Nottinghamshire teenager recognized after turning his life around and becoming a ‘role model’

A teenager who turned his life around after falling into the wrong crowd is now inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.

After realizing he was making the wrong decisions and dating the wrong people, Emanuele Raimondi decided to change the course of his life.

The 17-year-old, at risk of losing his family and his freedom, was helped by his mother, school and teachers to turn his back on a potential life of crime and is now inspiring others to do the same.

Emanuele won the Lyrico Steede award – named after teenager Bulwell who was murdered in 2018.

The award was created to recognize a young person who may have been involved in gangs, knife crimes or any other form of crime, but who has made significant progress and who inspires others to make positive decisions and do better life choices.

“I got caught up in school in a few things that weren’t really meant to happen,” Emanuele said.

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“So, I decided to make a change for myself and help others get out of the same kind of things I had been caught up in.

“There are things that I wish I had never gone through, and I put myself in that position, but I think people just have to understand that there is more to life and there is so much more than of the crime.

“People have to think about things long term instead of just there and then – that’s my advice to anyone in the situation I was in – that there’s more to life.

“I was on the verge of losing everything and being separated from my mother and my family and not being able to hear or see them anymore and I realized there was so much more to life and people. always said that I had a bright future.

“I separated myself from all the bad company and it was about getting involved with the right people, focusing on school, playing basketball and keeping myself busy.

“I decided to spend more time focusing on the things I was doing and spending time with my family and doing the right things.

“Life is stress free now and I can focus on everything else and do the things I love – it’s great, to be honest.

“I always played basketball from a very young age and I even played when I was living in Italy and my mother came to see me play and I started playing when I moved here, but I then stopped because I got involved in all these issues.

“Now I plan to either focus on basketball and play in Europe or become a nurse.

“I’ve seen so many people hit by knives and I’ve heard of incidents and I want to help those people, give them advice and tell them it’s not worth it and explain to them that they could lose their lives on the street.”

Lyrico’s mother, Keishaye Steede, selected Emanuele as the category winner and will also present her award at the ceremony.

Emanuele was nominated by Suzanne Bointon, his physical education teacher, who explained how the teenager had completely changed his outlook on life to become a role model for others.

She said: ‘What we’ve seen of Emanuele throughout his school life in grades 9, 10 and 11 is someone who may have struggled to find his footing and that’s something we see a lot in Nottinghamshire city schools.

“What we noticed the most about him was his potential and underneath what was on the surface we knew there was someone there who had so much potential and we wanted to work very hard with him to build it. keep on track.

“So, with mum and all her support, we were able to help him make better choices, but also recognize where he went wrong and put the blame on himself.

“To see him now, we’re incredibly proud of him and what we see now is the person we always knew was there.

“It took time for him to see the potential he had and with our support and our mums, he now knows he can go out and do whatever he wants.

“We are so incredibly proud of the young man and the role model he has become.”

Nottinghamshire Police launched the awards as part of its Stephen Lawrence Day celebrations, and they aim to recognize talent, achievement and inspiring young people in Nottinghamshire.

Nottinghamshire Police Youth Outreach Officer Romel Davis, who works within the Citizens’ Policing Service, launched the awards last year (2021).

He said: “I work every day with children and teenagers who have sometimes taken the wrong path to help them get back on track and to sit down and listen and work with them to overcome the issues they might have.

“A job like this is so important to show them that there is another way of life than getting involved in crime and getting into trouble.

“Hearing Emmanuelle’s story and how he realized he was heading down the wrong path and revised his vision and actions is just amazing to hear and makes him totally worthy of this award.

“I hope more people will read this and hear about his story and see how much of a role model he has become and realize that it is possible to change your mindset and your life and make better choices. .”

Rebecca R. Santistevan