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The Commonwealth Youth Awards

The Commonwealth Youth Awards

Queen’s Young Leaders play their part

Image above: From left to right – Tevin Shepherd, Angelique Pouponneau, Frances Brown, Jonathan Andrews and Ryan Hoppie

From being nominated, to judging and m-cing, Queen's Young Leaders played a big part at this year's Commonwealth Youth Awards – and they had a great time!

Jonathan Andrews was on his way home one day when he heard he’d been nominated for the Commonwealth Youth Awards. He’d been at a meeting of the Autism Exchange – a programme offering paid quality work experience to young people with autism which he helps to steer.

“I was incredibly pleased to have been nominated, and for my work to be recognised by the Commonwealth. I was pleasantly surprised, as I was aware that the UK, or indeed any European nation, had never been represented in the awards before.”

The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work celebrate the contribution young people are making towards achieving global development goals.

Every year an outstanding entrant is named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year, with regional awards given for Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Americas, Africa and Europe.

Jonathan was not the only Queen’s Young Leader to be involved in this year’s awards. Charles Batte from Uganda and Charles Immanuel Akhimien from Nigeria were also nominated. Tevin Shepherd was m-cing with Angelique Pouponneau, who was also on the judging panel.

Angelique described the job as “incredibly difficult” but said that was “the best thing” about it.

“Young people are doing outstanding things and impacting the communities. I liked that the job was so tough because it just meant that the quality was above standard!”

Tevin Shepherd and Angelique Pouponneau presenting

Tevin Shepherd and Angelique Pouponneau presenting the awards

After a drumroll, Krystle Reid was announced as the Young Person of the Year for the Commonwealth for her work for her work empowering young people with disabilities. Krystle was selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2014, and was a mentor on the Queen's Young Leaders Mentoring Programme in 2015.

Angelique says the reason Krystle's application stood out was the combination of her work for a marginalised group and her personal story.

"She is also part of a marginalised group and yet rising above that to make a difference for those who seldom have a voice.”

Jonathan Andrews describes the Awards as “a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of young people across our 52 nations”.

He added, “With 60% of the Commonwealth being aged under 30, the awards are very important in strengthening the bonds between younger generations in Commonwealth countries, and recognising we are the leaders of today as well as tomorrow.”

A dancer at the Commonwealth Youth Awards

Dancers and musicians from around the Commonwealth performed at the ceremony, showcasing our rich and diverse cultures.

Tevin Shepherd dances with the marimba band who performed at the awards

Tevin m-ceed at this year's awards, and was a finalist last year in 2016.

Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Scotland presents Jonathan Andrews with the award for his nomination at the Commonwealth Youth Awards on 15th March 2017.

“With 60% of the Commonwealth being aged under 30, the awards are very important in strengthening the bonds between younger generations in Commonwealth countries, and recognising we are the leaders of today as well as tomorrow.”

Jonathan Andrews

And the regional winners are...

Charles Lipenga, Africa and Europe

Jacqueline Joseph, The Pacific

Krystle Reid, Asia

Tricia Teekah, Caribbean and Canada