Young Citizen: Newbury Park teenager selected for UK's first degree in 'social change'
PUBLISHED: 14:29 03 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:29 03 October 2019
A teenager from Newbury Park who hopes to help end knife crime and youth violence after being selected for the UK's first degree in "social change" is this week's Recorder/Rotary Young Citizen Nominee.
Adarsh Ramchurn, 18, is among 13 students to be paired with major charities for the study-apprenticeship programme aimed at creating a new generation of charity leaders.
Degree apprentices split their time between university study and the workplace, and are employed throughout their studies by the charity.
Adarsh has been paired with the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and he's kicked off his placement writing a blog about getting BAME people into leadership roles.
Other charities which have signed up to take on the degree apprentices include WaterAid, Alzheimer's Society, Action for Children and the Scouts, which have co-designed the curriculum.
Adarsh said: "I hope that Ilford becomes better in terms of the way we treat each other. I hope we can try to reduce knife crime and youth violence as much as possible and improve education for young people.
"Also, we don't talk about it much, but lots of people get kicked out of school. There should be better support for them. I knew a guy from school who got excluded and life has been really difficult for him afterwards. It's had a knock-on effect on his career and aspirations. You should always want the best for other people.
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"We need more awareness of the consequences of your actions - we need to career-orient people. If people know that they could be doing the career they want, they will be less likely to fall into bad habits.
"My goal is to inspire everyone, but especially Asian people. I feel like there are groups of us who are settled to just do the norm, not to push yourself to achieve great things, because a lot of Asian people have the perception that you won't get to the top.
"I want to change that mentality and inspire people to do good things."
The first of its kind, the programme aims to encourage talent to the social sector, and gives apprentices zero student debt, up to four year's work experience, a competitive salary and a potentially guaranteed job at the end of their degree.
The Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough, run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club.
A monthly winner will be chosen from the nominees, the finalists will be invited to the Mayor's Community Awards night in March and the overall winner will be announced.
The winner will receive £100 from Redbridge Rotary Club and will, along with the runner-up, go through to the national Young Citizens final run by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.
You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing email@example.com.