A young woman from Scampton, has won a royal award after turning her life around with help from The Prince’s Trust.
Shaunna East, 25, won The Workplace Depot Young Ambassador of the Year Award at The Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success awards.
The award recognises young people who are exceptional Young Ambassadors for The Trust, volunteering their time, sharing their personal experiences and inspiring others.
Shaunna had a traumatic family life. She was exposed to domestic violence, unemployment and poverty at an early age and it had a lasting effect. Her friendships suffered and at the age of 12, Shaunna too, found herself in a violent relationship. It resulted in further family difficulties and led to her becoming homeless for two years aged 13.
Shaunna managed to get by, did well academically, and was about to study politics at university when she was diagnosed with stage four endometriosis and discovered she was pregnant with her second child.
Shaunna said: “I went through a lot of hard times, especially when I was younger, but it never stopped me from wanting to do well. That ambition kept me going.”
Realising she needed financial security, she enrolled on The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. She successfully launched a modelling agency with her fiancé’s sister but two weeks before her wedding day, her relationship ended suddenly and she lost not only her fiancé but her business partner too.
Shaunna’s survival instinct kicked in again and she kept the agency going and was also invited to become a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador. She attended a number of big events and confidently shared her story to raise awareness of the work of The Prince’s Trust.
Shaunna said: “I have always had ambition and passion but The Trust gave me something I never had, self-esteem and confidence. Being a Young Ambassador, putting on a suit and going to those engagements to talk about everything The Trust has done for me gave me huge amount of pride. It’s a great privilege to have won this award. I am very proud of the person I am today and that’s thanks to the support and encouragement of The Prince’s Trust. I want to keep helping other young people to move forward in their own lives.”
Steve Miller, Managing Director, The Workplace Depot, said: “Shaunna didn’t just change her own life, but has been able to change others’ through her inner strength. Shaunna is a hero and she should be proud of her achievements.”