Chérie Bosama with Peter Caney of BAE Systems

A young Manchester woman has been honoured at The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense North West Awards in Manchester.

Chérie Bosama, 21, won the North West BAE Systems Young Ambassador of the Year Award at a ceremony at Chetham’s School of Music.

The awards honour the achievements of young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life, had a positive impact on their local community, and people who have played a part in supporting the work of the Trust.

Chérie was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and moved to Manchester with her family when she was ten. An academic achiever with lots of friends, her world was turned upside down a couple of years ago when her mother passed away.

When she became the sole carer to her then 11-year-old brother, she realised she needed to make a change for them both and approached The Prince’s Trust to help build her confidence and employability skills.

“My life before my mother’s passing was going just the way I had wanted it to. My mother and I were extremely close. She was my best friend and my role model in so many ways. When I lost her, I definitely lost a part of me too.”

She joined Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s 12-week Team programme in Eccles, where she worked on a community project, building her employability skills and a CV.

“The Team programme literally changed my life and I met new friends, became more organised and gained leadership skills. I didn’t feel like I completed Team as the same person. I then took part in The Trust’s Get into Healthcare programme to continue my learning and gain further work experience.”

She was chosen to represent the charity as a Young Ambassador, and has since donated more than 160 hours of her spare time to speak about her story and the impact of The Prince’s Trust.

“The confidence that the Young Ambassador role has given me has helped me in so many ways. I’ve even had the opportunity to go down to 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace! It means a lot that I can raise awareness for the Trust, so that more young people can receive the support they need.”

Chérie recently secured a role as development trainee for Manchester International Festival and would like to continue her career in the development or fundraising sector, and explore further opportunities related to public speaking.

She wants to help young people like herself and return to higher education in the near future.

Speaking at the wards ceremony, Chérie said: “Every time I go to an event as a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, I feel so proud knowing that I’m helping to support other young people facing difficult circumstances, just like I did. To receive this award feels truly incredible.”

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