Banbridge Academy student Nicole Parkinson-Kelly has recently returned from a once in a lifetime visit to Westminster with the National Citizen Service (NCS).
NCS gives 15-17 year olds the opportunity to develop lifeskills and met other young people from across the England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
As part of the week-long event, the young people invited their MPs to a breakfast meeting.
As a Banbridge student, Nicole invited her local MP, David Simpson.
“I was delighted to be contacted by Nicole from Banbridge Academy regarding this event as I feel it is vitally important that our young people take advantage of every opportunity to develop their lifelong skills,” said Mr. Simpson.
“The work of NCS is unknown by many and it was a good chance for me personally to understand and engage with the organisation.
“NCS offer numerous opportunities for people in Northern Ireland to build their skills and create friendships and I would encourage young people in Banbridge to look more in-depth at the work NCS offer.
“All too often our young people are on the wrong side of news stories; and it should be an encouragement to all of us to see how Nicole has embraced her youth.”
Addressing the NCS leaders at the end of the event, Nicole said: “This has been the most incredible experience.
“I have learnt so much. My skills in teamwork, leadership and entrepreneurship have been boosted. A more personal lesson for me is I have learnt that here, at NCS, people love you for being yourself. You didn’t judge me for being overly happy, excitable or sometimes moody and awkward.”