Bursary winner to launch mental health app for students

Juanita Agboola has won £20,000 of the £30,000 Make it Possible Bursary from Huawei to turn her dream into reality

Huawei, the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer, recently announced the winners of its Make It Possible Bursary – a £30,000 fund established to help the people of Great Britain pursue their dreams in 2018. Juanita Agboola from Rochester has been named the overall winner of the competition, receiving a £20,000 cash prize which will go towards her dream of developing an app to help schools and university students improve their mental health. Huawei have also offered to support Juanita in the development of the app through the concept, planning, prototype and launch phases.

The Make it Possible campaign was set up following a study from Huawei, which revealed that financial barriers prevent 57% of people from pursuing their ambitions.  For a chance to win the cash prize, Huawei asked entrants to explain what dreams they would like to follow in 2018 – whether it be to start a business, run a community project, or develop a creative passion – in 500 words or less. 

With over 800 entries received, Juanita was named the overall winner of the contest, impressing judges Andrew Garrihy, CMO Huawei Western Europe, Steven Bartlett, CEO and Founder of Social Chain, and Anthony Shintai Amo, winner of Huawei’s ‘Reveal the Real You’ photography competition, with her ambition to use technology as a means to prevent the rise of poor mental health amongst Generation Z. The app – Half Full Not Empty – will provide students with the necessary resources to maintain a positive mental state, and book appointments with counsellors. Huawei will work with Juanita alongside Connector, to map out the development of the app through the concept, planning, prototype and launch phases.

I am so unbelievably grateful for this opportunity. The development of Half Full Not Empty and impacting and encouraging others to live a mentally healthy life means the world to me. – Juanita Agboola, bursary winner

Commenting on her win, Juanita Agboola, said: “I am so unbelievably grateful for this opportunity. The development of Half Full Not Empty and impacting and encouraging others to live a mentally healthy life means the world to me and I’m thrilled Huawei is helping me take the project to the next level.”

To help the three finalists fully unlock their potential, Huawei has also awarded each winner with a Huawei Mate 10 Pro device – the world’s first AI-powered smartphone – to help them connect with people who share their passions and give them the technology they need to achieve their goals. 

Andrew Garrihy commented: “Our Make It Possible Bursary has revealed just how much creative potential exists in the UK. The entries we received were truly inspirational, and while we cannot award everyone, we encourage every single entrant – in fact, everyone in the UK – to turn their dreams into a reality this year. At Huawei, we believe that technology has the power to make anything possible – which is why Juanita’s entry really impressed the judging panel. With more positive discussion around mental health and wellbeing, we hope that the development of this mobile app will help students across the UK to overcome the challenges they face, and follow their dreams too.”

Steven Bartlett, who partnered with Huawei for its ‘I am What I Do’ campaign, added: “Whether entrepreneurial, altruistic or creative, there’s no doubt that we are a nation brimming with serious ambition. It can be difficult to step outside of your comfort zone and follow your dreams, but with the level of technology, websites and apps at our finger tips, realising your true potential has never been more achievable.”

For more details on the competition winners, click here.

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