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Amani Simpson: Life Journey

Amani Simpson: Life Journey

When North London entrepreneur Amani Simpson came to TASIS England, he captivated our students as he spoke about his life, his challenges, and how they inspired him to make a difference in the lives of other young people. Through an engaging and thought-provoking presentation, he not only shared his journey but also highlighted the way we can all help others by becoming active bystanders.

His message underlines the importance of this key element of our Values in Action program. This program is a mission-driven response to the relationship challenges that our young people and children face today. The School helps students address issues of child-on-child relationship harm, including conflict, bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment. It is a solution to help our student body navigate these challenges. 

Active bystander interventions have been found to reduce incidents of harassment, discrimination, and bullying in schools and colleges. He urged students to not only empathize with those in need but also to take decisive action when confronted with injustice or adversity. Amani’s presentation resonated deeply and he ignited a sense of empowerment among the students as he encouraged them to be proactive forces for positive change in the school community.  

On his journey of resilience and redemption, Amani Simpson has defied the odds to transform his life and become a beacon of hope for the youth in his community. Living in Edmonton Green, also known as "shank town," Amani’s story is nothing short of inspiring.

Growing up, he faced the harsh realities of bullying and violence, experiencing firsthand the unforgiving nature of his surroundings. Expelled from school at the age of 14, he found himself in a world of uncertainty, lacking educational qualifications and guidance.

Struggling to navigate the challenges of adolescence, he found himself in a cycle of exploitation, from grooming to street robbery and even involvement in drug dealing. But amidst the darkness, some hope remained. Determined to carve a new path for himself, he decided to turn his life around and enroll in college.

However, fate had other plans in store. At the age of 21, he fell victim to a stabbing, enduring the agony of seven knife wounds. Although, this terrible event led Amani to discover a newfound sense of purpose, fueled by the shock of adrenaline. 

After the incident, Amani suffered from PTSD, anxiety, and depression, but he did not want to let this stop him. With a lot of determination, he embarked on a journey of self-discovery, driven by the belief that "if your mind can go there, your feet can follow."

Through his perseverance and resilience, he secured an internship with a real estate company. 

While he was involved in the National Citizen Service (NCS) program, he found his passion. Meeting Stephen Greene, an entrepreneur and the CEO of the international pro-social media company Rockcorps. It proved to be a pivotal moment and ignited a passion for empowering the next generation.  

Thus, he created Aviard, his social enterprise dedicated to nurturing young minds and fostering community. Through initiatives like the Amani Project, he aims to provide a platform for young voices to be heard.

The crowning achievement of his journey came with the release of his short film, "Amani," a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The film shines a spotlight on the struggles faced by youth in inner-city communities and has touched the hearts of millions, receiving 1 million views in just four days.

In a remarkable shift from his background in real estate, Amani has delved into the realm of filmmaking with unexpected success. The desire to direct his film called “Save Me” was a mixture of his personal experience and his interest in societal issues. With meticulous attention to detail, Amani started the process of the film by writing the beats for the story, formulating the overview of safeguarding, and mixing it in with vibrant perspectives of youth. His goal “is to create films that can uplift, give hope and inspire the future of cultural diversity and the freedom to come”. 

Amani is determined not to be defined by his past, but to be an example to young people who may be treading the precarious path he found himself on as a teenager. He has returned to his former schools from which he was once expelled, serving as living proof that redemption is within reach for those willing to seize it.

In Amani’s own words, "My mission is to be a servant leader who always finds ways to add value to others through my lived experience, loving nature, and influential network." As he continues to chart new horizons with the Amani Project, his story stands as a testament to the transformative power of perseverance and the unbeatable spirit of the human soul. 

Watch the YouTube video here.