A few days ago I was invited by a London based youth charity, FurtureVersity to attended the Vlogstar Challenge Awards 2017, supported by Jack Petchey Foundation and Media Trust in partnership with YouTube and the Evening Standard at the BAFTA London.
I was looking forward to attending the event, but I did go with a preconceived idea these young people would be self indulged, socially affected with subject matter ranging from hairstyles, make up, celebrity and toilet humour. Well shame on me! I couldn't have been more wrong.
This group of young people surprised me with their humility, humour and a vision of a future they crave for all of us. They were extremely talented, and conveyed their viewpoints with a maturity way beyond their years.
The evening has fun, light hearted, full of laughter, but with a underlying sense of social responsibility and education. Hosted by the incredibly hilarious and illuminating Kat, it was pitched perfectly.
All the finalists deserve a mention
Marsha Nsiah: Why am I on YouTube?
Rhiannon Namon: How the Media Focus on Women
Fabienne Malkinson: Food for Thought: Masaru Emoto and Water
Lily Freeston: The Young Social Entrepreneur Series
Kelete Mbele: Hip-hop dance evolution
Janell Yeo: Classical music listening club
George Okello: Autism at 23
Hannah Drimer: Things people do
Vanessa Ribeiro: My Experience with Mental Health
Naala Lartey: Societys Puppet
Justyn Hollett: I am Bravescar - Raising Star Award
Megan Kacar: Multi-vlogger?! - Best Technical Award
Isaac Harvey: Do what you can’t - Overall Winner
I was privileged to be able to speak to three of them;
Winner of the rising star award, Justyn Hollet captivated me with his bravery and confidence by sharing a very personal story of adversary, pain and happiness. Watch his story here:
Comedy is very difficult to get right, but that's not a problem for Hannah Drimer, who has a natural flare and timing for real life observations, which have an underlying theme of intelligence. she had me laughing out loud and looking forward to watching more of her vlogs. You can watch them here.
This young women was extroidnary; artistic inside and out with her intricately painted face and thought provoking themes, she shared her thoughts on the current London landscape and her desire for a better future for everyone. (Big shout out to her Mum and sisters)
Isaac Harvey: Do what you can’t, is a young man with a strong message: "working hard will help you achieve your goals". He was an inspiration to all, overcoming his disability, he charmed me with his confidence, zest for life and his own brand of humour. I was honoured to be part of such an exciting event surrounded by 15 young inspirational people. They were full of ambition, talent and wisdom. I for one will be watching every single one of the finalists with excitement to see what they will produce in the future. (Who knows maybe we are watching the future film makers, actors, directors, editors, producers - the list is endless, just like their talent.)