An inspirational Highfields student who refuses to let cerebral palsy get in the way of his sports journalism dreams made it to the final shortlist to be named the Wolverhampton Young Citizen of the Year.
Jude Aston (standing far right in the picture opposite - courtesy of Express & Star) was one of seven finalists for the award, which is run by the city’s Rotary Clubs and recognises the achievements of youngsters that go the extra mile to help others.
Football-mad Year 9 student Jude suffers from cerebral palsy but has refused to let the condition hold him back. He has made a name for himself as a prominent YouTube blogger and regular contributor on Highfields TV channel who gives motivational speeches encouraging others to overcome barriers in life. His blogging and vlogging skills are so highly regarded that he recently made it through to the final shortlist of the national Football Blogging Awards, which were held at a star-studded ceremony at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in May.
The 14-year-old was nominated for the title of Wolverhampton Citizen of the Year by Film Studies teacher, Mr D Cooper, and Meredith Teasdale, Wolverhampton City Council’s Director of Education.
He narrowly missed out on the award, coming runner-up to inspirational Samuel Iyawe, from Bilston, who arrived in the UK from Nigeria as a youngster and overcame a number of challenges to become the vice-chair of the city's Children in Care Council and a representative on the Youth Council.
A child in care himself, he helps to train social workers, leads staff interviews on the Children's Panel, and takes an active role in advising on issues affecting young people in the city, including knife crime.
Jude said he was overwhelmed to have even been nominated for the accolade.
He added: “I feel honoured to be nominated for such a prestigious award. It recognises people that make a difference within Wolverhampton so, as you can imagine, it is a privilege to have been in the final shortlist and recognised in this way.”
All seven finalists were presented with certificates by comic Gill Jordan, who plays Doreen Tipton and Wolverhampton Mayor, Claire Darke.
Now in its sixth year, the award is dedicated to former Wolverhampton Rotarian Tom Warren, who was the city's Director of Education for 25 years.
It is backed by the Express & Star, Wolverhampton Council, Waitrose, Wolverhampton Wanderers Trust, The Way Youth Zone, Wolverhampton West Magazine, Bilston Magazine and Wednesfield Magazine.
The achievements of all of the youngsters featured in the Express & Star article below: