A group of 35 senior high school students from across Abu Dhabi have secured places in a new year-long ambassador programme which aims to inspire and engage UAE youth to become the next generation of sustainability leaders, it was announced today.
The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) and supported by the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), will provide training and support to enable its participants to help in driving the sustainability agenda across their peer group in the UAE and overseas. The programme supports the mandate of ADSW to help empower young people, in line with the UAE Vision 2021, by building on their creativity and talent so they can shoulder responsibilities, innovate and contribute to the welfare of the UAE's community.
Among their roles, the carefully selected ambassadors will be the hosts of the next Student Exclusive event during ADSW in January 2018 – giving them the opportunity to play an active role in the largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East. The Student Exclusive is an annual youth-oriented event that takes place in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) among other key ADSW activities. It will run for three days, with an exciting programme which focuses on sustainability and offers creative activities to encourage students’ involvement in areas such as renewable energy advancement, water and energy efficiency, innovative clean technologies and entrepreneurship.
His Excellency Dr. Yousef Al Sheryani, Acting Undersecretary at the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, stressed the importance of empowering youth with leadership and project management skills that are necessary to driving a sustainable and eco-friendly economy forward. “The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme is a pivotal initiative that will enhance community participation and effective leadership skills amongst students as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Such skills will further support students in their future career paths, while preparing them to become international ambassador representatives for the UAE.”
Dr. Al Sheryani further added that the shortlisted participants in the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme have been selected based on their hard work and dedication, entrepreneurship skills and interest to excel. “We are proud of our students, whose progress will drive the nation’s economy further, through bringing about progress and further development in areas such as renewable energy, water and energy efficiency, innovative clean technologies and entrepreneurship skills. I am confident that through the programme our youth will build on their current knowledge and come-up with eco-friendly and sustainable solutions that will benefit the nation and the world.”
Shaima Al Jarman, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the host of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, adds: “Masdar is pleased to be managing the Student Exclusive Ambassadors Programme, and we already have held several training sessions in Masdar City. It is very rewarding to see the continuing growth in understanding and passion for sustainability issues among young people in the UAE. The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme attracted fantastic entries from throughout Abu Dhabi, which made the selection process extremely challenging for the judging panel. Our winners are full of pride at the opportunity they’re being given, and if they can share just a small portion of their energy and enthusiasm they will have an impact which reaches across the world.”
After ADSW, the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme will enter its second phase, which includes an “eco-thon” in which the ambassadors can draw on their wider networks of peers to deliver sustainability related projects. At the end of the programme, an overall winner who has excelled throughout the year will be rewarded with a UAE-based internship at leading international technology company.
Participants in the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme were chosen after a rigorous selection process which drew entries from public and private sector schools across Abu Dhabi emirate. To be shortlisted they had to provide evidence of their interest in sustainability, as well as their willingness to learn and desire to share knowledge with others.
The training of the Student Exclusive Ambassadors started in November with a series of workshops to teach them more about sustainability, while equipping them with the skills and knowledge they will need for their roles at the Student Exclusive during ADSW.