Why Ella is an in­spi­ra­tion to us all

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Rotary Corner -

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.

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