Young Citizen: Goodmayes teenager inspires others to achieve full potential

PUBLISHED: 15:34 09 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:44 09 September 2016

Young Citizen nominee Joy Mbugua, of Goodmayes

Young Citizen nominee Joy Mbugua, of Goodmayes


With BBC One’s The Apprentice set to return to TV screens in October, a church decided to hold its own version of the popular show.

Around 46 teenagers from City Gates Church, Clements Road, Ilford, took part in the fortnight-long competition last month, but Joy Mbugua, 18, of Goodmayes, shone through in an unexpected way.

Although the teenage team leader did not win the competition, her pleasant approach inspired generous shoppers to donate cash, while taking part in a task called “double your money”.

She said: “The task was to make money [by selling items on a market stall in High Road, Ilford]. People didn’t have time to stop and look at what we were selling but our energy made them want to give what they could.”

Joy also donates much of her free time to carrying out youth ministry work with her church, encouraging other young people to join in its positive activities.

Her helpful nature has led to her being nominated for a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen award by youth pastor Daniel Shillingford.

“The teen ministry is a good place to be,” she said.

“Especially on a Friday [night] because there’s a lot of chaos happening these days.

“In terms of young people, there’s gangs, stabbings, but if we get these young people off the street and into a positive place it can help them grow.”

The youngster was surprised to learn of her nomination, but spared no time in passing the credit on to a higher power.

“I can only thank God because I wouldn’t be here without him or the support of the church,” she said.

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