Wow, what a fantastic evening we had at The Oxfordshire Youth Awards!
Here are the winners, selected by our Youth Committee, out of the hundreds of nominations received:
Pride of Oxfordshire Award
1st – Mya Harris
Mya is a truly exceptional and inspirational young lady. She is resilient in her courage and strength of character that she shows. She was born with Spina bifida, and has never let her disability get her down. She shows true bravery as she has endured many operations since she was born. She has been an inspirational ambassador for the Oxford children’s hospital, supporting and raising awareness about its fundraising. In 2012 she starred in a short promotional video to advertise the 10th OX5 fun run, the results of which saw a record number of participants take part, that raised over £60,000.
Runners Up: Isaac Jordan, Isabel Goves
Arts Superstar Award
1st – Amber-Lauren Ballantyne-Styles
Amber is an amazing young artist. She was encouraged at an early age to express herself on paper. At 11 she left mainstream education and was home schooled where she gained handful of GCSE’s and an AS in Art and Photography. At 15 she was accepted in to the Oxford & Cherwell Valley college where she was awarded 3 distinctions for her art & design and obtained a merit for her one year foundation. Instead of going onto university she decided to forge ahead with her business and is immensely proud that earlier this month her business was officially backed and supported by the Princes Trust. She is an amazing mentor and an inspiration to all.
Runners Up: Isaac Stuart, Charles Kagunda, Leona Sianga
Inspirational Entrepreneur Award
1st Place – Morgan Williams
Morgan is a young man who used to be very isolated and spent much of his time playing computer games. He did not really engage in education or social activities. Since working with Thrive in Barton, he engages with other young people and is developing new interests. One of the things he realised is that there aren’t many opportunities for people to find work in Barton, and that less than half the adults he knows have jobs. So he was challenged to step out from that stereotype and achieve something with his life. Very quickly goal setting became much more about the future, with him wanting to develop as a businessman. He came up with the idea of developing pop up restaurants that he could run at community and school events, and has since run 3 events. He gave away 100% of the profit away to those who face hardship people face in the Philippines.
Runners Up: Joyce Lo, Amy Alden
Young Einstein Award
1st: Athena Martin
Athena is a young lady who completed a Nuffield Research Placement in Summer 2013. Her 4 week research placement was at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, where she worked in the Entomological Collections team. During her placement, she found the Amazon Dismorphia butterly which had been collected by the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace that had remained undiscovered and unacknowledged within the museum since the end of the 19th century. This discovery has since been described as “priceless” by the museum and was featured in both local and national press.
Runners Up: Phoenix Sremevic, Amy Alden
Community Champion Award
1st: Honor Boyle
Honor is an impressive young lady, who for the past few years has volunteered in her local produce market and café that takes place every Saturday morning in her village hall. She is the only teenager who volunteers, her energy and commitment are striking. She works with enthusiasm and respect alongside her older colleagues. At Christmas she raised funds in aid of Cystic Fibrosis by making beautiful Christmas wreaths and table decorations to order.
Runners Up: Cancer Resarch UK Row 2014, Isabel Goves
Sporting Achievements Award
1st: Eoin Hartwright
The winner of the Sports Achievement Award, went on an incredible journey. At only 16 years old, he has earned himself a place in the Guinness World Records as the youngest to row across the Atlantic. Whilst no one can take anything away from his team-mates and their part in the challenge, anyone who knows the story behind the last years events have nothing but the utmost respect/admiration for him & his determination to complete the challenge. Our winner got the inspiration back at the age of 12 when he heard a talk from Mick Dawson (who had previously rowed both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean) from that moment on it was his dream to do just that too…and he did, with the support of Mick!! His original team did not make it to the start line, then a 2nd team set off but the Skipper decided after 24 hours in to the row to turn round and return to port – this left him DEVASTATED, he came back to England determined to get back out to sea. AND he did just that, within two weeks of returning they formed the Atlantic Quad!
Runners Up: Thomas Everex-Armstrong, Flora King
Youth Project of The Year Award
1st: The Yellow Submarine Project
The winners of Youth Project of the Year are a social group for young adults with learning disabilities. It caters for persons aged 18 – 25, which sets it aside from many other providers in Oxfordshire. The group has a space where the members can socialise with their peers in a safe and welcoming environment
It is these life experiences and simple pleasures which are so often overlooked when a person has a disability. The varying needs of the attendees means that some sessions can be challenging, but the incredible sense of camaraderie between the members and tireless patience of the volunteers means that these sessions can be some of the most valuable and rewarding.
Runners Up: North Leigh Youth Club, Youth of Bicester
Jake Spicer Special Recognition Award
Winner: Maisie Norton
The winner of this years award is as young lady who has faced battling Cancer tumours twice in the last five years and has done so with dignity, determination and humour. She has currently been clear for 2 years and has leapt at the chance to help organise Wantage Standing Upto Cancer, which is a community event run in partnership with the town council that raises funds for Cancer Research UK.
She is in charge of administration, helps give assemblies to encourage students to get involved, helps on the day with general duties, as well as running the 5k. She has also raised a significant amount for Clic Sargent. She will also be helping organise the Wantage Moonlight Walk, which is another event for Clic Sargent . She always has a smile on her face and is a real pleasure to be around. She is passionate about raising funds so other youngsters can be helped and cured.