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Podcast Presents Nominees for UPF-UK 2024 Young Achiever Award

London, United Kingdom – The inaugural UPF-UK Young Achiever Podcast was broadcast on February 10, 2024. Five nominees for the prestigious Young Achiever Award were interviewed by Israel Johnson, a final-year student from Warwick University and 2023 Young Achiever.

For over 12 years, the UPF-UK Young Achiever Awards, presented at the UK Parliament, have been a beacon of recognition for outstanding individuals. The project is a collaborative effort with UPF’s Ambassadors for Peace network, who help identify young achievers who embody the values of selfless service and dedication to their communities.

Ahead of the award presentation, which will take place in July, the podcast introduced the five nominees to the public. The questions delved into their commendable community, charitable, or humanitarian work, exploring their motivations, the challenges they encountered, and reflections on their accomplishments.

Israel Johnson first interviewed Tariq Brown, who is a careers officer and cultural leader. He uses his experiences, poetry, and writing to guide and motivate young minds at his university. He said that “failure was a redirection” for him after he realized his first choice of university was a mistake. He later started fresh and gained experience to bolster his business degree through work placements in Malaysia, Malta and Abu Dhabi. In mentoring students, Tariq stresses personal development as well as career development.

The second interviewee was Zenab Shehzadi, who is passionate about gender equality and an advocate of diversity. Zenab is a mentor, tutor and diversity minister at university. She is a vocal role model who enjoys studying history and has won debates at Cambridge University and other prestigious venues. Zenab wants to make a difference by becoming a lawyer, as she believes she must “work for peace, harmony and diversity.”

The third guest, Matthew Johnson, is a first-year student at Warwick University. He was on the council for the prestigious, student-run international forum, the Warwick Economic Summit, where he served as an MC. In high school he mentored and tutored under-performing students, and served as managing director of his school’s Young Enterprise Company. He and a team created an app and partnered with 50 businesses to place students in local jobs, winning several awards for this project.

The fourth guest, Foujia Begum, comes from an immigrant family. She said, “Being an immigrant is empowering as it challenges you to learn about a new society.” She also said that, as a person of color, she can inspire and help motivate struggling youth. Fujia uses poetry, drama and performance to share stories about struggle and violence in society. She works as a mentor to help young immigrants overcome language barriers and find assistance through charities. She also wants to become a lawyer.

The last interviewee, Rhoslyn Singh, is an artist whose drawings and watercolors have been exhibited around the world. Rhoslyn supports three societies – one for Nepali residents, one promoting marketing and investment, and one for engineering – where she assists women to fulfill their ambitions in their communities. Rhoslyn’s art is inspired by her father, who is also an artist.

Israel Johnson concluded the event by stressing that positive change can take place through youth who are motivated and encouraged by inspiring events such as this.

By Rehana Ali, International Activities Officer, UPF-United Kingdom February 10, 2024


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