Twenty-eight year-old Jamilla Sealy is making a mark on the environment – in a good way.
The Caribbean Youth Environment Network’s regional coordinator for the Caribbean was recently bestowed with the Queen’s Youth Leader Award for her outstanding contribution to environmental studies in Barbados.
“One of my friends actually encouraged me to enter the competition, because the work I am doing is very important and that I have a shot at winning this thing. I said ‘OK’, and I applied for the competition,” she told Barbados TODAY.
Sealy, a former student of the Combermere School and the University of the West Indies, recalled the excitement she felt after receiving notification that she had won an award.
“It was a Skype call. They asked if I had a few minutes and told me that I have been chosen for the Queen’s Young Leader Award for Barbados 2017. I was so excited. Then they said that I could not tell anyone because I had to await the official announcement. They then asked me [if I was interested] in meeting Prince Harry of Wales [as he was going to be present at the 50th Anniversary of Independence celebrations]. I think I did tell my parents and they were very excited for me, she said.
Sealy’s achievement was announced by Prince Harry at the Independence gala at Kensington Oval, on November 29 last year.
She subsequently embarked on a well-deserved trip to London earlier this year where she met the Queen and also took part in a course called Leaders for Change at The University of Cambridge.
“I really could not wait to get to England because I had not been to London….It was very exciting, not only to collect the award [but] I saw it as a proud moment for Barbados. It was a proud moment for myself and persons my age who are doing things in their community to [promote] change for the better. I hope that I inspire other females my age not to fear entering these types of competitions,” a cheerful Sealy said.
She added that accepting the award from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace was “an interesting experience”.
“When I got to meet her, I waved at Prince Harry and said ‘hi’ and he said ‘hi’ back. Then [I approached] her [Queen Elizabeth] and I said, ‘Hi, how are you?’ and she replied ‘Hi, what are you doing in your country?’ So, I just told her about the work that I am doing with , and I told her about how happy I was to be a recipient of the award,” Sealy recounted.
The young environmentalist said she hoped her winning the award would inspire other young people to go after their dreams.