Two very short stories: first, a young man who, at 18, was homeless and became dependent on drugs and alcohol. Suddenly, he found himself performing live at the O2 Arena. Then, there’s a story about frustrated teenager who felt disempowered and ignored. She is being formally recognised as one of the rising stars under 30 at one of the largest and most well respected management consulting firms in the world.
While these two stories of transformation may seem to be quite different on the surface, they share a few things in common. First, they’re absolutely true. Second, they aren’t “short” stories at all. These transformations occurred over years (and are still ongoing) through the hard work and dedication of a handful of committed and caring individuals. Third, both of these young people found their voice because of UK Youth’s work.
UK Youth is a leading national charity that empowers 700,000 young people, aged 11-25, to take control of their own lives and provides the support, encouragement and opportunities they need to reach their full potential. At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization to achieve more, so it makes perfect sense for us to partner with UK Youth in our global initiative, Upgrade Your World.
This year-long project celebrates people and organisations who are doing great things while partnering with 10 global and 100 local charities, 10 of which are in the UK. Each charity will receive $50,000 (roughly £33,000).
“There are so many stories about our inspiring young people that we could tell – that we want to tell,” says Anna Smee, CEO of UK Youth. “Upgrade Your World will really help us to do just that. Our partnership with Microsoft will support our Youth of The Year Awards: a new initiative designed to celebrate the fantastic work that young people do throughout the UK, and inspire others to reach their full potential.”
This video gives you a first-hand glimpse at some of the young people that UK Youth are helping to achieve great things.
For more on UK Youth, visit their website: http://www.ukyouth.org/