Finalist for the Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Award

Wynberg has a proud history with the Amy Biehl Foundation and specifically in the category of the Youth Spirit Award.

In 2011, Meghan Daniels was the recipient of this prestigious award for her photography project, based on the premise “A picture is worth a thousand words,’ where she created and implemented the Ilizwi Photography project for 10 learners in Khayelitsha – an expanding project she has continued to run (now with 20 learners). When asked what inspired her to start the program, Meghan said she was plagued by the idea that the words of  learners without access to cameras would be lost. Determined to make a difference, and to give students a chance to share their 1000 words, she set out to start a program when it seemed no one was there to help. After obtaining a Nikon sponsorship, her 10-week course began and has become the focus of Meghan’s efforts.

One of the most poignant moments in the course was when Meghan asked one of the learners to pass his camera to her. “Camera?” he replied. “Meghan, this isn’t my camera. This is my weapon of change!” By empowering the learners to look at their community in a different light, Meghan says they have become agents of change in their own neighborhood. “Knowing that is what makes this worth it,” says Meghan. Meghan has dedicated her gap year to expanding the program and providing other disadvantaged learners with the opportunities to share their stories.

In 2010 the winner of the Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Award was Rehana Odendaal. The Y generation has been accused of apathy and lack of understanding about the hard fought battle that resulted in a democratic order in South Africa. Well, not Rehana. Born on the iconic Robben Island, Rehana’s script was written in the stars and thankfully, she fully understood it and embraced it. She is the true embodiment of the ideals for which Madiba fought: freedom, equality and service to others. She is an impassioned leader with an obvious penchant for community-building and when asked why she did it, Rehana was quick to point out to the judges that this was part of her DNA. Her passionate pursuit of excellence in all she did, meant that she walked through the adjudication room weighed down by an impressive number of medals on her coat.

In 2008, the inaugral year of the Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Award, Phillipa Bodenstein walked away with the 1st runner up prize for her vision, initiative and dedication to volunteer work that has made a positive difference to the lives of others.

This year Wynberg can proudly say that we have another finalist in the Youth Spirit Award category: this is Kiara Ramklass. Her nomination is based on her initiative and dedication in service to others.  As the award states, “it goes to young people who are already making a difference. Our hope is to challenge them to greater heights of service through the recognition of the Award and exposure to Amy Biehl’s life and work.” She is one of six finalists.

Kiara Ramklass from Wynberg Girls’ High School
Alyxie Rosenberg from Rustenburg High School for Girls
Jody Jefta from Agape Primary School
Miranda Kantor from Herzlia High School
Ruth Angela Allderman from Renish High School
Cheslyn Steenberg from Windermere High School

Each finalist will be interviewed by a Selection Panel, and from there, on the evening of the event, the winner, two runners up and the recipient of a new community spirit award will be given. The award ceremony takes place on Thursday 23 August.

Kiara Ramklass - 2012 Nominee

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