Every year, The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme recognizes and celebrates exceptional young people aged 18 to 29 in the Commonwealth who are driving change within their communities and transforming people’s lives. This year 60 young people from across the Commonwealth were chosen and among them is Ajani Lebourne, a 19-year-old Saint Lucian.
Lebourne has been awarded for his advocacy and capacity building work towards the development of the student movement in Saint Lucia. Speaking with the STAR on the heels of his award announcement, Lebourne said “For years I have been an active advocate for quality and affordable education for students, student safety and the provision of equal opportunities for students at risk to thrive. I have collaborated with the Ministry of Education to host the first ever National Students Forum, which was held in October last year. In April I spearheaded a student leaders symposium to strengthen the advocacy skills of Student Council members and also to teach them the importance of school dynamics. I am also responsible for establishing the first student’s council at the SALCC southern extension and other groundwork to ensure the sustenance of school councils. All of which I am proud of.”
The young leader further stated that being active in these initiatives saw him rarely wasting time on a day-to-day basis. “I found myself leaving class for five to ten minutes to have interviews with media houses, going home during my breaks to send emails and doing late nights trying to finalize proposals, write letters and complete other documents. Nevertheless if it wasn’t schoolwork then it was council work and vice versa so I rarely wasted time in getting stuff done,” he said.
Though he plans on furthering his education in the field of civil Engineering, Lebourne said, “social work and the political arena are also dear to my heart.”
Ajani is set to receive his Award from Her Majesty The Queen at a ceremony in London next year.
“The award comes at a critical time as one of the major challenges for the movements I am involved in is sustainability. This award qualifies me for enrollment into a year long Leading Change course which will help me to implement better programs to champion the cause of students,” he added.