Grenada’s Ali Dowden is among a select group of 60 young people from across the Commonwealth who have been recognised as exceptional leaders in their community.
Dowden who is associated with the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will travel to London in the new year to receive a prestigious Young Leaders Award from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth 11.
The Award, which will be presented by Her Majesty The Queen, is part of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme and celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.
This year’s Award winners, aged between 18 and 29 and who come from all over the Commonwealth, are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme was established in 2014 by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee
Over the next three years the Programme will support thousands of young people to achieve their goals.
Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Dr Astrid Bonfield, said: “Once again 60 incredible young people from around the Commonwealth have shown strength, leadership, empathy and drive.
“Some of our winners are just embarking on their leadership journey and others are more established. Either way, we recognise not only what these amazing young people have achieved, but also their potential in changing people’s lives for the better in the countries and communities in which they live”, he added.
As part of the Award, winners will receive bespoke mentoring and online learning provided by the University of Cambridge.
The citation about Dowden reads as follows:
“Ali is involved in a number of local and national charities, working on issues including cancer, kidney disease and mental health. In January he co-founded an organisation called the HEON Project (Help Educate Our Nation) which aims to help poor and vulnerable young people aged 16 to 25 to attend college or a skills training centre, by paying for their tuition fees.
“The project’s motto is “empowerment through education” and the first five scholarships were announced in August 2015.
Dowden’s Congress party has issued a public statement praising the recognition given to their executive member who is their Caretaker Candidate for the St. George North-west constituency held by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The statement reads as follows: “The National Democratic Congress is proud to congratulate Ali Dowden on being the recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award.
“Ali is the first, and only person from Grenada, and is one of 60 young people from across the Commonwealth who are being recognised as exceptional leaders in their community.
‘Ali is the NDC Caretaker for St. George North West and a Deputy General Secretary of the party.
“This is quite an honor for Ali, the National Democratic Youth Movement, the NDC, the youth of Grenada and indeed all Grenadians.
“The “strength, leadership, empathy and drive” recognized in Ali has been known within the NDC for a number of years and we call upon the youth of the nation to emulate such traits and to stand out and be counted as leaders of the future and the present too.
“Once again, warmest congratulations to Ali.”