Why Ella is an inspiration to us all
What an amazing Olympics in Rio! Were you inspired? Perhaps, like me, you are a little too old to take up a new sport. However I get my inspiration through Rotary. It is equally inspiring helping others achieve their potential.
Last week I wrote about our Rotary Young Leadership Award (RYLA) and how it develops future leaders. My story below illustrates the difference the course can make.
Ella McKenzie was the St Ives Club RYLA candidate last year. Since completing course she has become a bit of a superstar, receiving The Queen’s Young Leaders Award, a tremendous achievement.
Ella is one of the country’s unsung heroes – a young carer. She cares for her mum and brother, attends Cambridge Regional College and also works part time in St Ives for The Carers Trust. Ella’s future is bright. Alongside the other successful nominees from all over the Commonwealth, she will undertake a year’s course at Cambridge Univer- sity, designed to enhance her potential as a young leader. She will have the opportunity to mix with her peers from many different cultural backgrounds and will also be given the chance to bring a young person’s views to prominence – the group has seminars scheduled at 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister. Oh, and yes, there is an afternoon reception with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace. Ella even had her own ten minute slot on BBC2 during the live showing of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration programme when she described the young carers support project she set up.
St Ives Rotarian Sally Heffer said: “The award is part of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme and celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others, making a lasting difference in their community. This year there were 20,000 nominations from across the Commonwealth and 60 young people were chosen to be recognised by Her Majesty. Only three of the recipients are from the UK and we are delighted that Ella McKenzie is one of the three. The Carers’ Trust UK nominated Ella, she was the only carer selected by the Award body. The award is for exceptional leaders and Ella was described as ‘inspirational’ by the Award panel.”
Well done Ella - brilliant stuff. How could anyone fail to be inspired to hear your story! Could Rotary help you get inspired? Contact me for details.