Steven Oram wants to celebrate young people’s talents
Proud and Gifted is a small not-for-profit organisation which showcases young people from diverse backgrounds who have achieved remarkable things at a young age.
We do this by awarding them a certificate and medal and by sharing their stories. Our special awards programme ‘Celebrating Young People’s Achievement’ was created as a response to the negative media coverage often given to young people.
Because we cannot avoid hearing about the growing number of gang and knife crime incidents in the UK, particularly in London, it makes it difficult to notice the young people who are working hard to secure a positive and successful future for themselves.
When I founded Proud and Gifted I decided to take a different approach by travelling around the country, acknowledging the success stories of young people from age nine to 25 years, awarding them certificates and medals and using social media to promote their achievements. The greatest feeling is seeing their faces light up – knowing that a seemingly small gesture can make such a huge difference is priceless!
I became an ‘appropriate adult’ in 2011, assisting and supporting juveniles and vulnerable people interviewed under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. The most rewarding part of this work is assisting someone in need during a difficult situation, watching as their look of hopelessness and desperation changes when they see that someone cares about them, no matter what they have been accused of.
It is important for adults to be as loud about youth excellence as they are about their failures, by reminding them they have a unique gift. We are all taught that with hard work and determination we can succeed, no matter the obstacles.
This platform is about encouraging young people to dare to dream and not be afraid to pursue those dreams enthusiastically.