This month, we shine a light on Nebiyou Timotewos, one of the vibrant young individuals with whom Peacebuilders has been fostering a connection through our Youth Ambassador program. 

Nebiyou embodies the essence of Black excellence. His journey resonates with the countless others who dare to dream beyond the confines of circumstance. Through the nurturing support of Peacebuilders’ community programming, Nebiyou has blossomed into a force for positive change, channeling his passion into action.  

Continue to read more about Nebiyou’s commitment to community advocacy below.  

How did you get the Youth Ambassador position at Peacebuilders and what do you enjoy the most?   

I saw a post online, and people I knew had worked there previously as well.   

The whole position is about selflessly helping the community and how we can build each other and bring change to invest in ourselves for a better future.    

What are a few of the initiatives you champion or endorse within your community? 

I have been very dedicated to the community from a young age, having been awarded prestigious honours such as humanitarian award winner, leader of the year, youth role model of the year, and many more. In addition to other community involvements, I am the founder of “Brothers4Brothers,” a mentorship program for young males in Toronto to help fight stigma around men’s mental health and promote resilience. I am also the founder of “Community Cares,” an initiative dedicated to giving back and helping the community, especially the youth, through care packages and offering initial workshops to build skills and more.   

Why is it essential for you to advocate for your community?   

I must advocate for our community because we all must do our part if we want change. One person can’t change the world, but that person can inspire the people around them and start a change. This, in turn, leads to forming a community that creates that change because only a community can change through unity. Then, that community goes on to change the world. It is like an electricity of kindness getting passed around. That’s what we call “pay it forward,” which is investing in ourselves for a collective better future.    

Why is Black History Month important to you? 

Black History Month is a very special month for me and the community because it serves as a reflective period that motivates us. We often become so busy and caught up in our lives, schools, and jobs that we forget where we came from and the sacrifices that made it possible for us to do what we do. Many greats and icons walked before us, paving the way and passing the torch to us. It is now our responsibility to keep the momentum going. This month prompts us to reflect and realize that, yes, we have come a long way, but the job is nowhere near done. It becomes not just a month focused on the past, but a month focused on the future. Now, it is our turn to run the good race, continue the work that has been ongoing for years, and pass on the legacy, resilience, and rich history to the coming generations. 

What advice would you share with fellow young individuals? 

The advice I would give is to acknowledge the power of kindness. Show kindness, love everything you do, always have the heart to help people, and make people’s day, even if it’s a simple gesture. Because a simple act of kindness goes a long way and will take you much farther than you expect, kindness and discipline will take you to a place where hard work won’t.

How do you continue to celebrate Black excellence? 

I celebrate black excellence not just in this month, but every day. I achieve this by celebrating my community, investing in it through activities such as shopping at black-owned small businesses, running projects to help my community, and organizing mentorship programs and workshops to uplift this excellence. I also celebrate my success and joy in showing the youth that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Most importantly, I celebrate my friends and community members, acknowledging them and giving them their flowers. We often think we celebrate things by merely making a simple social media post every February and calling it a day, but it goes deeper than that. It’s about what you do behind the scenes and how you make people feel and not just in that month but every single day.