Five lessons I learnt during Residential Week by Angelique Pouponneau, Queen’s Young Leader 2016

Aug 15, 2016
Ben Parsons

Every one of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners is invited to take part in a residential programme in London. During the week the young people receive a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, including the chance to visit some of the UK’s top businesses and meet with representatives from social actions groups.

Here Angelique Pouponneau, the co-founder of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) Youth AIMS Hub Seychelles, which works to preserve the environment, shares some of the lessons she learnt during the week:

“The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme has revolutionised my way of thinking. I now have greater vision, more determination and perseverance to achieve that vision. I would like to share my top five lessons from the Queen’s Young Leaders Residential Week in London.

  1. At the BBC we learnt that when telling your story the opening sentence has to be captivating. I work in the area of climate change and by saying to people “I’m 26 years old and in 30 years’ time I could be homeless” I will grab their attention and help them to understand why I am so passionate about climate action through youth-led projects.
  2. In the crisis management role play session, which was facilitated by the leadership programme Uprising, we were reminded that we may be given roles, positions and titles, but that we should always be true to our values and ethics and not blindly take instructions.
  3. A talk on innovation during the week liberated my mind. I will always remember that we must not be so obsessed with getting things ‘right’ because we have been taught that this is the right answer, but rather to open our minds to new possibilities and allow our inner child to create and initiate.
  4. During a meeting with Baroness Scotland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, she told us that she was betting on the young people of the Commonwealth for a better future. As I looked around the room I knew we were all in good hands. I will not underestimate how much I can achieve and how much I should push myself to achieve.
  5. We often believe we are alone as youth leaders but throughout the week, as I looked at the other Queen’s Young Leaders around me, I knew that I was not alone and together we are making a world of difference.”

Angelique is one of 2016’s recipients of a Queen’s Young Leaders Award. The Award, which was presented by Her Majesty The Queen in June, 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 and make a lasting difference in the communities.

If you, or someone you know is doing exceptional work in your community, applications are now open for the Queen’s Young Leaders of 2017. Visit www.queensyoungleaders.com/apply-now

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