A Derry youth parliament representative played her part in history on Wednesday when she accepted a special award from Irish President Michael D Higgins during the historical state visit to England.
Nikita Harkin, a Thornhil pupil topped the poll locally as a member of the UK Youth Parliament in Northern Ireland.
The Derry schoolgirl was part of a special gathering of young people from across Ireland and the UK at London City Hall.
The event was attended by the President’s wife, Sabina Higgins, Tánaiste and Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Éamon Gilmore TD, the Irish Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, the Irish Ambassador to Britain, Dan Mulhall, British Ambassador to Ireland, Dominick Chilcott and, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
Nikita received the inaugural Youth on Board award sponsored by the British Youth Council to celebrate successful initiatives, with the first going to the Members of the UK Youth Parliament in Northern Ireland who held their first ever round of elections in 2012 and 2013, Nikita accepted the award on behalf of the youth parliament.
Speaking yesterday, as she returned from the landmark visit, Nikita told the Journal.
“It was amazing to be part of it all, and to accept the award on behalf of members of the Youth Parliament.
“The atmosphere in London was amazing. It was lovely to meet the president and I really enjoyed spending time with his wife Sabina.
“It was really enjoyable and I’m delighted I got a chance to be a part of it.”