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Proving kids can be good citizens
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
CAMPAIGNING kids who took the voice of South London youth to the White House have been nominated for an Our Heroes award.
Young Citizens of Prendergast was founded by pupils from Prendergast Ladywell Fields College in Manwood Road, Brockley, in 2009.
It was set up as a campaigning group that would allow its members to be heard in the community.
Young Citizens of Prendergast was founded by 14-year-olds Onose Obanokho, Daniel Mensah and Rochan Jackson and now has 100 members.
In August, four members visited the White House at the invitation of President Barack Obama’s mentor Arnie Graf, who they had met when they won the Citizens UK School of the Year award in December.
They have now been nominated for an Our Heroes Award as part of our campaign to recognise the achievements of people in the community.
Teacher Simon Jones nominated them and accompanies them to events and on trips.
He said: “I think they have given young people the belief that they can have a genuine voice in their community.
“It’s enabled the community to see that most young people are actually very positive role models.
“That’s particularly important at the moment, after all the trouble this summer.
“It’s given the whole school the belief that anything is possible.
“We are a typical school in London – yet four girls managed to get into the White House. We’re very proud of them.”
Mr Jones said the group’s members spent up to 15 hours a week before or after school working on different projects.
The pupils raised the £5,000 needed to fund their trip to US through activities, including washing cars.
They returned on August 23 having spent two weeks volunteering with community groups and churches in Baltimore.
They worked with Mr Graf’s organisation International Areas Foundation, which supports community groups around the world. The Young Citizens have also worked with the Lee-based family of teenage murder victim Jimmy Mizen in setting up CitySafe Havens.
Under the scheme, shops and public buildings offer young people a place of shelter if they are in danger.
They have also run anti-litter and road safety campaigns and set up a youth club known as the Walk-In Space at The Undercroft and St Hilda’s Hall in Courtrai Road, Crofton Park, where they run monthly entertainment for young people.
Their story has been sent to the judges along with all the other nominations.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony taking place at the South Bank headquarters of the award sponsors, Shell, on November 15.
Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Other Our Heroes Awards 2011:
Sir Ray Tindle
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