At a time when equality, diversity, inclusion and the struggle of women in industries like STEM, you will be inspired by Rashada Harry’s achievements. On October 17, 2018 the tech savvy Guyanese-Brit was awarded a Point of Light Award by Prime Minister Theresa May for her outstanding contribution to increasing opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds in STEM industries.
Rashada is the founder of ‘Your Future, Your Ambition’, an annual event helf at the Emirates Stadium in London that aims to bridge the diversity gap in STEM subjects. At the conference, young people who aspire to have future careers in maths, engineering, science, and technology are invited to take part in activities, live science demonstrations, and education workshops. Since its launch in 2012, nearly 4,000 students have attended the event and met leading professionals working in these industries. Over 620 of these students have received mentoring and others with work experience opportunities with major companies in the STEM industry. Last year Rashada was recognised for her commitment to diversity, and named as a Top 30 Future Leader 2017 by the Financial Times. This award is part of a week of winners to celebrate Black History Month.
Rashada is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Rashada, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your tireless commitment to increasing opportunities for future leaders from diverse backgrounds is changing the lives of thousands of young people. I wish you every success in your ‘Your Future, Your Ambition’ event today and your ongoing work removing barriers and helping students achieve their potential in STEM industries.”
Rashada Harry said:
“It is a great honour to receive the Point of Light award from the Prime Minister for the work Your Future, Your Ambition (YFYA) has done to educate, encourage and inspire the next generation to pursue STEM as a future career. As Co-Founder and Director of YFYA, I rely heavily on the support of the YFYA team, volunteers and organisations all of whom help to ensure that every young person attending meets role models in industry, receives mentoring and guidance and leaves inspired about their future.
It is a huge privilege to receive this award on the day of our annual event where we will open the doors to over 1,100 young people from across the country. We will use the platform of this award to continue to serve the young people in the UK and grow our event nationally.”
Rashada is the 1026th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.
For more information on Point of Light vist www.pointsoflight.gov.uk