Jessica Whelan from YMCA Cardiff has conquered strong competition to be crowned Young Achiever of the Year at the leading charity’s national youth awards ceremony on Friday 8th November.
Jessica, 18 from Cardiff North triumphed over two other inspiring young people at the Youth Matters 2019 awards ceremony, which was held at exclusive central London venue 8 Northumberland Avenue, and hosted by acclaimed broadcaster and TV presenter Nihal Arthanayake.
The Young Achiever of the Year Award recognises the exceptional achievements of a young person who has overcome significant obstacles to make a real difference to their lives and their community.
Jessica was one of three young people to get through to the awards night after battling through judges’ shortlisting and an online public vote.
She was praised by judges for her compassion and determination, acting as a young carer for her mother, father and older sister, while also maintaining her own social and educational goals, which most recently included enrolment in a child nursing course at university. Jess has been a rock to her family and is a role model to young carers and her peers.
On winning the award, Jess said: “I am really excited to have won such a significant award. Even reaching the final stage was overwhelming.
“My life has changed so much since getting involved with YMCA and I appreciate everyone who has supported me. Thank you to everyone who made this night possible.”
“When I read Amber’s and Jordan’s story I thought that we should all be up on this stage. Even though I won, tonight everyone is winner.”
Youth Matters is YMCA’s national awards programme that has been an integral part of the charity’s calendar since 2009. It celebrates the outstanding skills and achievements of young people from across the country and also recognises the vital work that YMCAs deliver every day.
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