2010 Grad - Abiodun

Graduated from Envision in Birmingham 2010   -  By Richie Benson

I felt really passionately about what Envision was adding to the people from my school, who often might not have networked or met people from other diverse backgrounds.

Envision project

Reforming the way that the school managed its energy, water and waste. Abiodun’s elps team installed water hogs in the school toilets so that the overall consumption of water at the school decreased. They also held several assemblies to inform other students about water shortages, predominantly in African countries and raised quite a lot of money for Water Aid. In year 13 Abiodun became a graduate mentor for the next cohort of year 12s doing Envision in his school and co-presented Envision’s graduation award ceremony that year.

Envision memory

"Being a graduate mentor to the year 12s. It was the first time that I had practically been involved in facilitating youth work and it had a big impact. I was a resident of a community that didn't really engage in politics.....voter registration in my area of Birmingham was really, really low.  It was youth programmes like Envision and the U.K. Youth parliament that made me think more broadly about how young people could be the driving force of positive community change."

 

Doing now

Campaigns manager for Bite the Ballot, a social enterprise and youth democracy charity that aims to encourage more widespread political and democratic participation by getting people to register to vote. 

Trustee for three charities that consider similar issues, the Diana Award, the British Youth Council and the University of Westminster Students' Union.

What did you get out of Envision?

I felt really passionately about what Envision was adding to the people from my school, who often might not have networked or met people from other diverse backgrounds. Envision got us into a space where we had to work together in order to achieve something.  Being involved in something that was making a difference both for the individuals and community really inspired me. The environmental project that I was involved in has made me environmentally conscious for the rest of my life. Envision has also made me think about the role that charities serve in alleviating disadvantage.

I think, also, the range of opportunities that arose as a result of Envision really broadened my skill set, you know; I was giving interviews on Radio 4, talking about the riots at one stage, presenting the awards ceremony. I think all this made me slightly more charismatic as a public speaker. In addition, I made a lot of connections then who would also then go on to get involved in charities who I still call upon and work with today.