A Young Leader’s Journey: Amanda from Prendergast School
Creating the Vision September 2009: Amanda and other students from year 9 and one teacher come together with 5 other schools to build a vision for their ‘citizen school’
Getting Trained September - November 2009: Amanda and other student leaders are trained by the Citizen Schools team in power, listening to communities and planning – together with parents, teachers and governors
Connecting to the London Citizens Community Alliance October 2009: Amanda’s growing team of 15 students connect with South London Citizens and meet a key power player: the Mayor of Lewisham
Leading teaching sessions October – November 2009: Amanda and other students act as peer teachers, leading year 8 students in communicating opinions about their local community, investigating it and working out what should be changed about it.
Amanda’s Diary Entry “ Just before Christmas we narrowed down these issues into four clear campaigns and met to decide how we would get people to listen to us. What followed was by far the hardest part of our journey. We made phone calls, sent letters, emails and slowly built up contacts. We asked if we could attend community meetings, and turned up at any public meeting we could find. We visited local Primary Schools, Churches, Shops, and Youth Clubs. We did this again and again until very slowly things began to change and peoples reaction began to shift . People had begun to invite us to attend their meetings, people had started to ask us for contacts. Somehow we had gained a critical mass , we now had credibilility, we were finally being taken seriously . From this point things started to move very quickly and our campaigns began to take on a life of there own. Suddenly we were being invited every where, doors were opening and people were begining to not only listen but genuinely commit . ” Amanda, Year 9
Building relationships in the real world January 2010: the Amanda’s team work with local neighbourhood allies to listen to their community – here seen on a local community work with shopkeepers in Lewisham
Discussing and deciding ways forward January 2010: Amanda’s team focus their ideas for change and prepare plans to get their ideas supported by power players. The team decides to forcus on establishing City Safe Havens near their school – working with shopkeepers to report crime and protect young people .
Learning the art of planning and negotiation Amanda’s team and other South London schools work together to role play and practice their power player negotiation tactics
Negotiating change with real power players February 2010: Amanda and the Prendergast team negotiate as part of their south London Citizens community alliance to get the Mayor’s backing for their City Safe initiative
Making Change Happen!! April 2010: Students’ collaboration with a huge range of community allies on the City Safe idea – including primary schools, churches, local councillors and the local safer neighbourhood team – is recognised in the local press.
June 2010: Students are now preparing to come to the Citizens Youth Assembly and working hard to ensure turnout of 50 students, parents and teachers to ensure the alliance is POWERFUL. The team are also bringing new allies –primary schools, churches, local councillors to build their local alliance even further.