JCI London has two global ‘Ten Outstanding Young People’ honorees 2012

JCI London has two global ‘Ten Outstanding Young People’ honorees 2012

September 1, 2012 10:13 am Published by Leave your thoughts

We have some awesome news for JCI London. From the eight local ‘Ten Outstanding Young Persons’ honorees two made it all the way up to the global top 10. Big congratulations to Katherine Sparkes and Bobby Kensah. 

Bobby Kensah of the United Kingdom selected as one of the 2012 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World

For his extraordinary work with youth volunteerism and community action, Bobby Kensah of London, England was named a 2012 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) recipient in the category of political, legal, and/or governmental affairs.

Coming from humble beginnings, Bobby Kensah turned his hardships and experiences into motivation for future success. He moved to the UK at age 12, and did not even know how to speak English. However, by secondary and high school, he was excelling in all of his classes. He then went on to obtain his law degree, receiving a scholarship to complete his master’s degree and began serving as a corporate lawyer for Norton Rose, an international law firm. Succeeding professionally, he has been recognized as Law Society’s Lawyer of the Year, BSN Promising Young Lawyer and the Square Mile Young City Lawyer of the Year.

Throughout his professional life, he was determined to take an active role in creating grassroots community change, using his own experiences as inspiration. He took a sabbatical from his law firm and dedicated his time to serving others, addressing youth issues like knife crime, bullying and gang involvement through targeted projects, and takes time to speak about the power of volunteerism at schools across the UK.

Still practicing corporate law, Kensah is also the founder and CEO of the Phase One Network, which provides mentoring services and networking opportunites to young people interested in obtaining a job, but who come from a disadvantaged background. Phase One connects likeminded future leaders from business, law, government and education sectors across the UK. As Campaigns and Policy Officer for the United Nations Youth Council, Kensah has strengthened and inspired student populations at universities, making community action the norm, not the exception. Kensah puts his community above himself and his career, showing young people success can be found by creating a positive impact at the local level.

Katherine Sparkes of the United Kingdom selected as one of the 2012 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World

For her extraordinary work in corporate social responsibility and community action, Katherine Sparkes of Bristol, England was named a 2012 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) recipient in the category of moral and/or environmental leadership.

Destined to become a creative entrepreneur, Katherine Sparkes started her career in journalism and gained early work experience at a variety of public relations and event management firms. She then decided to take her enthusiasm and ideas on a new adventure. She realized the need for an agency that could help highlight service opportunities that companies could use to publicize their value as a corporate citizen. At age 22, she turned her vision into a reality by starting Flamingo, a firm that provides needy charities with corporate clients capable of creating innovative, hands-on, sustainable community projects on a local, national and global basis.

Pairing her business experience and passion to address social issues, Sparkes helps boost the alliance between business and society through powerful projects. Her aim is to help people help themselves and each project is designed to be sustainable and beneficial for each community, while also bringing positive change to the business involved.

When she began her crusade in 2003, many people were not even aware of or understood the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Through her hard work, Flamingo now provides companies access to CSR initiatives and a unique way to give back to the community. Flamingo enables businesses which otherwise would not have the ability, staffing or resources to get involved and be active corporate citizens. Sparkes’ story provides a great example of how one young person can take his or her ideas and turn them into concrete positive change. She inspires and empowers others to use their business success to take action to create a better world.


JCI (Junior Chamber International) honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year. These individuals exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and provide extraordinary service to their communities. Whether through service, innovation, determination or revolutionary thinking, these young active citizens create positive impacts on a local and global level.

These ten young active citizens will be honored at the 2012 JCI TOYP Ceremony and reception Tuesday, November 20 at the JCI World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan.

About JCI: JCI is a worldwide membership-based nonprofit organization of young active citizens ages 18 to 40 who are dedicated to creating positive change in their communities. Through projects in more than 5,000 communities across more than 100 countries, members seek targeted solutions to local problems, creating a global impact.

Visit www.jci.cc to learn more.

Krissy Durant, Programs Manager, JCI (Junior Chamber International)
[email protected]

JCI London’s TOYP project manager Sofie Sandell, [email protected]

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This post was written by makedo

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