Jorden Honan admits receiving his award will live long in the memory, after overcoming adversity to become the HITZ Young Ambassador of the Year.
Jorden received the award supported by Land Rover at the inaugural HITZ Awards in London.
The gong goes to the young person who, through their individual contribution, has made the most significant impact on others within the HITZ programme. The inspirational youngster insisted it was the HITZ initiative that enabled him to make changes and turn his life around.
"The awards evening was one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” he said. "I didn't think I was going to win and it's amazing that I did.
"It's made me feel really good about myself and made me realise that I can do it and I can get there.
"Before I was on the programme I had never even been to London but with HITZ I've done so many things and there's still more to come.
"The programme is involved in so many things and I don't have one regret about being on the course – it's amazing.
"It has changed me massively; I used to be really insecure and not trust anybody. I was lonely, quiet, depressed and had no confidence.
"But I came into a completely different environment and atmosphere where it's all one community, and everyone is working towards the same thing.
"I'd say to someone who is thinking about joining HITZ that it's the best thing you'll ever do in your teenage life, without a doubt.”
Jorden had a tough upbringing and was in and out of care for most of his childhood without much contact with either of his parents.
After narrowly avoiding prison earlier this year when he was arrested for a drunken incident, Jorden realised it was time for a change.
While he was on the HITZ programme, he showed himself to be a perfect role model, taking every opportunity to tell his story to others and show how he was able to better himself despite an unsettled background.
The award winning HITZ programme tackles some of the greatest challenges facing young people today – unemployment, crime and disillusionment. Delivered nationally by Premiership Rugby and funded by national partners Barclays, Comic Relief, Land Rover and Wooden Spoon, HITZ uses rugby to increase young people's resilience, self-reliance and confidence. It gives them the skills to get back into education, vocational training, apprenticeships and employment. Please visit hitzrugby.com to find out more.