Gallery - The 10 faces in the running for the Recorder Young Citizen Award
PUBLISHED: 13:07 25 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:08 25 January 2013
On Saturday night, one of 10 nominees will be honoured with the Young Citizen Award at Redbridge Town Hall.
From a 14-year-old who helps disabled people on adventure weekends to a wannabe youth worker who set up her own boxing club, judges will pick an overall winner of the Exchange Ilford-sponsored Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club award.
Read below why these 10 monthly winners show the best of what Redbridge youth can do and click on our gallery above.
March - Jonathan Kabamba
Jonathan Kabamba, of Chadwell Heath, better known as rapper Rychus Ryter, was nominated in March for spreading a message of hope through music and visiting hospitals to speak to patients.
And since his nomination, his good deeds have featured in the Recorder on numerous occasions.
In June, he organised a charity football tournament and in September, we reported on how he had helped his friend Sila Misambu, 29, to turn his back on a life of crime.
Rychus also co-wrote and recorded a tribute song to his lost friend 18-year-old Louis Mafienga, a former pupil at The Palmer Catholic Academy in Aldborough Road South, Seven Kings, who died in his sleep in November.
April - Sam Kean
Sam cheated death when he fell five storeys from the balcony of a friend’s flat but suffered horrendous injuries and was in a coma for 22 days.
He had head injuries, a fractured pelvis, punctured lungs and broken elbows and ankles, but one year later he ran the Belfast Marathon to repay the doctors who saved his life.
Sam, of Auckland Road, Ilford, raised £2,225 for the Imperial College Healthcare Charity.
May - Akil Yearwood
Akil Yearwood, 16, was picked as a monthly winner for his charming character and his love of music, which he uses to motivate other young people.
The youngster of Eastern Avenue, Redbridge, overcame the deaths of his grandparents and uncle.
He also has the neurological condition Tourette’s syndrome which causes involuntary tics and noises.
The student at Beal High School in Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge, threw himself into music, learning the drums and keyboard and playing with a Hackney steel band.
His grandmother, Glenda Yearwood, who nominated him, said: “He always creates a good atmosphere wherever he goes.”
June - Tarun O’Dedra
A committed fundraiser who has been on charity walks since he took his first steps was the June winner.
Tarun O’Dedra, of Ramsgill Drive, Newbury Park, has raised hundreds of pounds for good causes through the Hindu temple his family visits in Neasden and also earned two Blue Peter badges for championing recycling.
He has completed 20km fundraising walks and took part in a 10km challenge in April to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
July - Sarah Smith
Hardworking sixth-former Sarah Smith, 17, of Flora Gardens, Chadwell Heath, spends all her spare time teaching others to dance.
Our July nominee put on her own show called Off the Wall at her school, Chadwell Heath Academy in Christie Gardens, to raise money to buy costumes and to arrange transport to and from competitions.
The student, who was nominated by a friend, also gives up time after lessons to teach fellow pupils dance for free.
August - Kiranjit Dhillon
Our August winner Kiranjit Dhillon was so inspired when she learned how to box with a world champion that she set up her own club.
The former Beal High School pupil, who lives in Valentines Road, Ilford, learned the tricks of the trade with Colin McMillan, a retired featherweight boxer who won British, Commonwealth and world titles.
She took her knowledge to the Frenford Clubs for Young People in Ilford, where she teaches non-contact boxing to other young people.
September - Abbie Brill
A 16-year-old battled through her own physical pain to set up a support group for others with the rare condition.
Abbie Brill, of Mount Pleasant Road, Chigwell, wanted to help others with complex regional pain syndrome, which leaves her in constant pain.
She also made a YouTube video explaining the progressive disease and gained GCSEs despite being in hospital for nine months while studying.
October - Omar Carney
Omar Carney is in the running for the annual award after helping classmates to follow their dreams of becoming doctors.
The pupil founded a medical society at Chadwell Heath Academy in Christie Gardens to give pupils tips on getting into medicine and arranged visits from GPs.
Omar, of Arandora Crescent, Chadwell Heath, hopes to work for the World Health Organisation.
November - Eileen O’Connor
“Remarkable young woman” Eileen O’Connor was chosen for giving up her time to help her neighbours and an elderly woman she’d never met.
The Beal High School pupil, who lives in Ethelbert Gardens, Gants Hill, was dealing with her own heartbreak after her brother Warren, 21, died in a car crash in 2011.
She still made time to help neighbours Janet and Colin Foster and to send gifts and letters to 91-year-old Theresa Williams.
December - Gregory Wade
Our final nominee Gregory Wade, 14, of Denham Drive, Gants Hill, gladly gives up his spare time to help young disabled people take part in adventure weekends.
The pupil of Oaks Park High School, Oaks Lane, Newbury Park, spends at least one weekend a month at the Lambourne End Outdoor Centre in Essex tackling challenges from zip wires to rock climbing.
Amy Jenkins, who nominated him, said: “He demonstrates skills of a highly qualified practitioner.”
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