Leeds City Academy

Award-winning Citizenship

LCA Student wins multiple awards for bravery and peer mentoring

Leeds City Academy student Mohamad has been recognised with a Rotary Leeds 'Service Above Self Award', a Rotary 'GB&I National Young Citizen Award' and also a 'Diana Award'.

Mohamad grew up in Syria. His family was forced to flee the war when he was 10 years old. He was shot in the thigh during an attack on his school and was one of the survivors of the atrocity. In the absence of a local hospital, Mohamad was treated at home by his parents. Moving to Romania, Mohamad couldn’t attend regular education because he did not speak Romanian at the time, so schools refused to accept him. The family eventually moved to England and Mohamad started at Leeds City Academy in 2014. Recently his father was injured at work and his mother was diagnosed with a serious illness requiring surgery. As such, Mohamad goes out to do the shopping and looks after his parents at home.

Mohamad and his family attended to the Rotary GB&I Conference in Manchester on Saturday 8th April, accompanied by Ms Lesley Hastings, Chair of Youth Opportunities at Rotary Club of Leeds. At the conference, Mohamad received his National Young Citizen Award live on BBC Television and was interviewed by BBC News presenter Ellie Crissell. The full clip is available to watch online here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39531278

Mohamad is very creative and is able to communicate in four languages (Arabic, Romanian, English and Turkish). He thinks of himself as an inventor as he takes broken electrical units around the house and turns them into other useful things. Over the summer Mohamad worked in a restaurant’s kitchen in Bradford and gave half of his wages to his parents to help with general life. Mohamad also peer mentors his classmates in school. He explains: "I started helping people at school because my English was bad, but I was helping people who didn’t know Maths. All the teachers in the school like me because I love helping people.”

Lesley Hastings said: "These are just a few examples of the great enterprise and commitment shown by our young people. If you hear people moan on about the vandals and hooligans among the youth of today just remember there are a lot of great youngsters out there doing tremendous work for their schools, colleges, academies and communities and they are our future."

Mr Whitaker, Executive Principal of The White Rose Academies Trust, said: "Well done Mohamad, your bravery and citizenship is of the utmost pride for Leeds City Academy. I would like to thank Mr Banciu at the Academy, who took the time to complete a very comprehensive nomination for both Rotary and the Diana Award. Congratulations to Mohamad's family on the prestigious recognition of this young man's work and unwavering commitment to his family and friends."

Photo: Rotary