Destiny destined for success after being elected as Portsmouth's Youth Parliament representative
A BUDDING politician is celebrating after being elected as the city’s representative for the nation’s Youth Parliament.
Portsmouth Grammar School pupil Destiny Rose-Forde Kennedy was successfully elected ahead of stiff competition from 51 other candidates aged between 11 and 18.
Destiny, 16, will work alongside councillors and influence key decisions that affect young people and children in the city as well as meeting nationally twice a year at the UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting and UK Youth Parliament House of Commons Sitting.
Destiny said: ‘I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for me. The 52 candidates who originally put themselves forward were all incredibly talented.
‘Giving young people a voice is something that I believe to be essential and invaluable because we are the future and if we’re not involved in important discussions, so many significant experiences and perspectives will be excluded and that would be devastating.’
Due to the high calibre of candidates shortlisted, two deputy roles were also created one of which went to Havant and South Downs College student Ella Reilly, 17.
She said: ‘This new role will enable me to support Destiny, ensuring more young people's voices are heard and represented at council meetings. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to help build a change making platform for Portsmouth.’
Priory School student Willow Lindstrom-Fabik, 13, will take on the role as Destiny’s second deputy.
The campaign began on Monday March 8 when voting opened for seven young people who had been shortlisted for the coveted role.
After hearing of Destiny’s election, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for education Councillor Suzy Horton said: ‘After a successful campaign that saw 52 young people put themselves forward for the role, we had the difficult task of whittling applications down to a shortlist.
‘Young people as well as schools have really embraced the campaign - with an impressive number of people voting.
‘I'm really pleased to welcome Destiny to the council as Portsmouth's next member of Youth Parliament as we start work to champion young people and children's aspirations locally.’