Birmingham’s Professor Jo Andrews , who is the Birmingham City Ambassador for the Global Youth Ambassadors Leadership Summit, reports on the success of two of Birmingham’s young female students.
” During the summer vacation two Birmingham students, Elizabeth Ajayi and Aklima Khatun , travelled to Chicago to participate in a week long conference aimed to develop and support young female leaders of the future. This annual event was launched by Michelle Obama in 2016 and is offered to young women aged between fourteen and sixteen years living and being schooled within one of Chicago’s global sister cities.
Participation in the event is competitive and Birmingham was the only one of Chicago’s many sister cities to secure not one, but two places , at the all expenses paid conference this year.
Elizabeth attends St. Paul’s Girls School in Edgbaston and Aklima is from the Broadway Academy in Perry Barr.
Sahdia Ali, the Broadway Academy teacher who accompanied the students on their trip , described the event as an ” amazing programme ” which was aimed at enabling the young women from across the globe to “flourish in their own communities.”
The headteacher of St.Paul’s , Dr. Dawn Casserly , added that Elizabeth’s experiences at the conference inspired other girls to ” smash through the glass ceiling and aspire to become the best they can be “.
Heather Law, from Birmingham City Council , reinforced the value that had been added to an already robust transatlantic city relationship , resulting from the two students’ engagement with the Chicago programme.
” The European and International Affairs Team are delighted that Birmingham schools are benefiting from our partner sister city relationship with Chicago. This is the second year in a row that at least one Birmingham student has secured a place on the programme and we are hopeful that Birmingham will once again be represented next year.”