A Young Leader form Trinity School in Carlise has recently completed the KS3 Young Leaders Award along with the rest of his year group.
Reflecting on his experience of learning about inspirational leaders like Martin Luther King Junior throughout the Young Leaders Award, he said:
“I have been inspired by Martin Luther King Junior; he was a powerful figure that did great things. He campaigned for civil rights in the 1950’s and 1960’s to fight for people’s rights. He wanted people to not be racist and for everyone to be equal.
I feel strongly about racism, there have been lots of protests recently ‘Black Matters’ because a lot of black people still aren’t treated fairly even today. I wish everyone could be treated equally and it doesn’t matter peoples skin colour is, they are still human beings that should be treated with respect, just as much as the next person.
He was resilient and didn’t give up. He was great at communicating to people which is a good leadership skill.”
Later on, thinking back on his experience of lockdown this year, he added:
“Key workers have been really busy at work, working extra-long hours and not seeing family or even getting ill themselves or having the worry that they were going to catch Covid and be ill. Communities have come together to try and help support people, people have been kinder to their neighbours, looking out for them and getting shopping for them.”
As part of the Young Leaders Award, pupils are challenged to think about ways in which they can support their local communities and put this into practice. For his community social action project, he wanted to support those who lived close by.
“The help that I gave to my community gave them hope. It made them realise that they weren’t alone. That there were people that cared about them and wanted to help them. They were all grateful when I did jobs for them from watering their turf, so it didn’t die when we had nice hot weather.
I got shopping for my neighbour next door who is in her 80’s and was vulnerable and shielding, and always stood and had a chat with her as I realised she was missing her family and friends not being able to see them. I washed my other neighbours’ car, and this helped them out too.”
Andrea Shore, teacher at Trinity School in Carlisle and leader of the YLA within the school said:
"Whilst we were not able to participate in the Give a Day activities as originally planned this year in the light of the Covid-19 outbreaks, we have been blown away by the creative way our year 8 students have worked tirelessly to be beacons of hope in our local Community. The list is endless but here are just a few: students have been …. donating treats and gifts to Key Workers in the NHS, baking cakes for neighbours, sending parcels to Grandparents, writing letters to keep people positive and company, delivering groceries to neighbours, painting rainbow art work on houses, washing cars and windows, gardening on community allotments and some also included playing musical instruments for retired people in their front gardens! They have indeed been Young Leaders who have made a difference!"
It is fantastic to see the difference being made to others’ lives by this young man. His reflection echoes the feelings and thoughts of many young people across the country. The example of inspirational leaders like Martin Luther King Junior and others are essential for young people to engage and connect with.
We have seen how important community is in such a crisis and the many ways people have come together, supporting, and helping others. During this different time, we must encourage young people to not be isolated or afraid of community, but instead keep connected, whilst identifying the needs of our community and finding ways to support them.
Now, more than ever, we must empower young people to believe that they can still make a difference and ‘be the change they want to see’.
Watch the video below to see what last year's Young Leaders from Trinity School got up to.