Senior Brighton Students Become Young Leaders

Posted in: News Archive

Six senior Longhill students have just completed seven months as part of the Active Change Foundation’s Young Leaders Programme. The Programme enables young people to explore a cause that they feel passionate about through workshops, community events and a residential course. Its aim is to teach leadership skills and critical thinking to enable them to act as peer mentors, able to train and educate others in the areas of community cohesion, civic resposibilities and extremism.

The Programme included young leaders from many Brighton schools, but Longhill students have been working with schools from Crawley and Tower Hamlets; there are nine Programmes running throughout the country and all participating students met up on the residential course, held at the University of Bedfordshire during half term.  Student Josh White, whose own project focused on the prevention of radicalisation through social media, told us, “It was a mind-opening, interesting experience.  We worked in mixed groups in workshops and worked collaboratively together.  We improved our awareness and learned how to create and focus on our campaigns.  There were people from lots of Brighton schools and we have become good friends and meet up socially out of school.  It’s a good way of making new friends.”

We asked Josh whether he would recommend the Young Leaders Programme and his answer was emphatic.  “Yes.  I definitely think that the Young Leaders Programme and Longhill should work together again in the future, so next year when it comes to around September time I think there should be more people joining.  I think the more people from each school the better because there will be more people representing the school out in public, creating a sense of community, with Longhill connecting with the public.  When we were on our residential, we represented our school to the whole country.”

The Programme clearly enabled students to learn about each other and about the different backgrounds they come from.  Talking about Brighton, Josh told us, “We are very diverse here, so I feel as though the diversity of it has been good for other people to learn about and understand.  We are such a different place and we represent lots of different views and opinions, so it brings them all into one and shows that everyone can have involvement, no matter what their age, gender or sexuality, everyone can be involved and play their part; it all comes down to ideas and empowering change, as opposed to just being about the people behind it – it’s about ideas and getting things done.”

“Some people had been to Brighton before and some have come since being on the Programme.  They’ve been amazed because it’s so different from London – they love it; they think it’s like a holiday place, but we don’t think of it like that.  We’ve been up to London, which is fun.  We’ve learnt that coming from different places, we all lead different lives.

“We’re not only learning about different opinions, but also about different cultures and lifestyles.  People live different lives in different parts of the country, not just in different countries in the world.”

Longhill is extremely proud of the way in which our students have represented themselves, the school and Brighton as a whole on this Programme and we would like to thank Josh White in particular for his time in taking part in this interview.

Young Leaders Brighton

Pictured: Young Leaders from Brighton Schools

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