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Nottinghamshire teenager recognised after turning life around and becoming ‘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 realising he was making the wrong decisions and getting involved with the wrong people, Emanuele Raimondi decided to change the direction of his life.

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

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

The award was created to recognise a young person who may have been involved in gangs, knife crime or any other forms of criminality but has made significant progress and is inspiring others to make positive decisions and better life choices.

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“I got caught up during school in a couple of things that weren’t really supposed to happen,” Emanuele said.

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

“There are things that I wish I never went through, and I put myself in that position but I think people just need to understand there is more to life and there’s so much more then just crime.

“People need to think about the long-term things instead of just right there and then – that is my advice to anyone in the situation I was in – that there is more to life.

“I was about to lose everything and be taken away from my mum and my family and not be able to hear them or see them and I realised there’s so much more to life and people always did say I had a bright future.

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

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

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

“I have always played basketball from a young age and even played when I lived in Italy and my mum would come to watch me play and I did start to play when I moved over here but then stopped because I got myself involved in all of these issues.

“Now I plan to either focus on Basketball and play in Europe or I’m thinking about becoming a nurse.

“I have seen so many people affected by knives and hearing about incidents and I want to help those people, give them advice and tell them it’s not worth it and explain to them they could lose their life on the streets.”

Lyrico’s mother Keishaye Steede selected Emanuele as the winner of the category and will also present him with his award at the ceremony.

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

She said: “What we saw from Emanuele throughout his year 9, 10, and 11 school life was somebody who perhaps struggled to find where he fitted and that’s something we see a lot in the Nottinghamshire city schools.

“The thing we noticed most about him was his potential and underneath what was on the surface we knew there was somebody in there that had so much potential and we wanted to work really hard with him to keep him on the right path.

“So with mum and all of her support we were able to help him make better choices but also to recognise where he had got things wrong and to put things right off his own back.

“To see him now we are just so incredibly proud of him and what we are seeing now is the person that we knew was always there.

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

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

Nottinghamshire Police launched the awards as part of its Stephen Lawrence Day celebrations, and they aim to recognise the talents, achievements and inspirational young people across Nottinghamshire.

Nottinghamshire Police’s youth outreach worker, Romel Davis, who works within the Citizens in Policing Department, launched the awards last year (2021).

He said: “I work every day with children and teenagers who have sometimes gone down the wrong path to help get them back on track and sit and listen and work with them to overcome any problems they may be having.

“Work like this is so important to show them that there is another way of life than getting involved in crime and ending up in trouble.

“Hearing Emmanuele’s story and how he realised he was heading down the wrong path and overhauled his outlook and actions is just amazing to hear and makes him thoroughly deserving of this award.

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

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