the identification and protection of information that would allow a competitor or threat to interfere with our plans, capabilities, or activities.

In order to properly assist our security partner, our team was trained in this risk management process by the U.S. Air Force’s Chief of the Interagency OPSEC support staff. OPSEC was originally implemented by the military and has gained traction in the private sector as well.

The first step of this process is to identify data that requires protection, while the second step is to discern potential threats. Once these items have been identified, the environment must be analyzed for security holes, as well as the risks associated with these vulnerabilities.

The final and most important process is establishing and implementing countermeasures to eliminate and diminish potential threats.

I visited important landmarks that allowed me to gain a better understanding of the history of counterintelligence and security.

The International Spy Museum is a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about espionage and intelligence.

The exhibits and interactive activities gave me context for the role intelligence plays in our past, present, and future.

In addition to the Spy Museum, I toured the University of Maryland’s Teaching Crime Lab with Thomas Mauriello. This hands-on experience gave me the knowlege needed to understand the significance of forensic sciences to the application of law and security.