Student leaders are making a difference at St Albans college

Oaklands students nominated for a YOPEY

Oaklands students nominated for a YOPEY - Credit: Archant

A group of St Albans students have received top marks for making a difference to the lives of thousands of their peers across the county.

Herts YOPEY 2015

Herts YOPEY 2015 - Credit: Archant

After campaigning for safety measures, organising an end-of-year social and encouraging their colleagues to register and vote in the General Election, Oaklands College students have been nominated for the Young People of the Year (YOPEY) competition, which recognises and rewards positive role models in society aged between 10 and 25.

Leaders of the Students’ Union at Oaklands, President Luke McConnell, Vice-Presidents Josh Whitehead and Corey Edmund, and colleagues Jessica Lacer, Tanya Gambian, Jake Johansen, Shane Culver and Craig Young were nominated by college student co-ordinator Jenny Scoot for making a difference and helping others.

Jenny said: “The idea was to represent what the students wanted and to support their peers, culminating in a ‘You Said – We Did’ campaign demonstrating what action had been taken in response to concerns.

“One priority was to start a campaign for a pedestrian crossing outside the campus in St Albans, as there was not one in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the college on the busy Hatfield Road. The leaders distributed flyers and set up an e-petition to present the local council and ask for a crossing.”

The student leaders also supported and promoted the ‘FE’ games between four Herts colleges which involved arranging a basketball match with teachers, encouraging greater participation in sport, and organised the first ever Summer Ball for the 10,000 full and part-time further education students that attend Oaklands College.

The Oaklands leaders were represented at the National Union of Students Conference where 18 year old student Luke, who studies a BTE in Sports and Exercise Science, said: “We wanted not to be there just as an institution, but to actually achieve things.

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“We wanted to make sure that student voices counted at the General Election, particularly because of the issue of fees. We felt it was important for students to exercise their democratic right as it’s going to affect us.”

The Smith-Milne Young People of the Year, which has more than £1,000 to be won by young people who give to others, will crown at least two Herts winners, a senior YOPEY aged 18-25 and a junior YOPEY aged 10-17.

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing said: “Well done to these student leaders for taking the initiative and organising various events for the benefit of their colleagues.”

To nominate a Young Person of the Year click here. Entries close on September 11. This year’s Herts YOPEYs are sponsored by Hatfield Mitsubishi Electric, Orange Amplification of Borehamwood, Johnson Matthew of Royston and Runwood Homes.