Celebrating Garforth Academy’s NextGenLeaders

We’re incredibly proud of the Garforth Academy students involved in the Next Gen Leaders programme. The two Garforth Academy NextGenLeader teams ‘The Breaking Free Project’ and ‘Red Tape The Vape’ were recognised with awards at the recent regional celebration event.

The NextGenLeaders programme encourages students to develop employability skills through creating and implementing a student led social impact project.

300 young people representing 16 schools across Yorkshire gathered at the regional celebration event hosted at the ASDA MCE in Leeds City Centre to present their projects to a large audience of adult judges and peers. Each project was inspirational and full of passion… the judges had a difficult task!

The Breaking Free Project presenting their work to judges and peers.
L to R: Year 10 students Chloe, Eva, Hanna, Olivia, Amy.
Whole Team:
Top Row L to R: Chloe Y10, Hanna Y10, Amy Y10, Eva Y10, Tia Y13, Josh Y12, Katie Y10, James Baldwin Y12, Sophie Y12, Sarah Steel (Future Talent Specialist, ASDA).
Bottom Row: Olivia Y10. 
Judges’ Choice: James Y12 accepting the award on behalf of Red Tape the Vape.
L to R: Becks Wheatley (Programme Manager, NextGenLeaders), James Y12, James Pirie (VP Planning & Logistics, Arla Foods).

‘The Breaking Free Project’ is a group of 5 Year 10 students breaking down gender inequality through working with primary aged children to combat gender stereotypes linked to academic subjects and careers. Their recent workshops have focused on raising the profile of STEM careers with girls.

Red Tape The Vape is a group of 5 students (Year 10, Year 12 and Year 13). They’ve been campaigning for tighter legislation around the sale of vapes and aim to educate young people on the dangers of vaping.

The Breaking Free Project team came away with the ‘Gender Equality’ award, and Red Tape The Vape were recognised with the ‘Judges Choice’ award. Year 12 student Sophie, from Red Tape the Vape, was commended for her hard work and commitment with a ‘Changemaker of the year’ award.

As last year’s regional champions, Red Tape The Vape were asked to summarise their NextGenLeader journey for a special feature at the celebration event.

Take a look at what they’ve achieved since September 2022 (this video was created 100% by the students).

“The students have been pushed out of their comfort zone but have embraced the unique experiences that the Next Gen Leaders programme offers. The biggest win for me isn’t the trophies, it’s that these incredible young people recognise that they’ve developed teamworking skills, presentation skills, confidence, communication skills, resilience and the ability to balance priorities- their future applications are going to be amazing.”

Lauren Llewellyn, Garforth Academy Careers Lead

The programme has also resulted in another success story which evidences the power of facilitating students to develop their professional network. A Year 13 student who was part of the programme last year has been offered a Degree Apprenticeship accredited by Manchester University with one of the stakeholder organisations as a direct result of her involvement in Next Gen Leaders. Grace is looking forward to embarking on her Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship at ASDA HQ in September.