Camilla is 16, currently studying at Prendergast Ladywell Fields College, Lewisham.
In 2009 Camilla founded a youth led organisation called Young Citizens. Over the last three years she has worked with her community, campaigning to bring about real, youth led, change. The Young Citizens have built relationships between young people, the police, businesses, religious groups and local, national and international politicians.
The Young Citizens, with Camilla at its head, has won local, Regional and National Awards : Citizens UK Citizen school of the Year 2010 & 2011, The Mayor of London Merit of Honour 2010, The Spirit of London Young Heroes award. 2010, The South London Press 'Our Heroes' award. 2011, Lewisham Pupil Ambassadors award for Working Together. 2011, The Philip Lawrence Award 2012.
Camilla has worked with The Prime Minister, Ed Miliband, Gordan Brown, Baroness Royall, Boris Johnson, Sir Steve Bullock, Prince Charles; additionally she has met with State representatives from , USA, Europe and Japan.
Camilla is currently organising the Lewisham 10,000, an event that will bring together every secondary school in Lewisham, and ultimately every pupil in Lewisham. The day will look at ways in which young people and the agencies and organisations that exist for them, can work together to make our streets, community and borough safer.
Most recently Camilla was been appointed as a Youth Consultant for : Race for Opportunity, Business in the Community and Lewisham Council.
“I am passionate about finding ways to tackle the youth unemployment, BAME underachievement, and political apathy. A passion I hope to make central to my ambitions as a politician. We must change young peoples perceptions of what is possible, change what they believe their economic futures could be, and clearly provide them with a path and the inspiration to enable them. Positive, educated, skilled, self believing role models to inspire a generation of successful young people, permanently changing all our futures.” Camilla Yahaya
“Camilla is a remarkable young woman, she is original, fearless, determined, intelligent academically and socially; and will shine wherever she is. Camilla will bring so much more than her excellent academic ability to whatever role or position she is entrusted.”
Simon Jones, Director of Community Liason, Prendergast Ladywellfields College.
More About Young Citizens
In 2009, Camilla established a group called 'Young Citizens' within her college; its aim in her words was to 'give a powerful and strong voice to young people, so that they can play a proud, positive and active role in their community.'
“It is vitally important that we all work together to tackle youth crime and I applaud the efforts of the Young Citizens Project from Prendergast Ladywell Fields College. They have shown great initiative and enthusiasm and I wish them every success with their American adventure. Their achievements are a shining example of how young people can be a force for positive change in their community."
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
Tessa was delighted to meet you and the children on 25th March. She was so impressed by these wonderful young people and for all the hard work you and they have put in to the City Safe campaign locally, for achieving the designation of Lewisham Shopping Centre as the first City Safe Haven in the country and for the work they are doing with the Mizen family, Spirit of London, London Citizens, Lewisham Met and the Mayor of Lewisham to establish City Safe Twins, Lewisham with Liverpool and Baltimore.
Please pass on Tessa's congratulations to both you and the 'Young Citizens' of your school for all you and they have done so far and for all they are yet to achieve.
Tessa Jowell MP
"I'm delighted to support the students at Prendergast Ladywell Fields in their ambition of meeting President Obama at the White House. In setting their sights high they are following the example set by the President himself and I wish them the very best of luck".
Heidi Alexander MP
Congratulations to the Young Citizens winning the Spirit of London Award for Young Heroes. The hard work and commitment are a real credit to everyone involved, and you should all take some real pride in what you've achieved. I have to say that in my role as Lewisham's mayor, I consider myself fortunate to see just how hard the young people in our community work, and what an inspiration they are to others. Please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation for all your hard work - and continuing successes.
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham
“Dear Students of Ladywell Fields College, we are writing to say what an inspiration you all are in the way you are helping to build a safer and friendlier community. Thank you especially for the work you are doing with City Safe Havens in memory of our dear son Jimmy. As you may know we both now visit many schools and youth groups and we tell of the great work you are all doing and this is inspiring more young
people to get involved. Please keep us fully up to date with all you are doing and if we can help in any way please just ask. The pain of losing a child is enormous, but to see all the many good things that
are happening as a result helps us, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts and keep up the good work.“
Barry & Margaret Mizen, Jimmy Mizen Foundation
The Young Citizens are always equals to the adults in the room and add significant talent, energy and humour in the most serious of meetings. Congratulations to the team, spending time at Prendergast feels like the most genuine, real and outstanding education experience I come across with all my work in schools.
Jamie Audsley, Community Organiser London Citizens
The students have made a considerable impact on relationships with local residents and business that because of their proximity to a large secondary school have historically held a negative view of some
students. By involving them in their ideas the students have broken down many barriers and are now held in a very positive image through their work.
Cllr Pauline Morrison, Crofton Park Ward
In my view Young Citizens is a project has given our young children the opportunity to feel that they have the right and power to make a change to their community for the better. The project has given my son
Pablo the opportunity to meet new people, eg. children from other schools, the Mayor of Lewisham , people from the local community, to be part of a big project and to have the right to express his ideas, make decisions together with others from the group and to feel that he can make a big difference for the community.
Parent, Jennifer Bilton
The Young Citizens project run by the pupils of Prendergast Ladywell Fields College (PLFC) is a positive force within the community. They have transformed many of the community’s negative and incorrect perceptions of young people and are providing a very real solution to community safety. Their enthusiasm is infectious and during the many meetings and public engagements I attend, I only ever hear words of
praise and support for PLFC’s Young Citizens. Lewisham Police value the strong relationship with PLFC and recognise them as a flagship school in promoting the safety of young people.
Sergeant David Hawtin, Crofton Park Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team
The work begun by these youngsters is dynamic and ongoing. None of them set out to win anything other than the respect and ear of the adults who can help them achieve the changes they want to see. They
deserve the highest praise and recognition - beyond the proud words. The students of Prendergast Ladywell Fields College are changing their world, and showing our local and national community what young people
are capable of and motivated to do if given the opportunity. Theirs is a school described as being in ‘challenging circumstances’ and they have, phoenix like, risen above this.
Mel Whitfield, Headteacher.
Jay Patel, owner of the Budgens convenience store on Brockley Road in Crofton Park, has been involved with the City Safe Haven scheme since its inception. He said: “I have had a shop here for nearly 30 years. From day one, all the children who come in after school at three o’clock get to know me. I’m on the fourth generation now. I don’t have to worry about kids in my shop now. We are a part of a big local family; these are our children. When they grow up, I want them to be proud of Crofton Park and then come back and do something for the community.”
Jay Patel, local shop owner
I have rarely been to an event which was as moving, as profound and as energising as this morning's 1000 Hands (not sure what you call it!). What you have managed to do and what you are doing is absolutely
inspiring. I felt so proud to be part of Lewisham and I know that everyone else felt this, too. It will stay with me for a long time and I know that it will impact on every single person that was there - and on the
wider community, too.
Jan Shapiro, Lewisham Education Consultant