Rebecca McKersie, from Belfast, a sixth-year student at Ashfield Girls’ High School, was driven to volunteer for Kidney Research UK when a family member was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease in 2012. Whether it’s the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Children’s Kidney Fund NI or the NI Hospice and Children’s Hospice Rebecca is relentless in her volunteering and fundraising efforts over the last five years.

Her desire to impact change developed into a more localised endeavour when in 2016 she participated in the Ulster Project, a cross-community initiative where Rebecca and other young people from across the political divide travelled to the United States. There they engaged in numerous social projects including elderly care homes, homeless shelters and general community work for the betterment of others. Rebecca’s interest and care for international issues was further enhanced during the 2016-2017 migrant crisis in Europe. Rebecca volunteered with the National Citizen Service where she planned events to raise money and awareness on the plight of migrants.

Her principal Alison Mungavin highlighted the work done by Rebecca internally by volunteering her for a peer mentor scheme “Squirrels” and how even after securing her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, Rebecca continued to assist with the running of the scheme. “I am very proud of Rebecca: always thoughtful and considerate of others despite facing personal difficulties in her family, her first thought is never of herself and always of others.”

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