We are thrilled to announce that Back Up Youth Advisor Katie Krzyzanowski has won the prestigious Diana Award in the Courageous Citizen category.
The 17-year-old picked up the prize on 4 July, which recognises the social action of young people, after being nominated by us here at Back Up.
Katie has given up her time to volunteer at Back Up and has been inspiring others with spinal cord injury to go out and live the life they want.
Described as a “great leader,” she helped out on youth courses in 2014 and 2015 before becoming a Youth Advisor. She plays a key role in shaping Back Up's services and empowering new youth advisors participating in decision making.
Katie, who permanently damaged her spinal cord by age of 12, has seen Back Up help her to rebuild her independence. She said:
“On my first Back Up course, I relied on my parents for everything. I didn’t do anything on my own. Within the week, I learned to do more by myself. When I came home my parents were amazed at the change in me. Since then, I have gone on weekend with Back Up, volunteered and stayed in places on my own. Without Back Up, I wouldn’t have done any of that”.
She is a fantastic role model, who is dedicated to educating people and has also taken part in films to raise awareness.
In her role as a Youth Advisor, she said: “I learned more about spinal cord injury and how they affect people individually. I’ve learned more about myself and I think my perception in what I can achieve has changed.”
Her positive attitude has inspired us all and we want to say congratulations, so well done Katie!
You can find out more about the Diana Award here