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On Saturday August 8th, 2015, the streets of Worcester MA, bustled with sounds of Jubilation as the 3rd Annual African Youth Excellence Awards commenced at “The Urban” restaurant. Many came together to commemorate the exceptional efforts of AYE Pursuers; men and women from all over the country who are striving to accomplish an extraordinary project that highlights Africa in a positive way and have constructed initiatives to enhance the quality of life of their peers both abroad and in Africa.

The formal gala commenced at 6:30pm with a red carpet and interview session, where attendants got a chance to network with each other. As the lights dimmed, and the announcer proclaimed the official “Welcome to the 3rd annual African Youth Excellence Awards”, the festivities ceremoniously began!

The awards were hosted by the dynamic duo, Ms. Gigi Sayon (Host of the Gigi Show- https://www.facebook.com/TheGigiShowTV?fref=ts&ref=br_tf ) and Mr. Nana Bonsu (AYE Director of Fundraising), who entertained guests throughout the evening. The night’s performers included Ms. Lois Dwira, who creatively sang her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner; Vannesa Obeng, a New England Patriot’s cheerleader and a lyrical dancer; Sonia Bamfo, a young and passionate poet and Dara Carter a phenomenal Neo-jazz performer. Various distinguished guests including Mayor of Worcester, Joseph Petty and his Chief of Staff, State Representative, Dan Donahue and Keynote Speaker/Honorary Award Recipient, Ms. Atti Worku (founder of the multimillion dollar initiative Seeds of Africa (http://www.seedsofafrica.org) and former Miss Ethiopia) were in attendance.

Highlights of the evening comprise a Keynote address by Ms. Atti Worku, where she adamantly motivated attendees do more for their communities. She emphasized on the notion that one didn’t need to be a multi millionaire to have a multi million-dollar organization, and ordinary people can indeed make extraordinary differences. The “Panel Hour”, a unique element of the awards show, where a group of professionals discussed pertinent issues concerning the youth and career advancement. This year’s theme was “Surmounting obstacles and achieving success as a young African in the Diaspora”. Then of course, there were the phenomenal pursuers, the reason for the evening. The award recipients who received the title of 2015 AYE Fellows were:

  • Young African in Arts - Rebekah A. Frimpong
  • Young African in Public Service - Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu
  • Young African in ICT - Melissa James 
  • Young African Scholar - Tshibambe Nathaniel Tshimbombu
  • Young African Entrepreneur - Dziffa Akua Ametam
  • Young African in Leadership - Jassie-Fredcia Senwah
  • Top High School Student(s) - Edith Mensah Otabil & Taiwo Oluwafisayomi Abegunde

The Focus of the African Youth Excellence Awards is to highlight the accomplishments of the AYE pursuers in the areas of art, education, information technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and humanitarianism. These Pursuers & Fellows epitomize the selfless pursuit for the betterment of society and are essentially all winners and future achievers.

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