Chrisyln Winter, aged 12 and Alex Newman aged 17 from Kingston are the first two young Jamaicans to receive the International Diana Award.
Chrislyn and Alex are volunteers at the RISE Kidz Club, an after-school educational enrichment and life skills programme operated in the inner-city community of Parade Gardens by RISE Life Management Services.
Chrislyn and Alex met Prince Harry when he travelled to Jamaica as part of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration. Chrislyn said: “It was amazing to be acknowledged by Prince Harry, Princess Diana’s son. It was a huge honour to meet him.”
Chrislyn is from Parade Gardens, a community that is characterised by high levels of poverty, unemployment, teenage pregnancy and crime and violence. Despite the odds stacked against her, Chrislyn is incredibly bright and determined, gaining a place at the prestigious Immaculate Conception High School for Girls. Chrislyn supports the young students with their homework and inspires them to follow her example. She is a group leader and has created drama presentations to explore the various social challenges in the community.
On receiving the International Diana Award, Chrislyn said: “I am delighted to be the first Jamaican girl to receive the International Diana Award. I hope I inspire more young people to study hard so that they can succeed and give back to their communities.”
Alex Newman aged 17, is from the inner city community of Fletchersland and has been involved in Rise Life programmes for over seven years. Alex is a member of the RISE Youth Leadership Programme and gives back to RISE by helping other children in the RISE Kidz Club with homework and other assignments. This remarkable young man also volunteers with the Police Youth Club, the community Leads Youth Club, supports programmes for the homeless, while also participating in an environmental project to clean up Kingston Harbour.
On receiving the Diana Award, Alex said: “I so proud to be presented with the International Diana Award. I am passionate about showing young people positive activities that they can be involved in so that they can strive for a better future.”