Young people set example

PUBLISHED: 10:52 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

YOUNG people from the district are being held up as a shining example after being awarded prizes for their involvement and work in the community. Five pupils from St Albans and Harpenden schools were presented with St Albans and Dacorum YOPEY (YOung PEopl

YOUNG people from the district are being held up as a shining example after being awarded prizes for their involvement and work in the community.

Five pupils from St Albans and Harpenden schools were presented with St Albans and Dacorum YOPEY (YOung PEople of the Year) awards at a ceremony in Hemel Hempstead.

The finalists were invited to describe to judges and a 200-strong audience how they had helped society.

The £250 runners-up prize was given to four 15 and 16-year-olds from St John Lawes School in Harpenden for their work in a link project between their school and another in Zambia, Africa.

Last year the students went to Ndeke School to give computer classes and mobile phones to the African pupils and then made a presentation on the trip at their own school.

Beth Barratt, of St Martins Close, and Heloise Smith, of Salisbury Road, both in Harpenden, Jim Thompson, of Codicote Road, Whitwell, and Caitlin Archer, of Lower Luton Road, Wheathampstead, were presented with the prize by St Albans Deputy Mayor Cllr Geoff Harrison.

Cllr Harrison said the four were drawing attention to underprivileged parts of the world while living in privileged Herts.

Emma Lander, a pupil of Townsend School in St Albans who runs a breakfast club for lonely children, won a laptop donated by IT company SkillsTrain, sponsors of YOPEY.

The winner of the overall £1,000 was Emma Speigler of Kings Langley, who overcame cannabis use and growing up with an alcoholic mother to set up a website for the children of parents with addictions.

The awards were set up by former national journalist Tony Gearing to help change the public's perception that young people are badly behaved.

Mr Gearing said at the ceremony that all the finalists were winners for helping to improve the image of young people today.

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