A Hartlepool student has received an award which recognises her work for young people in the town.
English Martyrs Sixth Form College student Lauren Howells was nominated for the Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize for her academic performance, volunteering efforts and interest in public service.
Lauren was nominated by former headteacher of The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, Michael Lee, and was selected as one of the finalists in the national award scheme
The 16-year-old A-level student is a member of Youth Parliament for Hartlepool and is on a number of council committees including the child services committee.
She also took part in campaign work in Brussels for the Barnardo’s charity last year and has been a sports leader while at school.
Lauren travelled down to King’s College, in London, with Mr Lee to be presented with a certificate by the Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan.
The ceremony also saw two former Secretaries of State, Baroness Shirley Williams and Lord John McGregor attend.
Lauren said: “I am really happy to have received the nomination. It was really nice of Mr Lee to put me forward. It was a big honour to receive it and to meet Nicky Morgan and have my certificate presented by her. It was great to be chosen as one of the finalists.”
The prize is open to pupils in Years 11 and 12 across the North East of England who have shown a strong academic performance across a range of subjects; a civic contribution, which includes volunteering, helping with extracurricular events, or working with a youth group or a charity outside school hours.
Nominees must also have an interest in government, education, history or public service.
Mr Lee said he put Lauren forward after she achieved seven A* and three A’s in her GCSE’s.
He said: “She is a Youth Parliament member and she is involved in getting young people to take an interest in politics.
“I nominated Lauren because I thought she was an outstanding candidate. It was quite a high-profile event.
“We didn’t know the former education secretaries were going to be there. I thought it was lovely that we all had lunch together and they chatted to everybody.”