Katie Desmond, a Year 13 student at Noel-Baker Academy, was awarded NCS Grad of the Year at the Derby County Community Trust Awards last month.

Out of the 522 young people who took part in this summer’s NCS project ran by DCCT, Katie’s efforts throughout made our NCS staff team choose her as a deserving winner, as her “organisation skills proved fundamental to the team’s success”. From the overall cohort, 14 participants were put forward to plan and present a social action idea for the Rams in Kenya trip, of which 5 were then shortlisted and nominated at the DCCT Awards.

Katie was nominated by Team Leader James Heesom because “her friendly and encouraging personality allowed her to bring out the best in herself and the team” during the NCS project. Her presentation in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style to DCCT staff members saw her become one of the final five nominees.

Katie’s social action proposal was to build a library at Jubilee Academy in Nakuru, Kenya, one of the three schools which DCCT work with annually. She convinced the panel that her idea to promote reading to all students at the school, which ranges from 18 months to 15 years, was the best one presented, along with being well-planned and feasible for the Rams in Kenya tea to complete.

She will join the 70+ other volunteers who are travelling to Kenya next summer to bring her idea to life and continue the work that DCCT deliver in communities each year, with next year’s trip being the 7th the Trust has made.

As prize for winning the Grad of the Year Award, Katie has won a week-long trip with the Trust, but will focus her fundraising efforts on raising the money to materialise her library and helping the school’s children to read more.
Other volunteers on the trip will be on hand to help Katie make her plan a reality, and we look forward to seeing the results next year.

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