From hungry nights in Nigeria to building a business — with the help of a UW certificate scholarship
Born and raised in Nigeria, educated in Nigeria, Germany and British Columbia, and a business owner in Seattle, Tolulope Daramola has lived a far-flung, fascinating life.
After starting his own environmental construction company, ForestClouds (now Daramola, Inc.), in 2016, Tolulope saw early success with smaller local projects: enhancing Bird Island’s shoreline and wetland mitigation in Renton, repairing Kent’s Meridian Valley Creek and planting trees and shrubs as part of the Highland Park playground renovation in Seattle.
But when his company landed its first million-dollar job, Tolulope hesitated. Despite numerous successful smaller projects, Tolulope initially felt that a one-million-dollar job was too daunting.
“I thought, ‘Oh I can’t do that, no,’” he said. “But later I asked myself, ‘Why not? After all, this is America.’”
REMEMBERING HIS ROOTS
Tolulope has always valued education, a trait ingrained in him as a child in Nigeria.
“I was raised by a single mom, along with my three other siblings, and it was pretty tough growing up back home,” he said. “But one thing that my mom always instilled in me and my siblings is that with education you can do anything — you can go anywhere. And that stuck with me."
When Tolulope felt overwhelmed by the larger scope of the projects at work, he knew he needed to add to his skillset.
“I have the technical background that I need, I have the equipment and dedicated personnel, but I’m just scared because of the figures behind the project,” he said. “This is the main reason why I decided I needed to get a little more education in project management.”