Queen Elizabeth II of England will be presenting the Queen’s Young Leaders Award to an exceptional young Malaysian this Thursday, 23 June at the Buckingham Palace, London
Calvin Woo Yoong Shen, a Muar, Johor native has been recognised by The Queen for his commendable role in boosting the social development in Malaysia with his work in improving the access to education and fighting poverty.
His efforts in developing the modules for personal, career, academic and technical programmes for unprivileged students aged between 15 and 17 at a social enterprise company called SASTRA (Strategic Transformation via Education Development) have won him the award.
He is the only Malaysian to win the award, along with 59 other youths from 45 different Commonwealth countries.
Calvin first received the good news last December when the award winners were announced three months after the application deadline
Calvin and the other winners are currently preoccupied with various activities during their one-week residential programme in the UK, which is part of the unique package of support that the award winners receive.
In this one week period, they would have met the Commonwealth Secretary-General, participated in workshops at the University of Cambridge, attended meetings with dignitaries and leaders in various fields, before the awards ceremony on Thursday.
"Meeting the Queen's Young Leaders from other Commonwealth Countries would definitely broaden my network across the Commonwealth," Calvin told Elle Malaysia.
"Sharing of practices in other countries would be a good way for me to take away some of them to implement here in Malaysia and the region," he added.
He may be only 21 this year but Calvin has not only made an impact on the local communities in Malaysia, but has also made the nation proud
He has excelled academically and has worked closely with the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiatives (YSEALI) among others.
Besides that, Calvin has recently co-founded NexGenImpact (NGI), a social enterprise that aims to mobilise the millennial generation and inspire the current corporate and social scene in Malaysia and the region.
"When I was in MRSM (MARA Junior Science College), my teacher gave me the opportunity to explore my talent in public speaking and debating. It was then that I realised that discovering and developing our talent can be so fulfilling and liberating. Not all of my friends were given that chance, so I started my work to give millennials that opportunity to develop their talents," he was quoted as saying by Elle Malaysia.
After the eventful week in the UK, Calvin will be returning to Malaysia to work on NGI's first ever event this August. It is also said that he is documenting his work and experience as a Queen's Young Leader and it will be published by MPH Books.
For those who are aspiring to become a 2017 Queen’s Young Leader, the application opens this Friday, 24 June
The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognises and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.
Award winners will receive a year-long tailored package of online learning, mentoring and networking, and provided with a one-week residential programme in the UK, during which they will receive their Award from Her Majesty The Queen. This programme will strengthen the skills and confidence of Award winners to equip them to further change the lives of those around them and inspire the next generation of young leaders through their own actions and values.