A LURGAN teenager has been named the Prince’s Trust’s Young Achiever of the Year for Northern Ireland.
18-year-old Mourneview lad Jack Bibb received the award from X Factor’s MK1 last Wednesday at a ceremony in the Theatre at the Mill in Newtownabbey.
After nominations were fielded from across Northern Ireland, Jack’s name made the final shortlist of three.
He told the ‘MAIL’: “Not many young people get to go through the Prince’s Trust programme itself. Then to be shortlisted and nominated means a lot.
“I was in shock when my name was read out. It took a minute to register. MK1 from X Factor were presenting the award so that was a bit surreal.”
Jack, a former pupil of Dickson Primary School and Brownlow Integrated College, took part in the Prince’s Trust programme in Armagh from February to April.
Jack told how his life had got out of control after starting his A-Levels and the young man said he has the Prince’s Trust to thank for getting things back on track.
He said: “I decided I wanted to do my A-Levels at Brownlow, but I just couldn’t cope with the workload. A couple of people who were close to me died and I started to get very destructive. I’d hit a low point in my life and a friend of mine recommended the Prince’s Trust programme.
“I would recommend it to anyone. It’s very informal education. The second week is a residential and you get involved with community projects. We built a vegetable garden in Armagh and won a Community Impact award for that.
“The programme also helps you build up employability skills and opens up employment opportunities.”
Jack added: “I volunteer with SELB Youth Service, Lurgan Town Project and I’m a peer educator for Craigavon and District Youth Council.
“I was involved in bits and pieces before Prince’s Trust, but that was as a youth. Now I’m in a leader capacity.”
Jack is studying Health and Social Care at Banbridge SRC. Last year he achieved eight distinctions and a merit.
After finishing the course the 18-year-old hopes to go to Jordanstown and do Community Youth Work.