“It started because of the lack of youth presence and ideas in the social innovation space. We want to be that.”
For Drayton Mulindabigwi Jabo, 21, the year 2020 was a turning point. The onslaught of political unrest and societal changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic ignited his desire to help other young people struggling to adapt to a seemingly collapsing world.
He decided to create an organization called 20today20tomorrow, to “establish and promote an innovative, positive, inspiring environment from which youth can learn, grow and flourish in their life.“
The name is meant to reframe the year 2020, “because many people regarded the year 2020 as a bad year.” Meanwhile, Mulindabigwi Jabo and his collaborators sought to inspire positivity by empowering themselves and their peers to be creative despite what was happening around them.
“20today20tomorrow is a youth-led creative hub. I coin it as the biggest youth-led creative hub, because I haven’t seen anything like that anywhere. We create youth-focused social innovation,” wrote Mulindabigwi Jabo in an email to the Fulcrum. “It started because of the lack of youth presence and ideas in the social innovation space. We want to be that.”
On Oct. 26, Mulindabigwi Jabo won in the “Entrepreneurship and Innovation” category at the 25th RCB Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards. He was one of seven University of Ottawa students to be celebrated at this year’s ceremony.
“Being awarded was an awesome feeling. What’s so unbelievable is that I absolutely love what I do. I get to put a team together with a great team of young people, to solve problems in the most creative way. To know that people are recognizing this as something worthy of an award, it’s wonderful,” he added.
A third-year student in psychology with a minor in health sciences, Mulindabigwi Jabo also helps youth access mental health resources through HealMind, a subproject of 20today20tomorrow.
“Mental health is a crucial aspect to the growth of youth. A lot of our youth who struggle with mental health illnesses do not know where to find help. With this initiative, we will make it a lot easier for them to reach out to someone for help.”
In the future, he hopes to expand the organization across the globe and empower more youth to build stronger communities.
“I plan on growing the company to an international level. That will help establish the idea that youth have an important impact in the world. I think that will serve as a great example that youth can really do anything they want,” he added.
Click here to consult the full list of award recipients at the 25th RBC Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards.