toypA 27-year-old Ghanaian, who doubles as Director of Programmes for Life-link Friendship Schools, Ghana, Mr. Dennis K. A. Penu, has received The Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) award from the Junior Chambers International in Osaka, Japan.

The international award is in recognition of his extensive work towards developing leadership skills and social awareness among children and youth and the leadership he provides in the development of programmes to bridge the education and opportunity gap between the urban and rural students in society.

JCI Osaka instituted the annual TOYP programme since 1981 to motivate hardworking youth who contribute significantly to improving the world and impacting people’s lives through social and business activity.

This year, 5 youth leaders from Ghana, Cambodia, Mexico, USA and Philippines were selected and invited to Japan for the award. A TOYP forum was created for them to share with the people of Japan what motivates them to take action.

In a rare privilege, Dennis and the four other TOYP award recipients were granted audience by the Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako of Japan at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on the 9th of September 2013. The Royal Highnesses had discussions with the award winners about their work.

Receiving the award after a series of activities from 5-9 September 2013 in Osaka and Tokyo, Dennis mentioned that such recognition gives him greater motivation to continue his social work and thanked his organization for given him the opportunity to work for social good.

Past winners of this TOYP award include Steve Wozniak who is a co-founder of Apple Computer.

Dennis Penu has volunteered with Life-link Ghana over the past 8 years in the development of students through the Model United Nations program and Life-link Ghana continues to provide especially rural children, the opportunity to actively know about their society, research about them and work with other peers to find solutions to the world’s problems.

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