We’re so incredibly proud of the Garforth Academy students involved in the Next Gen Leaders programme. The two Garforth Academy NextGenLeader teams ‘The Breaking Free Project’ and ‘Red Tape The Vape’ were recognised with awards at the recent regional celebration event.

The NextGenLeaders programme encourages students to develop employability skills through creating and implementing a student led social impact project.

300 Young people representing 16 schools across Yorkshire gathered at the regional celebration event hosted at the ASDA MCE in Leeds City Centre to present their projects to a large audience of adult judges and peers. Each project was inspirational and full of passion…the judges had a hard job!

‘The Breaking Free Project’ is a group of 5 Y10 students breaking down gender inequality through working with primary aged children to combat gender stereotypes linked to academic subjects and careers- their recent workshops have focused on raising the profile of STEM careers with girls.

‘Red Tape The Vape’ is a group of 5 students (Y10, Y12 and Y13). They’ve been campaigning for tighter legislation around the sale of vapes and aim to educate young people on the dangers of vaping.

The Breaking Free Project team came away with the ‘Gender Equality’ award, and Red Tape The Vape were recognised with the ‘Judges Choice’ award. Y12 student Sophie, from Red Tape the Vape, was commended for her hard work and commitment with a ‘Changemaker of the year’ award.

Lauren Llewellyn, Garforth Academy Careers Lead, comments:

“The students have been pushed out of their comfort zone but have embraced the unique experiences that the Next Gen Leaders programme offers. The biggest win for me isn’t the trophies, it’s that these incredible young people recognise that they’ve developed teamworking skills, presentation skills, confidence, communication skills, resilience and the ability to balance priorities- how amazing are their future applications going to be”.

The programme has also resulted in another success story which evidences the power of facilitating students to develop their professional network. A Y13 student who was part of the programme last year has been offered a Degree Apprenticeship accredited by Manchester University with one of the stakeholder organisations as a direct result of her involvement in Next Gen Leaders. Grace is looking forward to embarking on her Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship at ASDA HQ in Sept.

Congratulations to all involved!