Leeds West Academy

Rotary Awards Winners

On Monday 16th January the Leeds Rotary Club presented their prestigious Young Citizen Awards to 20 young people from schools, colleges, academies and Youth Organisations from across the region.

The ceremony exists to recognise and honour shining examples of what young people of today are doing for their families, schools, fellow students and communities. Leeds West Academy students Jessica and Kennady were honoured with two such awards. The students were given certificates by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Gerry Harper, in addition to books donated by Chef Works Europe Ltd.

Jessica is in Intermediate School and is a true inspiration to everyone. She suffers from a severe form of arthritis - Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), which means that she is in constant pain and more often than not, has to use crutches or her wheelchair to move around school. Jessica attends her lessons with a smile on her face and arrives on time with outstanding punctuality. Her arthritis frequently brings her new problems; initially the pain was in her legs and feet, but now she experiences severe pain in her hands too. Despite this, Jessica enjoys participating in PE when possible and works extremely hard in all her lessons. Jessica has great friends in school and is an excellent ambassador, not just for her year group, but for the whole Academy.

Kennady, who is in Foundation School, was nominated for her tremendous success with her dancing and again is a real inspiration to everyone with her dedication, commitment and determination. When Kennady received 97 Honours on her freestyle dance exam, she was put through to the IDTA Scholarships from more than 5000 potential candidates. Kennady was entered into the Class A – Under 14 Years Category. At 11 years old, Kennady won the Anna Jones Award for Outstanding Potential and brought home a trophy and a £50 cheque to help further her dance career. Reflecting on her success, Kennady said: “It’s a great honour.”

Lesley Hastings, Chair of Youth Opportunities at Rotary Club of Leeds, said: "These are just a few examples of the great enterprise and commitment shown by our young people. If you hear people moan on about the vandals and hooligans among the youth of today just remember there are a lot of great youngsters out there doing tremendous work for their schools, colleges, academies and communities and they are our future."