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.
Now, he has won the Lyrico Steede Award – named after the Bulwell teenager who was murdered in 2018 – at this year’s Nottinghamshire Police Live Our Best Life Awards, which are part of the force’s Stephen Lawrence Day celebrations.
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Emanuele said: “I got caught up during school in a couple of things that weren’t really supposed to happen.
“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 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, focusing on school, playing basketball, and keeping myself busy.
“I decided to spend more time focusing 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.”
Lyrico’s mother Keishaye Steede selected Emanuele as the winner of the category after he 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 was somebody who perhaps struggled to find where he fitted and that’s something we see a lot in the Nottinghamshire city schools.
“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.”