823. Queena Lee
Queena Lee, aged 18, from Cardiff, has recruited and managed 90 student volunteers at her sixth form college while undertaking her A-Level studies, to support the local charity ‘All Communities Engaged.’
The organisation supports the education of disadvantaged children and young people across Cardiff, particularly for students who have English as their second language. By galvanising her fellow students and inspiring them to volunteer, Queena has been instrumental to the charity’s success in her college by coordinating GCSE revision and homework drop-in sessions as well as tailored one-to-one support for the students. Her work is helping vulnerable members of the community, including refugees and asylum seekers, by building their confidence both academically and personally.
In a personal letter to Queena, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your volunteering with ‘All Communities Engaged’ has been instrumental to its success in your sixth form college and you should be especially proud of achieving this alongside your A-Level studies. By inspiring 90 fellow students to volunteer for the charity, you have had a hugely positive impact on disadvantaged children and young people in your local community, in particular those who speak English as a second language.”
Gerald Puttock, Chief Executive of ‘All Communities Engaged’, said:
“Since we opened our free homework clubs for the less advantaged children in Cardiff, in February 2010, over 250 adults have volunteered their time to help the young people by boosting their confidence and thereby raising their academic aspirations. Many of the volunteers plan a career in the teaching profession but others, such as Queena, just want to help others less fortunate than themselves.
In any volunteer community there are obviously some that stand out from the crowd. I would put Queena in the top five of this list. She is very efficient, committed, totally trustworthy, goes beyond what we ask of her and, together with these qualities, is a thoroughly likeable person. It is right that she is included on the Points of Light roll.”
“It’s truly an honour to be able to accept this award on behalf of ‘All Communities Engaged (ACE)’ Cardiff, Cardiff Sixth Form College and the extremely driven young people of the Cardiff area. Starting this journey as a volunteer 3 years ago, I really wouldn’t have dreamed of becoming involved so heavily with ‘ACE’ Cardiff, let alone helping to facilitate a partnership that has now seen the lives of so many young people’s lives changed for the better. It has really been a pleasure working with so many talented and driven individuals to create a platform where young people are encouraged to both share their passions for learning and to achieve their dreams despite perceived socioeconomic barriers. I hope that accepting this award not only recognises the culmination of the hard work of all of those that I’ve worked with but shines a light on the importance of breaking barriers to quality education.”