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Snapshot stories: Carielle and Michael

Photographer Stephanie de Leng on the adventure ahead for the winners of Your Big Year

Published on February 17th 2011.

Snapshot stories: Carielle and Michael

QUITE by chance, I happened upon two remarkable people, Carielle Doe and Michael Tech, winners of a free global enterprise competition called Your Big Year.

The former is from New York, the latter from Malaysia. Until a few weeks ago they had never met. But now they are about to set off from Liverpool, together, on the ultimate blind adventure.

It was only in August last year that dynamic Liverpool-based company Smaller Earth, which offers volunteering opportunities overseas, launched an initiative to encourage “global citizenship and social responsibility through enterprise”.

The prize? A trip off around the world for two winners, all expenses paid.

An amazing 45,000 people from 168 countries entered, and from these a shortlist of 24 were flown to Liverpool for a week and given a set of tasks, a bit like in The Apprentice, in order to narrow them down to the final pair.

I spent several hours with Michael and Carielle last week in the flat they are sharing in the city centre, and they both impressed me with their poise, eloquence and intelligence.

I sincerely hope that Your Big Year turns out to be everything it is meant to be - not only for them, but also for the attention it could bring to Liverpool.

In the meantime, the two are packing their bags this week to meet leaders, inspirational entrepreneurs and communicating the youthful, global messages of today.

During their adventure they will live in different communities, learn leadership skills and join volunteer projects – from teaching children in South America to conservation work in Asia.

They will be back here at the end of their tour at which time I hope to catch up with them and hear their stories.

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Hooray HenriFebruary 18th 2011.

Hey, a story to lift the spirits after reading Larry's (informative) article about the cuts.

Well done Smaller Earth. Looking forward to hearing more about the adventures of Carielle and Michael.

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