Angolan Rui Daniel Jaime, was recently included on the London residents list of nominees for Young People of the Year. The YOPEY is an award ceremony endorsed by British prime-minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Rui Daniel Jaime has a bachelor in biochemistry from Kingston University, and was nominated for his contribution to the student community during his college years.
The Young People of the Year award is in its 10th edition. The award was created to counter the negative image about the youth, acknowledging those who have been positive role models in their fields. The regional nominees are awarded at a national ceremony every year.
As a student at Kingston University, Rui Jaime created the campaign “Inspire More”, which goal was to organize educational events with famous speakers. Those events inspired students to take full advantage of their time in college. Rui Jaime was also a student ambassador, volunteer at Kingston Hospital, and he is also acclaimed for his published journal of poetry that brought together his poems with poems by other Kingston University students, the book is entitled “Consciousness Flux”.
Among all his accomplishments, is worth mentioning that Rui Jaime was the founder of the first Portuguese Language community at Kingston University. His work as president of that organization awarded him the President of the Year award in race with over 97 student organizations.
After arriving at Kingston University from Angolan capital Luanda, Rui quickly set to work establishing the University’s first Luso Society which aimed to bring Portuguese-speaking students together and introduce the Lusophone culture to a wider audience. Under Rui’s leadership, the society hosted renowned speakers such as MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist and poet Akala and also saw Latin-UK award winner Iris De Brito teach Kizomba dancing at Penrhyn Road. Rui’s dedication was recognised in 2014 when he was named president of the year out of the 95 societies within the Union of Kingston Students.
The University’s Head of Widening Participation, Jenni Woods, who heads up a team dedicated to encouraging people from under-represented groups to move on to higher education, said Rui’s positive attitude and can-do approach had made an enormous impression on everyone he worked with, as had his willingness to help others. “Rui is a fantastic role model for young people and his enthusiasm and determination are infectious. He is a complete natural when it comes to bringing people together and making things happen and demonstrates the positive impact that youthful energy and creativity can have,” she added.
It wasn’t always easy for the aspiring medic to remain positive and focused, however. Rui recalls that he almost abandoned his goal of studying at university when his teacher told him, aged 13, that he should give up on education and leave school. It took the support of his strong-minded mother and friends to help Rui discover the self-belief he needed to refocus on his dreams.
Rui hopes his story will serve as an inspiration for other young people. “I know what it’s like to be told you’ll not amount to much,” he said. “My advice is to not let other peoples’ opinions determine your life path – just keep your head up and work hard at what you want to achieve.”
The London Young People of the Year Award comes with a prize of £500. Should he win, Rui plans to donate part of the prize money to a charity he admires called I am Finest – founded by fellow Kingston University student Rasheed Ige who is currently studying for a MSc in Biomedical Science. The charity organises art events where homeless people can showcase their talents.