GOVERNMENT OF TONGA

MEDIA RELEASE

(17 June, 2016)

“Her Majesty The Queen to honour young person from Tonga with Queen’s Young Leaders Award”

Her Majesty The Queen will present a Queen’s Young Leaders Award to an exceptional young person from Tonga at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London on Thursday 23rd June.

As the Commonwealth celebrates The Queen’s 90th birthday, this year’s Award winner, Aiona Prescott, aged 21, has been recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in her community. As a Queen’s Young Leader, she will be representing Tonga as she joins winners from 45 different Commonwealth countries in London for five days of high-level engagements, all designed to help them further their life-changing work.

Before receiving their Queen’s Young Leaders Award at Buckingham Palace, the winners will visit 10 Downing Street and the UK headquarters of global social networking company Twitter, and meet with senior executives at the BBC World Service. They will also meet the Commonwealth Secretary General, take part in workshops at the University of Cambridge, have meetings with UK business leaders, and visit projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK.

Aiona Prescott is being recognised for her work with young people tackling issues such as teenage pregnancy, early school leavers and gender-based violence. Selected from a competitive process where thousands of young people from all over the Commonwealth applied to be a Queen’s Young Leader, Aiona said: “I’m looking forward to meeting all the Queens Young Leaders from around the world who are doing life changing things in their communities, to learn from them and to give back in whatever way I can.”

This year’s Award winners are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of issues including education, climate change, gender, mental health and improving the lives of people with disabilities.

The application process to become a 2017 Queen’s Young Leader opens at 8.00pm BST on Friday 24 June 2016. The programme is looking for people aged between 18 and 29 who are dedicated to creating positive changes to the lives of people in Tonga.

Details about how to apply to become a Queen’s Young Leader, together with information about the 2016 Award winners and Highly Commended runners up, is available at www.queensyoungleaders.com.

Aiona Prescott

-ENDS-

The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644     Fax:  (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email: pressoffice@pmo.gov.to Website: www.pmo.gov.to

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