By Annette Chrysostomou
Cypriot Antonia Michailidi, 21, will be honoured by the Queen with the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award on June 26 for improving the lives of others.
She will be presented with the award at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The awards recognise the work that young people from across the Commonwealth are doing to transform lives in their community and beyond.
Antonia, from Larnaca, was chosen last December for the work she is doing to support disadvantaged people and refugees accommodated in Cyprus.
She is one of the last awards winners as the programme is now in its fourth and final year. Every year since 2014, exceptional young people aged 19 to 28 have been honoured.
Michailidi was selected following a competitive process involving thousands of applicants across the Commonwealth. Together they join a network of 240 powerful young leaders, from 53 Commonwealth countries, who are driving change to make the world a better place.
The 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders are finding solutions to global issues such as climate change, food scarcity, gender-based violence, mental health, and access to education.
The award winners take part in a year-long leadership course run by the University of Cambridge and receive bespoke mentoring. They will visit the UK for a programme of high-profile networking opportunities, meetings and training designed to help them develop as leaders and work with ever greater impact.
Later this month, during her time in the UK, Antonia will visit 10 Downing Street, take part in masterclasses at the BBC World Service and the UK Headquarters of Facebook. Award winners will then meet with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and High Commissioners from across the Commonwealth, before receiving their Award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. They will also attend workshops at the University of Cambridge and visit projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK.
The Queen’s Young Leaders programme was established in 2014 by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief, The Royal Commonwealth Society and the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, in recognition of the Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.
To see a full list of Award winners and highly commended runners up, and to learn more about their stories, please visit www.queensyoungleaders.com