12 June 2018

In life we have a choice. Do you settle with what you’re handed, live within your existing circumstances, or do you use that to inspire you to keep growing?

I met an extraordinary young man last year, cycling through the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and climbing to the top of Africa’s tallest peak with the STRIVE Challenge. At 18 years old and with just a day’s notice and no training, Jeremiah Emmanuel took on the challenge regardless. His response was symptomatic of his approach to every aspect of his life.

Jeremiah grew up in Brixton in the midst of gun, knife and gang violence. A teenager who could easily have been swept up in the tide of London violence. Instead, after losing a friend to gun crime and saving the life of a man after a stabbing, Jeremiah set his focus on change.

At 11 years old, he was a part of the Youth Parliament. At 13 he was the Deputy Young Mayor of Lambeth. He set up an organisation to tackle youth violence. He has dedicated his time to inspiring young people, to showing them that there are role models and examples to look up to beyond the local area and violence.

Growth, inspiration, community

He talks of growth mindset, of why we’re drawn to people, of opportunity.

Back in Morocco, after one of the most gruelling days and an indescribable physical challenge, Jeremiah stood up. In front of seasoned entrepreneurs including Sir Richard Branson and Simon Sinek, he told his story. What stood out for me was that he explained how, despite all of their remarkable achievements, they could still do more.

I’m not sure I have ever met a character quite like him.

Hear his story in my latest podcast, it’s an inspiring listen.

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