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Shekhem selected for youth programme’s USA experience

A trip of a lifetime to the USA is on offer for a Havering Sixth Form College student who has been chosen from more than 100 other young people to represent the UK.

Shekhem Vige, 18, is celebrating after being selected for the Hummer Tuttle Foundation and Windsor Fellowship’s UK-US Youth Dialogue Programme which involves a stay in Chicago during the summer on a university campus and then with an American family.

It is a superb achievement for Shekhem as there were only 12 places available and he was selected from applicants at many other schools and colleges all over London.

The Youth Dialogue Programme aims to help young people from across all backgrounds to maximise their individual, social and economic talents. It will improve leadership, confidence and communication skills and many students who have been on the programme in the past have called it an ‘experience of a lifetime’. While in America the students have to do a presentation in front of the UK Ambassador.

Shekhem, who is studying Music Performance, English Language & Literature and Communication Studies at College, said he was really looking forward to joining the programme.

He said: “I’ve never been to the US before so that is something I’m really excited about. Also I want to meet and interact with new people and my dream is to play basketball while I am in the States.”

A former student at the Anglo European School in Ingatestone, he also wants to be involved in conversations and the education of people regarding racism and segregation in societies today. He said: “It is something I feel strongly about because it is a big issue in East Ham, which is the area where I live.”

Shekhem plays a huge part in the College’s music department, always featuring in gigs and concerts where he plays guitar and base. He is hoping to study at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Fulham when he leaves College and would eventually like to have a career in music production.

Meanwhile, there are various residential seminars in the UK that he will be attending as part of the Youth Dialogue Programme, and when he visits the USA, along with the group of 12 selected students, he will stay one week at the School for International Training campus in Vermont and then another week with a family in Chicago.

College Careers and CUBE Manager Nikki Phelps said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Shekhem. The programme has been designed to assist, educate and develop young Londoners to grow into well-rounded, informed young adults. It is a worthwhile and life-changing experience and a major achievement to be selected, so we are very proud of him.”

For more information about the programme, visit                                                      !ukusa/c1ugq


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