EMPOWERED 2016: Hear from previous EMPOWERED award winner Idriss
“Since hearing about Babbasa for the first time it’s something I’ve supported and wanted to be involved in and contribute to especially after personally benefitting from their services. The great thing about EMPOWERED is the opportunity to socialise with people outside of your educational sphere and your community. As a young person you get the chance to meet very successful people, learn from them and receive good advice. The event is very important because it opens these doors. A person like me would not have easily gone out there and spoken with new people, but EMPOWERED is a platform that gives you the opportunity to be in a room with lots of interesting people, find your similar interests, link up and get to know each other. Then, you can both go on to really benefit through this relationship. It’s a great for networking, a room full of people from different backgrounds and experiences, who wouldn’t usually talk in their daily lives.
The room at EMPOWERED 2015 was full of happy people, with great drinks and food, enjoying the event. High profile people attended, such as Marvin Rees, the Labour candidate for mayor, current mayor George Ferguson, and the ceremonial mayor, and there were other leaders in the community to network with, such as police officers, social workers, lawyers, doctors, businessmen and artists. They said how amazing it was to see young people who were not fitting in to the negative stereotypes that society has given to our generation, as loud, lazy and troublesome. It was good for them to see that we are invested and involved in society and do really care about our environment. An event like EMPOWERED allowed us to have that recognition. Young people were the focus of EMPOWERED on every level and were given a platform to showcase their talents, including amazing performances from a range of poets, dancers and singers and it was exciting for talented young people to have this opportunity.
I originally heard about Babbasa and EMPOWERED when my tutors and teachers asked if I’d like to be involved in the awards ceremony. They described Babbasa as a social enterprise supporting young people from the inner city of Bristol, especially those who had gone through challenges in their lives. The award’s reward and celebrate the achievements of young people who have done tremendous work in different fields and give them the recognition they don’t necessarily get in their normal lives, for different categories such as science, technology and enterprise. I was nominated in the education category, which is granted to those who have achieved higher than expected in educational aspects.
Winning the Education Award itself gave me an incredible sense of pride; I felt like everything I’ve done I got recognised for. I came to the country, moving from Cameroon, one year prior to the event, and I didn’t speak any English. At school, I was put onto studying AS Level and managed to gain good grades and within one year I could speak English. Babbasa deemed that such a feat was worthy of the award, which made me very proud. Since then it has been something great to put on my CV and I have received much more feedback and response when including the award. Now, I am working as a healthcare assistant in a hospital, which is great – I love it! The work is so rewarding and it’s encouraging to get good feedback.
People should pay more attention to what goes on around cities such as Bristol, organisations like Babbasa are very helpful and they need much more support from us. It’s important to try and be involved in any way or form that you can because Babbasa and the EMPOWERED event really changes lives and young people do benefit from it. Anyone who hears this please get involved with EMPOWERED because it’s an incredible thing.”
EMPOWERED 2016 takes place on July 15th at The Station. It’s an exciting awards event, celebrating the achievement of young people from Bristol’s diverse and underserved inner city communities. The event also aims to provide a platform to showcase young peoples’ talent and inform them about local support services.
Nominations are now open! If you know a talented young person like Idriss who deserves to be recognised for their achievements in Sports, Science & IT, Community, Choices, Leadership, Arts, Enterprise and Education you can nominate them here and here you can also register to attend.