In a remarkable achievement, 16-year-old Tryphene Landa from Bradford has been chosen as a Youth Ambassador for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) charity. This prestigious appointment places her among a select group of just 35 DofE Award holders aged 16-24 nationwide. Their primary mission is to advocate for the interests of young people, addressing key issues affecting them.

Tryphene, a graduate of Ralph Thoresby High School, successfully completed her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, overcoming challenges that included trying her hand at tennis. Reflecting on her experience, she remarked, “DofE isn’t just about doing activities you’re comfortable with; it’s also about trying something completely new.”

‘I want to show young Black women what people like them can achieve’

As a Youth Ambassador, Tryphene plans to encourage all women of colour to take part in the DofE, adding: “One issue that affects my generation and people like me is misogynoir – sexism specifically targeted at black women. I want to show young people like me what they can achieve against the odds. I will use my platform to encourage all women of colour to take part in the DofE to learn new skills and meet new people.”

To undertake their DofE journey, young people aged 14-24 select activities for the Physical, Skills, and Volunteering sections, embark on an Expedition, and partake in a Residential at Gold level. The experience offers personal growth, community engagement, and the development of valuable skills recognized by employers.

The popularity of DofE has surged, with over half a million actively participating in 2022/23. More schools, community organizations, and even prisons have joined the initiative, providing opportunities for young individuals to explore new passions and contribute to their communities.

The Youth Ambassador programme, generously funded by The Gosling Foundation, places young people at the forefront as future leaders. This initiative involves them in shaping the DofE’s work to benefit their peers, ensuring that their voices are heard in decision-making processes.

DofE Youth Ambassadors, including Tryphene, have engaged with Ministers and MPs, and spoken at high-profile events such as party conferences and DofE Gold Award celebrations at Buckingham Palace Garden. They have also represented the DofE at international forums, playing a pivotal role in shaping the charity’s decisions.

Ashley Williams, UK Youth Engagement Manager at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said; “Tryphene is one of many young people who have achieved incredible things through their DofE. As a charity, we’re determined to put young people at the heart of everything we do and to connect them with opportunities to make a positive impact on the issues they care about – and we can’t wait to see what our new cohort of Youth Ambassadors achieve this year.

“As they navigate the ongoing after-effects of the pandemic and a severe cost-of-living crisis, it’s more vital than ever that all young people get access to opportunities like the DofE, which let them have fun, grow their resilience and self-belief, and develop vital skills they can’t always get in the classroom.”