When Gabriel won the category of Young Leader of the Year at last year’s glittering Youth Matters Awards, he not only walked away from the stage clutching a trophy, but with career enhancing bespoke leadership training, gifted courtesy of sponsors, Changing Point. His story is just one of many that show just how doors can be opened for young people through YMCA’s prestigious annual awards ceremony.
Since coming to YMCA Birmingham as a young resident due to fractured relationships at home, Gabriel Imevbore’s passionate advocacy for the rights of his fellow young tenants, coupled with a thirst to inspire others to achieve their full potential, has made a significant impact on those around him.
Not only that, but he has used his entrepreneurial attributes and charms to independently source and nurture partnerships with training providers and local businesses for healthy meal boxes for residents. He has also teamed up with a friend to run a commercial video company and works as a motivational speaker, who actively promotes the bridging between the older and younger generations so that they work together harmoniously.
All of these achievements combined have resulted in Gabriel being crowned Young Leader of the Year, an accolade he was very surprised to receive.
“I was quite surprised when I won as I was up against some strong contenders. Winning the award has made me feel empowered and has given me a boost in confidence.
“Being nominated was like a grounding experience and it made me take stock of all the things I have achieved. Before, I’d been doing things and not thinking about them after they’re done. I just moved onto the next thing, my next ambition. But I was like, wow, all the things I have been doing have been noticed and I feel appreciated.”
As a proud sponsor of the Young Leader of the Year Award, Changing Point, a consultancy that focuses on personal and organisational development and change, has already kicked off its 12 sessions with Gabriel, helping him to hone his skills and abilities as one of our most promising leaders.
“We have been working with YMCA for quite a few years now with our personal impact leadership programme and we want to get more involved with all the great things YMCA does,” consultant Alesha Ockerman, said. “The Young Leader of the Year Award resonates perfectly with one of our core products in leadership development, so we thought it would be an amazing opportunity to connect another aspect of our business, which is growing young leaders.”
Together, Gabriel and Alesha will work through areas such as organisation, tailoring his communication skills to suit different audiences, goal setting and things he may not have considered before.
“We’re only really early into the course but so far I am really grateful to have Changing Point’s support in helping to nurture me as a leader.
“I feel it’s going to help me to be more organised as a young leader and have more of a focus on the intricate details of being a leader. As an individual, I’m already out there and outspoken. My communication style is quite personal and I feel that, that may be something we could work on. I would definitely like to know different types of communication styles because it is so important.
I’m very excited I feel that the course will make me a lot more conscious of how I come across as a leader. I think it will also definitely open my awareness to things that I have maybe been blind to before. I think Changing Point is going to help me really fine tune my leadership skills so I’m excited to eventually be walking away with those abilities.”
Changing Point will be using a whole host of tailored tools and techniques around behavioural change, much of which is rooted in psychological theories, during Gabriel’s sessions.
“On Gabriel’s structured learning journey with us, we will be creating new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things,” Alesha explains. “Gabriel and I will work together to understand his own personal comfort zones, track his personal development and explore techniques that he can apply practically in terms of leading and leadership through change.
“If you know a young leader you should nominate them because you are showing that you believe in them”
So, what’s next for Gabriel?
“I want to be one of the youngest moguls in the UK. I strive to live my life doing the things I love and have major aspirations to break the barriers for young people who may want to be entrepreneurs or have a dream, goal or vision that they want to turn into reality. I’m always looking at the next current trends and what I can do to earn from it. For example, I’m quite interested in drop shipping at the moment.”
When asked what he would say to someone considering putting someone forward for the Young Leader of the Year Award, Gabriel is enthusiastic in the confidence boost it offers.
“If you feel like an individual has the qualities of a young leader and you would like to see their qualities grow, you should nominate them. It’s about showcasing their talent – that’s more important than winning.
“To everyone that is nominated, it is a boost in itself, even before the awards night. Just knowing that people are voting for you for the things you have done, genuinely that’s a great feeling and people don’t forget that. If you do know of a young leader, you should nominate them because you are showing them that you believe in them.”
Nominations are now open for this year’s spectacular Youth Matters Awards, which takes place on Friday 2 November 2018 in central London.
YMCA’s can honour the unsung heroes and shining stars in one of our 13 award categories. Click here to see the full list and criteria for each award.
Being nominated can give young people a much needed boost, and making it to the final can literally be life changing.
Nominations close Friday 29 June. Good luck to all our nominees!