Saint Lu­cian to re­ceive spe­cial award from Her Majesty The Queen

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By An­gel­ica O' Donoghue- Holder

Every year, The Queen's Young Lead­ers Pro­gramme rec­og­nizes and cel­e­brates ex­cep­tional young peo­ple aged 18 to 29 in the Com­mon­wealth who are driv­ing change within their communities and trans­form­ing peo­ple's lives. This year 60 young peo­ple from across the Com­mon­wealth were cho­sen and among them is Ajani Le­bourne, a 19-year-old Saint Lu­cian.

Le­bourne has been awarded for his ad­vo­cacy and ca­pac­ity build­ing work to­wards the de­vel­op­ment of the stu­dent move­ment in Saint Lu­cia. Speak­ing with the STAR on the heels of his award an­nounce­ment, Le­bourne said “For years I have been an ac­tive ad­vo­cate for qual­ity and af­ford­able ed­u­ca­tion for stu­dents, stu­dent safety and the pro­vi­sion of equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents at risk to thrive. I have col­lab­o­rated with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion to host the first ever Na­tional Stu­dents Fo­rum, which was held in Oc­to­ber last year. In April I spear­headed a stu­dent lead­ers sym­po­sium to strengthen the ad­vo­cacy skills of Stu­dent Coun­cil mem­bers and also to teach them the im­por­tance of school dy­nam­ics. I am also re­spon­si­ble for es­tab­lish­ing the first stu­dent's coun­cil at the SALCC south­ern ex­ten­sion and other ground­work to en­sure the sus­te­nance of school coun­cils. All of which I am proud of.”

The young leader fur­ther stated that be­ing ac­tive in th­ese ini­tia­tives saw him rarely wast­ing time on a day-to-day ba­sis. “I found my­self leaving class for five to ten min­utes to have in­ter­views with me­dia houses, go­ing home dur­ing my breaks to send emails and do­ing late nights try­ing to fi­nal­ize pro­pos­als, write let­ters and com­plete other doc­u­ments. Nev­er­the­less if it wasn't school­work then it was coun­cil work and vice versa so I rarely wasted time in get­ting stuff done,” he said.

Though he plans on fur­ther­ing his ed­u­ca­tion in the field of civil En­gi­neer­ing, Le­bourne said, “so­cial work and the po­lit­i­cal arena are also dear to my heart.”

Ajani is set to re­ceive his Award from Her Majesty The Queen at a cer­e­mony in Lon­don next year.

“The award comes at a crit­i­cal time as one of the ma­jor chal­lenges for the move­ments I am in­volved in is sus­tain­abil­ity. This award qual­i­fies me for en­roll­ment into a year long Lead­ing Change course which will help me to im­ple­ment bet­ter pro­grams to cham­pion the cause of stu­dents,” he added.

Ajani Le­bourne is one of 60 young peo­ple across the globe who will re­ceive a spe­cial young lead­ers award from Her Majesty The Queen of Eng­land.

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