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Young people today face a wide range of challenges. At The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, we want to play our part in helping young people to be ready for their world. Non-formal education and the development of skills such as resilience, confidence and communication can help to ensure every young person can say I AM #WORLDREADY.


Around the world, young people face a broad mosaic of challenges; many unseen by previous generations.

We have launched the #WORLDREADY campaign to drive awareness and discussion around actual challenges and how – as a global society – we can help our young people to ensure they are ready for their world – whatever their world may look like.

Find out more, in the full #WORLDREADY Paper, here.

We know we are only scratching the surface on this topic, so in the next few months we will be launching new surveys to explore this further. If you’d like to join the debate, sign up to share your opinion and get involved here.

DESPRE AWARD Partronul programului Award in Romania 3

Beyond the classroom

Tried and tested; formal education models have been helping to prepare young people for their futures for generations, in many societies. In some, access to school is a relatively new-found right; in others, that right has still to be won:

”Being ready to meet each day, head on; ready to learn, ready to adapt; ready to question, ready to be questioned; ready to lead, ready to follow; ready to stand up for others and for what is right; ready to do the right thing – always; ready to work, ready to play; ready to laugh, ready to cry – Being World Ready is about being ready for life”.

John May, Secretary General, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation

There are three ways that you could get involved with the Award today:

The Award relies on the support of people and organisations around the world to ensure it can continue to offer non-formal education to young people in more than 130 countries and territories.

Play your part in helping to champion and challenge young people and their communities, by getting involved in the Award near you.

By supporting The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, our donors are helping to deliver a life-changing experience to young people that helps to prepare them for their world.

Becoming a donor of the Award is about placing faith in the next generation and empowering them to become all that they can be.

Incredible adult volunteers who gave their time to work with the Award now feel part of their community and will continue to volunteer in the future.

Will you join them?

You’ve achieved your Award!

Congratulations!  It’s a real mark of achievement, recognised internationally, and worth celebrating.   But what can you do with it?   How can it be helpful in getting you to the next level of education or into employment?

In some countries, achieving an Award gains you extra points towards a university place.  If that’s the case for you (and if you’re not sure, ask the institution), make sure that you keep your Award certificate safe as proof of completion.

Alternatively, you may have the opportunity to write about your Award experience as part of your application, or talk about it in an interview – whether for education, or employment.  If so, these pieces of advice, distilled from the experiences of Award achievers around the world, may help you make the most of your Award.

Be ready to explain it. Whilst the Award is widely recognized, many people don’t really understand it. In some countries they think it’s just about the Adventurous Journey (or expedition), or only involves voluntary service to the community.

Deconstruct your experiences. You will have developed a range of skills, behaviours and attitudes as a result of the Award activities you chose for yourself and the targets you set and achieved.   Reflect on what you took away from each one.

How has it helped you to become #WORLDREADY? Research into the Award suggests that the following outcomes result from participation. Consider how these might apply to you: Confidence, Managing feelings, Resilience and determination, Relationships and leadership, Creativity and adaptability, Planning and problem solving, Civic competence, Intercultural competence, Personal and social well-being andCommunication.

Structure your thinking. What activity did you do?  What skills, behaviours or attitudes did you develop by doing it?  How do these relate to the course you want to do or the job for which you are applying?

What makes you stand out from others? It may be that your voluntary service experience is directly relevant to what you want to do next.   Or it may be less easy to make a connection.  Good skills to highlight include self-discipline, time management and organisation. So, for example, your Adventurous Journey may have improved your communication skills, as well as your ability to work under pressure and solve problems.  If you’re looking for a job, they will help you build relationships with your new colleagues, deal with what gets thrown at you and perhaps provide a different perspective to a business problem being faced by your new team.

Sell yourself. This can feel uncomfortable at first but it’s very important that you promote yourself to the person who’ll be reading your application or interviewing you and convince them why they should offer you a place on the course or take you on as an employee. One way to sell yourself is to use positive action verbs such as “achieved”, “completed” and “developed” throughout anything you choose to write.  

Be careful not to overdo it though. The key is to promote yourself without appearing arrogant. 

Back your skills up with evidence. One way to promote yourself without appearing arrogant is to explain how you could contribute to university or work life and make the most of the many opportunities on offer.  If you took part in a team sport as part of your Physical Recreation section, is there a team you could join at Uni or at your new employer and continue contributing?

So what? Once you’ve prepared your material, give it the ‘so what?’ test. Get in the mind-set of an admissions tutor, HR director or your future manager and read over what you’ve come up with. Is there anything that the person might say ‘so what?’ about? Is there anything you need to expand on more? Or is there anything you’ve forgotten to include? You could also give it to your Award Leader to look over and give you some feedback. Once you’ve made the changes, get it checked again, including for spelling mistakes in any written material. It’s always a good idea to get a fresh pair of eyes to check over it.

Remember ‘KISS’. Keep it short and simple.   Use language you’d use every day.

Be your most likeable self. When companies hire employees, they’re also hiring the people they’ll have to spend half of each week with, and in any good company, culture is a top priority. If you’re yourself in the interview and you’re a good fit for the culture, that’s going to be a huge plus for you—if you’re yourself and you’re a bad fit for the culture, it’s not a company you’d be happy working at anyway.

Be honest. Don’t overclaim your achievements. Remember, you probably learned more from that mistake you all made on your Adventurous Journey that when everything was going perfectly.  Be ready to talk about that learning.