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Sharing the stage with Sir Richard Branson

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A Bradford sixth form student will be rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in the world next month as he speaks in front of thousands at the first ever We Day UK.

Mohammed Usman, 17, from Great Horton, Bradford, was selected to speak alongside the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Al Gore and Ellie Goulding, at the upcoming exhibition at Wembley Arena which aims to motivate young people across the globe.

With 26 countries participating, including a group of students from Bradford’s own Grange Technology College, the day has been organised to reward youths, such as Mohammed, who encourage social change.

SPEECH: Grange Technology sixth form student, Mohammed Usman, will speak alongside names such as Sir Richard Branson next month

SPEECH: Grange Technology sixth form student, Mohammed Usman, will speak alongside names such as Sir Richard Branson next month

No tickets could be purchased for the inaugural event, rather invitations were handed out to schools and groups who had completed ‘We Acts’ throughout the past 12 months.

Speaking alongside some of the most influential people in the world may be daunting for some, yet for Mohammed, it is a task he eagerly looks forward to.

“It is something I’ve always wanted to do, talk to younger people and helping to inspire them so to have the opportunity at such a young age is really good,” he said.

“I feel happy and honoured at the same time at being able to speak alongside the likes of Sir Richard Branson but also a little bit nervous speaking in front of 14,000 people so it is mixed emotions.”

SPEAKER: Sir Richard Branson is just one of the many esteemed speakers who will attend the We Day UK event

SPEAKER: Sir Richard Branson is just one of the many esteemed speakers who will attend the We Day UK event

Mohammed will be tasked with speaking about his time in the Barclays Life Skills programme, which led him to work with charities, Feed the Children and Mother Helpage Worldwide.

The programme acts as a platform for Year Six to Year 12 students to develop key skills such as communication and confidence before being given the opportunity to take up work placements.

Speaking about the moment he got the call to say he had been nominated to publicly address the crowd of thousands, Mohammed said he was ‘shocked’ and ‘delighted’.

“It was only about two or three weeks ago that I actually got a call to say my name had been put forward to speak at the Wembley event,” he explained.

“I never put myself forward but rather was selected and then received a phone interview from the Toronto team of Free the Children, the main organisers of We Day.

“After having a talk with them on the phone, explaining my own experiences, I then heard I got the place a week or so later.”

He added: “I was really proud and told my parents that I had the opportunity, and they were obviously delighted and are always very supportive.”

It won’t be the first time that Mohammed has been chosen to represent his age group on the international stage having attended a United Nations conference in New York a couple of years ago.

That time, the young fundraiser raised more than £2,000, on his own, to help the Mother Helpage Worldwide charity.

Attending a conference in the US, and then discussing and implementing ways to tackle youth problems were just some for the roles the teenager had to tackle.

“The UN was a really good experience so to have the opportunity to attend another major event, like We Day UK, is amazing,” the sixth form senior ambassador explained.

“I am looking forward to it now and come the 7th March, I will be ready to address the huge audience.”

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