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By royal appointment – Leeds born Minhaz is charity CEO at just 22
Less than a year after graduating, Minhaz Abedin from Leeds has landed the top job at Future Talent, a charity which supports gifted young musicians from low-income backgrounds.
At just 22 years of age, Minhaz is the youngest CEO of any of the hundreds of charities associated with the Royal Family. Future Talent was co-founded in 2004 by HRH The Duchess of Kent and Nicholas Robinson, both of whom remain closely involved as trustees.
Throughout his studies at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, The Grammar School at Leeds Sixth Form and Lancaster University, Minhaz was a passionate advocate for young people and giving them a voice.
He first lobbied his MP at the age of 10, spoke in the House of Commons three times as a Member of the UK Youth Parliament and addressed the United Nations General Assembly as the UK’s Youth Delegate.
Although by his own admission Minhaz “was not born with a musical gift” he was surrounded by music growing up. He saw how it could bring people together from all backgrounds, when his parents hosted concerts in his local community in Harehills, Leeds.
Minhaz said: “I’ve seen first-hand how young people from deprived backgrounds struggle to access support to help them fulfil their destinies.
“By leading Future Talent, I will be able to reach into communities across the nation and offer financial and developmental support to the gifted young musicians who need it most. That is how we’ll make a lasting impact, by allowing passionate young people to access equal opportunities for success.”
HRH The Duchess of Kent, who taught music at a primary school in Hull for 13 years, said: “Minhaz has the energy, ideas and experience to lead on our exciting plans for growth, to ensure that we can give vital holistic support to young musicians and give them a future with exceptional possibilities.”
Now based in London, Minhaz has not forgotten his roots. Starting with the opening of a new office in the North of England and working closely with arts organisations and schools in the region, he aims within three years to double the number of young musicians supported by Future Talent.