12:37PM, Wednesday 11 May 2016
The top prize at this year’s Amnesty International Youth Awards 2016 was handed to a pupil from Langley Grammar School in London on Friday.
Pooja Anand entered the poetry strand of the human rights competition, beating hundreds of competitors with a poem about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
Speaking after receiving the award, the 14-year-old year nine student said: “I was inspired to write about this issue because I know so many people who have these problems and I wanted to convey how they feel to have to deal with these issues.
"I was freaking and shaking and I kept asking my mum ‘are you sure that’s me?’
“I never thought I’d get shortlisted for the top 10, winning was fantastic.”
Pooja’s entry was judged by a prestigious panel including playwright, writer and performer Joseph Coelho, writer and film producer Ben Holden, award winning fiction writer Jackie Kay and youth judge and previous finalist Jessica Natrass.
The Amnesty Youth Awards challenge young people aged seven to 19 to explore human rights issues through reporting, photography, poetry, performing and campaigning and fundraising.
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Hundreds of students across East Berkshire and South Bucks collected their results on Thursday, August 16
Our reporting team spoke to students in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead throughout the morning with the latest reaction, stories, photos and pass rates from schools across the area.