Young Ambassador Of The Year

young ambassador of the year winner Chelsea GibsonWhat 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?

Darren Mc Donald from Carlow was chosen as Young Ambassador of the Year at the District 133 Final held in the Carlton Hotel, Dublin on Saturday 20th. January. He will now go on to represent District 133 at the Multiple District final in the UK and the European Final of the competition in Skopje, Macedonia next October Each of the contestants was presented with a small trophy by District Governor Teresa Dinneen as a momento of the occasion. Young Ambassador Darren also received the Tom Farmer Perpetual Trophy. Darren (18) from Tullow, Co. Carlow, is a 6th. year student at Tullow Community School. He is very actively involved in improving the welfare of his community. He volunteers within his Parish, is a regular visitor to the local day care centre for elderly people, is Chairperson of his local youth club and is a dedicated fundraiser for St Laserian School, Carlow, a school for children with special needs. His project, towards which he intends to put his winner’s bursary of €600, is a fundraising programme to raise €6,000 to part-fund a new wheelchair accessible mini-bus for St Laserians School. Other elements of the programme which he has planned include, a non-uniform day in his own school, a bag-pack in a local supermarket, a “dance for diversity” in the local rugby club, a Duck Race in the River Slaney and a Dog Show. We wish Darren every success in representing District 133 in the UK and Macedonia

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 bokeeffe6@gmail.com.