Jamaican Youth To Be Awarded Queen’s Young Leader

Jamaican, Abrahim Simmonds,  was received by Queen Elizabeth at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London as one of 60 young people from the Commonwealth who received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. Simmonds is the co-founder of the Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism (JAYECAN). The awards are given in recognition of exceptional young people between the ages of 18 and 29 who are changing their communities throughout the Commonwealth and bettering people’s lives. In 2017, the winners were recognized for working to support others, raise awareness and encourage change on many fronts, including bullying in schools, environmental protections, and promotion of gender equality. Simmonds, 23, was selected on the basis of his work using the arts to develop skills in young individuals. While visiting the UK, the winners participated in a program that includes networking opportunities, training sessions, and mentoring. The program is designed to help them in the development toward leadership that will have a growing impact on people’s lives. The winners visited 10 Downing Street, took part in master classes at the BBC World Service and met the Commonwealth Secretary General. Other activities included workshops at the University of Cambridge, meetings with top executives from leading UK organizations, and visits to projects impacting the lives of vulnerable populations in the UK. The Queen’s Young Leaders Program was created by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Comic Relief, and The Royal Commonwealth Society to honor the Queen’s 60 years of service. The program’s goal is to enable young people to become leaders who can improve the lives of people throughout the Commonwealth. The program was designed to last four years and will end in 2018.