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Southwark's leaders of tomorrow

Published Wednesday, 03 November 2010

Young people from Southwark attended an event this week with the Mayor of London, to promote and celebrate education and cultural activities for children from challenging backgrounds.

The event was part of the GLA's Widening Horizons campaign, which supports weekend and out-of-school activities to improve confidence, raise aspirations and teach new skills to young people from across London. The campaign is led by the mayor's arts and cultural adviser, Munira Mirza.

Saida Odutayo, Mayowa Sofekun and Joel Cooper (pictured with Munira Mirza) from the council's Leaders of Tomorrow programme attended the event, along with Cllr Cleo Soanes, volunteer mentors, parents and 150 specially invited guests.

The Leaders of Tomorrow programme seeks to raise academic achievement of mainly black Caribbean learners by developing and nurturing leadership skills and a mentoring and coaching programme. The programme identifies young people aged 13 to 19 who show leadership potential but need additional support to develop. Since it was established in 2002 by Vallin Miller, it has supported over 1,000 young people in Peckham and beyond. Alumni of the scheme have gone on to attend top universities or earn internships at City firms.

Earlier this year, Munira Mirza visited the Leaders of Tomorrow programme where she met the young leaders in training and was impressed by the quality of its work.

Saida Odutayo said: "It's really good that the Mayor's Office recognises the additional support given by community organisations in helping young people to reach their goals."

Widening Horizons supports and raises the profile of the hundreds of charities and community organisations offering supplementary educational and cultural activity so that they can reach out to more young people and improve their life chances.

The Leaders of Tomorrow project also works with private companies such as British Airways who recently sponsored young people by donating complimentary tickets for the group to attend business conferences in New Orleans and Los Angeles.

To find out more about the Leaders of Tomorrow programme contact Vallin Miller.

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