Singing campaigner nominated for award

Sirina-Monique Prescod-Sebastian at Peterborough regional College EMN-150721-220947009
Sirina-Monique Prescod-Sebastian at Peterborough regional College EMN-150721-220947009
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A Peterborough woman who campaigns for minorities and sings about her causes has been nominated for the Cambridgeshire Young People of the Year Awards (YOPEYs).

Motivated Sirina-Monique Prescod-Sebastian (19) lives on her own in a hostel, off Eastfield Road.

But her tireless campaigning for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is bringing her continual recognition.

The nomination for the KISS Communications YOPEY (18-25) comes after Sirina received an award from television presenter Gok Wan after being named Youth Campaigner of the Year by LGBT charity Stonewall.

The award was for Sirina writing, recording and creating a music video for a rap tackling discrimination.

She has also written and performed songs about mental health and sexism.

Sirina said: “I would love a career in performing my music as well as campaigning.”

Last summer, Sirina finished her BTEC national diploma in sports studies at Peterborough Regional College.

She has a place to study psychology at Birmingham City University, but is currently on a gap year which she is spending as executive officer for equality and diversity at the college.

Sirina also coaches a team of basketball players with learning disabilities at Hampton Leisure Centre.

She would like to see schools do more to combat homophobia. She said: “I keep saying to everyone just talk about homosexuality. Don’t be scared to mention it.”

Sirina also wants to tackle racism. She moved to Peterborough three years ago from London and says she has been racially abused on the city’s streets on several occasions.

She added: “I have been living in a hostel for a couple years and I have seen the way people live - smoking weed, no jobs and weekly intoxication. I am not that type of person and I like to make something of my life.”

Sirina was nominated by Katie McAllister, student wellbeing and enrichment manager at the college. She said: “Sirina-Monique is a passionate advocate for equality and diversity, raising the message not only across the college but also the city.”

Also nominated is Abbie Wiles, of Low Cross, Whittlesey. The 18-year-old from Sir Harry Smith Community College has led the training of pupils in first-aid for their Duke of Edinburgh Awards and fundraised for charity.

The winners of the YOPEYs and runners-up will receive money to invest in their good causes and for themselves.

The awards ceremony will be held at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, in the autumn.

The YOPEYs were started in Cambridgeshire 10 years ago by former national newspaper journalist Tony Gearing. For more, see yopey.org.