Founder of (20t20t), Drayton Jabo, received the Spirit Award in the category of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The award, presented by RBC and hosted by Youth Ottawa, acknowledges the diverse and creative ways young people are shaping and changing their communities.
Drayton, who has completed three years as an undergraduate at the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, is thankful for the opportunities available through the health sciences program. As a fourth-year student, he reflected on his work during high school on a project with Professor Karine Toupin April of the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, which offered insights into the area of youth health and helped to shape his future. The project aimed to provide high school students with accurate information to dispel fake news in health care and to increase understanding of its impact on youth health. Last year, Professor Toupin April and Drayton Jabo revisited the project to incorporate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and co-presented a training session for high school students.
Drayton Jabo sees a clear link between his student experience and his entrepreneurial ventures. He points out the advantages of being in a university program that gives broad access to knowledge about the health care field. He believes that the health sciences program structure positioned him to seek out, and be exposed to, opportunities to develop initiatives and connect with like-minded individuals.
Drayton Jabo is fully engaged in creating an innovative, positive, inspiring environment where youth can learn, grow, and flourish. The 20t20t group has led several programs aimed at youth, including the , which has been very well received.
As the 20t20t team works on launching the Institute on Youth Innovation, Drayton Jabo calls on funding organizations to stay open-minded when it comes to youth initiatives. He draws on his own student experience to encourage youth to seize opportunities when they arise. He believes the university experience goes beyond acquiring knowledge: it is an opportunity to reach for one’s dreams and make a difference.