JAMALA OSMAN – nominated by Redbridge Rotary Club 2018
The Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Awards, which are sponsored by the Exchange Ilford, were set up in 2008 by the Club’s then President Eve Conway-Ghazi. Readers of the Ilford Recorder are asked to nominate community “heroes” under the age of 25; their story is then published in the Recorder, recognising them for their achievement whether it be sporting prowess, academic success, ... personal courage or bravery or dedicating their time and efforts to help others. A monthly winner is chosen and entered for the annual Young Citizens title, presented at the Mayor’s Community Ward ceremony.
The Winner then goes forward to join other Young Citizen winners, nominated by Rotary Clubs all over the Country, at the Rotary International in Great Britain and Northern Ireland (RIBI) Annual Conference. The event is held in Association with the BBC News Channel and is televised lived; the winner receives a handsome trophy and a donation of £500 towards their project.
JAMALA OSMAN – nominated Redbridge Rotary
Jamala became a carer for her brother and twin sister as a teenager after suffering from depression and the loss of their mother.
Growing up in Ilford, she was surrounded by gang culture and violence. By 14 years old she had been kicked out of her father’s house and lost contact with her siblings.
She spiralled out of control, playing up in school and began to suffer with depression.
Amazingly, she regained control of her life and, at the age of 18, she reconnected with her siblings to become their carer. That new responsibility meant that she had to find employment instead of pursuing a university degree as she had hoped. Fortunately, Jamala was accepted on to the highly competitive Barclay’s apprenticeship programme. She is now a branch manager and is considered one of the bank’s most successful apprentices.
Jamala, now 24, regularly speaks at schools about mental health and hopes her story can inspire others to make positive choices in their lives.