Darren Harry Baine is a University of Waterloo undergrad and entrepreneur passionate about inspiring youth to think beyond themselves and create initiatives that advance society.
Baine founded The Young Eye, a foundation that supports social growth and development of youth-based institutions in Uganda. It encourages Ugandan youth to grow and fulfill their purpose. Along with a group of friends, Baine also co-founded and hosts a youth motivational talk show also called The Young Eye.
In 2022, Baine was recognized for his outreach and was named to Uganda’s top 40 under 40 list. He says he is humbled by the honour that confirms he is on the right track. We asked Baine what inspires him and why he chose to study at Waterloo.
What inspired you to start the Young Eye Foundation?
The foundation started off as a school project for my International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme but seeing how a small initiative at the time positively impacted the lives of others could have fueled the passion to want to do more. This curated the idea of a foundation to house the projects created to developing and supporting the lives of other people.
Why do you think early youth development is important for advancing society?
Early youth development is important because it gives young people an opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge, and key competencies necessary to fulfil their purpose. This development allows for them to express themselves and lead productive and healthy lives. Through this, we are moulding a generation enthusiastic about contributing to the world in whatever capacity they can through their careers.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Waterloo?
I chose to study at the University of Waterloo for its co-op program — offering one of the most unique implementations of work-integrated learning. These experiences give you an idea of what the real application of work is and allows you to figure out what aspect of your career or passions interest you. The University of Waterloo emphasizes teaching students how to learn and I think that is essential in a world that is continuously changing and adapting to technological advancements. It prepares us for this world.
What does it mean to you to be a part of Uganda’s top 40 under 40 list?
It is humbling to be considered amongst the talented and hard-working individuals in Uganda. This inclusion shows me that determination and consistency are key in doing the work that is not just celebrated but impacts the lives of others.
What do you hope supporting talent will do to build a more sustainable future?
When we equip ourselves with certain skills and build our talents, we nurture citizens that naturally use their talents to identify areas of growth and systems that fulfil the needs of current and future generations. It will lead to a variation of perspectives and approaches that spark a global move towards creating this sustainable future.
What are some of your future goals and aspirations?
I will continue refining and developing sustainable systems for the foundation and the web-series, The Young Eye. Along these lines, I want to find ways of using my knowledge of developing impactful initiatives to create ideas around philanthropy in Canada. In the science space, I hope to get into biotechnology as one of my future career aspirations.