Teenage volunteer who gives pupils ‘confidence to be who they are’ nominated for Young Citizen Award

Student Mia Sands has been nominated for the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award

Student Mia Sands has been nominated for the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award - Credit: Archant

A community-minded student who strives to give pupils “the confidence to be who they are”, has been nominated for an award.

Seventeen-year-old Mia Sands, who goes to King Solomon High School, Forest Road, Barkingside, has been nominated for the Exchange Ilford-sponsored Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award by teacher Denise Wynne.

“My parents always taught me how important it is to give back to your community,” said Mia.

The teenager is vice-chairman of Jewish youth movement Bnei Akiva at her local centre in Ilford.

As well as planning meetings, she also organises fun activities and oversees programmes for youngsters aged six to 16.


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When she leaves school in July, she plans to take a gap year with Bnei Akiva to teach and lead young children in Israel.

She also leads children’s services at Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue, Limes Avenue, Chigwell, volunteers with Chigs youth club and every week visits Ilford Jewish Primary School, Forest Road, to help with literacy, art and Jewish studies.

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“For me, it’s all about giving pupils the confidence to be who they are, and when I volunteer at the school I love telling the children ‘well done’,” she said.

Mia has won the Jack Petchey Award for her “outstanding work and active participation in the local community and school environment”, for the second time.

The teenager hopes to become a primary school teacher in the future.

She added she was “incredibly honoured” to be a nominee for the Young Citizen Award.

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