Rakan Al-Shawaf and former Gaels football player Curtis Carmichael
Makeshift co-founder Rakan Al-Shawaf, Sc’19, and former Gaels football player Curtis Carmichael, Artsci/PHE'16.

Two alumni named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list

A former Gaels football player who offers free courses to prepare kids to work in the digital economy and an engineering grad who helps influencers sell merchandise to their fans are two Queen’s alumni who were named to the prestigious Forbes magazine's 30 Under 30 List for 2023.

Curtis Carmichael, Artsci/PHE’16, and Rakan Al-Shawaf, Sc’19, where included in the magazine’s list of influential leaders (under the age of 30) in 20 different categories such as healthcare, science, and social impact. 

Carmichael is honoured in the education category. He founded Source Code Academy, Canada's first culture-focused academy for children and youth by offering courses on topics such as entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and technological innovation. 

“I couldn't be more honoured to be selected for the Forbes' list – this is big!” Carmichael said in a press release. "My guiding mission is to elevate the social and economic fabric of every neighbourhood I enter – to give students, educators, and organizations practical strategies to make a difference in their lives, schools, business, and communities."

Carmichael grew up in the Toronto housing projects and has now dedicated his life to advocating for Black and racialized youth in low-income communities locally and globally. In 2017, he biked across Canada and raised $100,000 for Toronto Community Housing after-school programs.

Al-Shawaf is honoured in the retail and e-commerce category. He is the co-founder of Makeship, which helps influencers design, promote, and sell custom merchandise. 

The company – which started four years ago in China and is now based in Vancouver – has worked with more than a thousand content creators to bring their products to life. Profits are split, helping partners build the financial means to pursue their dreams. Makeshift had projected earnings of $16 million for 2022. 

“I’ve always thought something like Forbes 30 Under 30 is really out of reach, but I’m excited to share this honour with the people that really made it happen – my co-founders, Wang Tao and Pablo Eder, and the incredible team at Makeship,” Al-Shawaf said in an Instagram post.