Sophie Kerstens

As a 14 year old girl, I never thought participating in the Award programme would have such a big impact on my life. I studied hard and did what I thought I had to do: getting good grades at school. But, through the bronze, silver and gold award, my life changed. I gained self confidence and I discovered my true passions. I learned that I was actually better than I thought: the Award programme made me realise this and I told myself to never settle for anything less.

As a youth rep for the EMAS region in the International Council of the Award, I saw how much of an impact young people can truly have when they are given the possibility. And, at that point, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. A teacher who not only teaches gives children possibilities to discover their talents, who looks at how much they grow and who helps them realise that they can all do better than they think. And, I tell them to realise that they should never again settle for anything less. A life changing message from the Award that I will try to pass on from generation to generation. Words are not enough to express my gratitude.