Young Ambassador Of The Year

young ambassador of the year winnerWhat is the Lions Young Ambassador of the 21st Century Award programme?

The Lions Young Ambassador of the 21st Century Award programme, which operates throughout Europe, is part of the Lions Opportunities for Youth initiative. It is a competition that recognises young people (between the ages of 15 and 19) for their outstanding community service involvement, leadership accomplishments, and their speaking ability.  The programme encourages young people to see community service as an integral part of leadership skills. By celebrating achievement alongside community service young people begin to understand the importance of clubs such as Lions and our motto “We Serve”.  The programme is looking for leaders of the future with an emphasis on community service as being part of that leadership.

How is the Award programme operated?

In Ireland the programme starts with individual Lions clubs selecting their candidate through local competition based on application forms and interview. The winners progress to a Zone final and this is followed by a District Final in Dublin to select District 133’s Young Ambassador. The District winner receives a trophy and a bursary of €600 to be used for a community project. She/he also participates in a Finals Weekend in the UK (in Feb 2018) to gain initial international experience and, later, represents our District at the Europa Forum in a European city (in 2018 this will be held in Skopje, Macedonia, in Oct 2018) – expenses paid for both.

What benefits does the programme offer Young People?

The Young Ambassadors Award programme offers young people the following benefits :

  • It encourages them to seek experience in community involvement, leadership and public speaking.
  • It broadens awareness of community service opportunities and organisations.
  • It sharpens their interview and communication skills.
  • It recognizes the value of their achievements.

What are the benefits for Lions?

The Young Ambassadors Award programme offers Lions these benefits:

  • It furthers the Lions ideals, by encouraging young people to pursue community service involvement.
  • It renews Club members’ enthusiasm and commitment to youth and service, though exposure to committed, enthusiastic young leaders in our communities.
  • It strengthens public awareness of Lions and their youth and service initiatives.
  • It introduces young people to future service and leadership opportunities.

Who is our current Young Ambassador?

District 133’s Young Ambassador for 2016/17 is Chelsea Gibson who was sponsored by Cashel Lions Club. Chelsea (18) was selected at the District Final in January by a judging panel consisting of Mr Bryan Dobson of RTE, Senator Gerard Craughwell, and Ms Cliona O’Keeffe, Principal Our Lady’s Boys School, Ballinteer, Dublin.  Chelsea is involved in a wide range of community organisations, including: The Order of Malta – Senior Member, Cashel Neighbouhood Youth Project – Junior Leader, National Youth Action Group – Junior Board of Management, and Irish Youth Music Awards – Organiser.

In every case she aims to achieve a leadership role and pursues ongoing training and experience. She also has a range of social interests and hobbies, including swimming, walking, writing poetry, travel, and foreign languages. Since the District Finals Chelsea has achieved her aim of gaining a place in college to study nursing. She says that she has really enjoyed  her Young Ambassador experience to date and that in the future she would like to be a Lion herself.

Where can I get more information about the Young Ambassadors Award programme?

You will find detailed information, including application forms, in the attached documents. You can also contact our District Young Ambassador Award Officer, Brian O’Keeffe, at [email protected].