BY JOSH PEDERSON
To say that you have received an award directly from Queen Elizabeth II is not a feat that many of us can relate to.
For Daniel Ajiroba, a bachelor of environmental public health student at Conestoga College, that was a reality, when he received the Queen’s Young Leaders Medal in 2015. This sensational accomplishment is just one of many that Ajiroba has obtained in his 30-year lifetime.
Ajiroba was born in Nigeria, which is where his work all started. Back home, he obtained a bachelors of plant biology and for the last 10 years, he has committed his life to working as an advocate for environmental sustainability, helping to better the world around him.
Since 2015, Ajiroba has been a member of the Climate Reality Program, a worldwide organization that travels to different cities to inform people and advocate for climate change.
Ajiroba credits his philosophy on life to his father, who helped him become who he is today.
“One of my dad’s favourite quotes was always, ‘whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.’ I have found great wisdom in this.
“If I am to commit myself to anything, giving my best then should not be negotiable. I also do believe that life is about our perspectives. It is about how we choose to perceive things around us. The challenges we face today equally provide us with opportunities to serve. We should be inspired by these challenges and not overwhelmed.”
Ajiroba has more than adhered to that advice, obtaining several honours and accreditations for his work within the field, which he got started in due to his love of the outdoors, nature and community involvement.
“I have been quite fortunate to be recognized for my active participation and involvement in various social issues. Some of this includes being a recipient of the Nigerian Youth Leadership award, selected as the World Economic Forum Global Shaper, recipient of the Nigerian Youth Service award, leader of the Nigerian youth delegates to the United Nations Climate Change conference in Qatar, the African Union Ministers of Youth Leadership award, the Neil Aitchison Scholarship award from Conestoga and a few weeks ago, I was invited by the World Bank Group to Washington, D.C. for its youth and ICT summit.”
Ajiroba has already achieved more than some people have in an entire lifetime and he is a prime example of how hard work and determination can pay off. His dedication toward environmental sustainability and advocacy shows no signs of slowing down.
“I hope to see myself involved in high level public policy issues. I look forward to championing global issues of interest and leading interventions targeted at making our world a better place,” he said.