A young girl, who has had her own difficulties at school and has gone on to befriend children who cannot speak English, is in the running win a Young Person of the Year (YOPEY) award.
Youngster Eva Ryan, who attends Woodland Middle School in Flitwick, has been nominated for the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Young Person of the Year by her dad Peter.
Although Eva, 11, receives her own additional learning support she was determined new foreign children to her school, who didn’t speak any English, should not feel lonely.
She is now learning Mandarin so she can speak to children from China and has been entered into the Bedfordshire contest that has £2,000 to give to young people like her.
The search is coming to a close to reveal, recognise and reward the county’s young heroes of 2012. Any young person aged 10-25, who is a ‘positive role model’ and ‘gives to others’, can enter themselves or be nominated by anyone who knows them.
The winner will receive £800 but there will be many other prizes from a prize pot of £2,000 put up by sponsors, including The Jordans & Ryvita Company of Holme Mills, Biggleswade, and Woodfines Solicitors of Bedford and Sandy.
Eva, of Beaumont Road, Flitwick, was nominated by dad Peter as he was very proud of the way she wanted to integrate new students at her school.
By helping and involving others it has also helped her own confidence soar.
When Eva mentioned Yuki, a new girl at school who could not speak much English, Peter found an app which could be downloaded on to her iPod, called istart Chinese - the app teaches grammar, punctuation and vocabulary.
Peter said: “Eva has received recognition at her school for her ability to be a good role model to other children.
“She is often called to the front at assembly time and has had three commendations in the last school year in this way.
“She very quickly makes friends with children whose first language is not English and is currently learning basic Mandarin in order to develop her relationship with a new Chinese friend.”
Last Saturday Eva invited Yuki to tea and the two girls chatted and Eva tried out her Mandarin.
Peter added: “She can say a few phrases – although she’s a little foxed by the reply.
“Eva also befriended a Polish girl called Julia, who has since left the school, but they remain good friends to this day, speak on Skype and text each other.”
The University of Bedfordshire will be hosting the awards at its professional theatre in Bedford in December.
Do you know an outstanding young person. You have until November 16 to nominate. Go to www.yopey.org