Klaipeda has selected the nominees, now it’s time to choose the WINNERS. Voting ends on December 2nd VOTE HERE
This year’s nominees:
YOUTH AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR:
Gediminas Simutis. Gediminas Simutis is a sports and fitness coach, an athlete worthy to be the ambassador of the year. Ambassador, who together with his team represent Klaipeda, Lithuania in OCR sports. OCR Sports Ambassador, both in Lithuania and abroad: Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland. Set an excellent example of how to achieve the highest results through hard work. He is not only focused on his results; he is always looking for opportunities to help beginners and advanced athletes to participate in high-quality competitions. Everywhere he participated, his team members also achieved high results (prizes). Lithuania is made known for its team spirit and it is gratifying that Lithuanians receive a lot of attention in the context of OCR. Alfa Run – equivalent to the Lithuanian Championship – 2nd place. Drosmes Skrējiens Latvija first two places. Spartan Race Slovakija Beast 22km track – 3rd place, Sprint track 6km – 1st place, European Spartan Championship – 3rd place. Redbul211 – relay running stage – 1st place, Trail Curonian Spit 12km. – 1st place.
Kipras Kūra. He is perfect for the nomination of the Youth Ambassador of the Year. Although Kipras is only 15 years old, he has already become the Lithuanian champion 18 times, he has been repeatedly written about by the largest Lithuanian news portals, and more often by foreign journalists. However, the most important thing is that when mentioning Kipras, the name of Klaipeda also appears everywhere. Why? Because this talented guy is from Klaipėda, a member of Klaipėda Sport Dance Club “Žingsnis”. This year was extremely generous for Kipras: together with his partner from Vilnius, Elze Gintvile Valiunaite, he won the Lithuanian standard championships, Latin American dance and ten dance programs in the Youth II group. Thanks to excellent performances both in Lithuania and abroad, the couple became world ranking leaders! And that’s not all: Kipras and his partner have won the right to go to world and European championships and carry the Lithuanian flag! They will represent our country in three youth age group II championships – the World Standard Dance Championship in Israel, the World Latin American Dance Championship in Romania and the 10 World Dance Discipline Championships in Vilnius. Not only his name will be mentioned in all of them, but also the proud name of Klaipeda! Kipras is a role model. He makes his hometown famous all over the world and wins one victory after another, but he is an extremely friendly, modest guy, who can train for a few hours a day and study at Klaipeda Vytautas Magnus Gymnasium and do other hobbies. It is amazing that thanks to such talented young people, Klaipeda continues to strengthen its name as a leader in Lithuanian sports dances!
Niels Claes. Winner of the Golden Cross. One of the best dancers in Lithuania. Active #chooseklaipeda ambassador.
YOUNG BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR:
Tomas Žemgulys. Created a novelty in Lithuania – modular golf courses. Participates in various events promoting entrepreneurship, where he shares his experience on how to move forward and achieve his goals, even during the quarantine. His story is unique in that he started his business just as the world was darkened with the Covid-19 virus and the associated adversity and hardship. Tom is an example to follow and draw inspiration from pursuing goals in both business and personal life.
Henrikas Urbonas. Henrikas is a young Klaipeda resident, the creator of “Interactio”, a virtual simultaneous translation program that has attracted millions of investments. The starter attracted over 30 million investment and, although the activity is developed throughout Europe, Henrikas is developing his business in Klaipeda.
Gabija Urnaitė. She is developing her own sustainable business at the age of just 17, together with the Jurior Achievemnt program, encouraging Klaipeda residents to join sustainable fashion, actively participating in various initiatives and initiating them herself. Gabija is a student of Klaipeda Technology Training Center vocational school, loving Klaipeda and believing in her business idea. In 2021 Gabija not only actively participated in the activities of “Klaipeda-European Youth Capital 2021”, but also organized an event to commemorate World Earth Day, during which a collection of old wearable clothes was created and representatives of sustainable fashion from all over Lithuania were invited to share their stories. She started giving lectures to young people about global issues and how we can avoid it. She was also one of the organizers of the event “Evening in Sustainable Fashion”, during which she also talked about her experience and knowledge about sustainability. Presented a workshop on how to remake your old clothes. In Vilnius, “Baltic textile” presented her collection of old non-wearable clothes.
YOUTH LEADER OF TEH YEAR:
Raminta Kvekšaitė. Chairwoman of the Klaipėda Branch of the Lithuanian Students’ Union 2 Term in Offie (currently organizing a very large event that needs a strong leader).
Nina Šamakova. Nina has been the chairwoman of the Klaipėda Deaf Youth Organization for many years, as well as a member of the council. She has always been a leader for members of her community regardless of the age of the people. She helped and still helps her community whenever she can: through conversation, advice. A sincere and open person, even after stepping down as chairwoman, remained active in her community.
Greta Meškauskienė. Youth Leader of the Year – Greta Meškauskienė, for the patience, consistency, respect and appreciation of youth. Understanding and knowing how to sincerely work with youth on an equal footing. For being a true leader in the team, the ability to teach and trust, and to go beyond what is necessary to benefit not her, but young people.
WINNER OF THE YEAR:
Jonas Valiukevičius. Despite his disability (cerebral palsy), he participates in volunteer activities. Since 2017, he has been actively involved in the activities of the Lithuanian Special Creative Society “Guboja”. Together with other disabled people, he creates performances, sings and organizes trips for the disabled around Lithuania. He also volunteers at Haus Klaipėda, youth theater, state theater, and public health bureau organizations. This year he had to volunteer at the opening performance of Klaipeda State Theater “Romeo and Juliet”. It was necessary to hang people’s clothes in the locker room and return them after the performance, to set up a photo wall of the theater. Jonas biggest dream would be to volunteer at Jazzu concert and meet her live, or volunteer at a concert of another performer.
Creativity studio for individual needs “Plunksnele“. “Plunksnele” implemented a project aimed at creating 20 educational computer games for young people with disabilities that develop responsible behavior with nature (ecology theme). Involving young people in environmental issues, despite disability, is a great example of how research can focus on the well-being of our planet.
Center for the Disabled “Klaipedos Lakstute”. On September 16-22, the Center for the Disabled “Klaipedos Lakstute” invited Klaipėda city institutions to participate in the JUDAM challenge. The challenge aimed to reveal how widely and differently we see our city. Task of the challenge: 5 photos that represent 5 letters of the word JUDAM, where each letter is immortalized next to a certain building, object, stand, street name of Klaipeda city, etc. “Klaipedos Lakstute” community members actively participated in the challenge, as well as Klaipeda Medeine School of Special Needs, Lithuanian Association for the Care of People with Intellectual Disabilities “Klaipedos Viltis”, Public Institution “Gyvenimo namai”, Klaipeda Ernestas Galvanauskas Vocational Training Center Health Care Services and Rehabilitation Department Chef’s Modular Vocational Training Program Group, and Florist Modular Vocational Training Program Group, and the Samoyed Kennel “Mazoji loke”. We are glad to have involved other Klaipeda institutions in the playful challenge on the initiative of the Center for the Disabled “Klaipedos Lakstute”.
REVIVAL OF THE YEAR:
Klaipėda Branch of the Lithuanian Red Cross Organization. After a while, the organization recovered and became very active again. Led by Alina Birbalaitė, the organization is gaining momentum and has joined the Klaipeda Association of Youth Organizations – KLAS. We hope that the organization will gain even more momentum and that this nomination may lead to more activity.
Interact Club. This year was full of challenges for Klaipeda Interact club “Ad-astra”: it was necessary to restore the club and start the activities of the club from the very beginning. But that only motivated us even more. This year we participated in the project “The Hero Inside”, which united our club in a special way. We are also happy to take part in the international Cookbook project organized by Interact International and to volunteer for the weekly Cognitive Miracle with blind children. We are also currently implementing our project “Guardian Angel” with a nursing home, the main idea of which is to make the elderly happy, pay attention to them and give them love, and we are curating the project of a new joint website of Lithuanian Interact clubs. The trainings with the wonderful president of Vilnius Neris Interact and Edita Mačiulske, a career specialist, which were especially useful for the club members. These days we are starting to work on the club’s new projects for Klaipeda youth and we are planning a congress with all Lithuanian Interact clubs. All these works encourage us to improve and enjoy every day. We hope to spend the next year even more productive, useful and fun.
YOUTH PARTNER OF THE YEAR:
Public Institution “Lyderiams.lt”. The public institution sets an excellent example of how greater results can be achieved together, always agrees to share existing experience, develops and implements projects that promote and develop leadership, encourages to look at leadership from a different angle and seeks to bring up leaders in Klaipeda for the future. The institution is worthy of being nominated as a Youth Partner of the Year because it is always willing to connect, collaborate and support various youth initiatives.
Lithuanian Maritime Museum. The Lithuanian Maritime Museum is inseparable from Klaipeda. This institution is a host organization accredited by the Youth Voluntary Service. It is a partner in the implementation of the activities of the European Youth Capital, the project Baltic Sea 2030. It has attracted a great deal of involvement and interest from young people. And also, one of the most attractive museums in Lithuania.
Klaipeda Association of Youth Organizations “Round Table” (KLAS). Operating and creating for the development of youth policy. KLAS initiated the most ambitious project in Klaipeda “Klaipeda-European Youth Capital 2021”, thanks to which the youth policy implemented in the city has gained more momentum, it receives much more attention from the city and it will be ensured that the project goals will continue in the future; potential of young people will be revealed Klaipeda will become an open, collaborative and youth-friendly city. KLAS brings together more than 20 youth organizations to provide assistance, training and support on all issues related to their activities. KLAS glorifies the name of Klaipeda by developing international cooperation.
YOUTH ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR:
Klaipeda State University of Applied Sciences Students’ Union (KVK SA). This is one of the largest student organizations in the entire Klaipeda region. This organization represents all the students of the college, raises their competencies, organizes various events not only for students, but also for Klaipeda residents. It is important to mention that KVK SA not only protects the rights of students, contributes to higher quality studies, but also unites many young people. Competent personalities are brought up in this organization, which later contribute to the well-being of Klaipeda city itself, as well as being active in youth policy; actively represents students of KVK both inside and outside the college. It is also a civic organization that participates in various campaigns and events; a civic organization that actively participates and contributes to promotions and events. Also qualitatively represents students in KVK and abroad; Organized the project “Strong organization – the road to success”, improved the leisure time of college students by organizing “Virtual Conversations”, organized 10-15 or even more trainings, and encouraged students to get involved in the blood donation campaign.
Lithuanian Students’ Union, Klaipėda Student Self-Government Information Center (MSIC). Currently, the forum of the Lithuanian Students’ Union, which is being organized at the national level is organized by the Klaipėda branch. Moreover, this is a really active and good youth organization in Klaipėda, won the nomination last year, so “round two”?
Klaipeda Youth Deaf Organization. The organization is active in increasing the integration of young people with hearing disability into the urban community, actively working and cooperating to create favourable conditions for participation in urban life for all, participating in activities and initiatives to ensure equal rights for people with disabilities and developing tools.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR:
Nojus Katkauskas. Volunteers at the Klaipėda Student Self-Government Information Center (LMS KMSIC) of the Lithuanian Students ‘Union, which deals with issues relevant to Klaipeda students, problems in schools, and collects students’ opinions on relevant issues. Represents the opinion of students in the city and at school. Volunteered in “Choose Klaipeda 2021” on the “Spaces” and “North-South” platforms: painted city spaces with artists in the project “I’m not just a wall”, participated in and coordinated events such as night cycling “City lights”, during the 2020-2021 school year was the LMS training manager. He conducted trainings for students’ self-governments, the genres of which are very wide, from time planning, emotional intelligence to document writing, and marketing. Actively participates and volunteers in events such as the Amber Sea Mile and generally in the city, such as various discussions, events promoting entrepreneurship, etc.
Izidė Marcinkutė. Member of the Council of KLAS, member of the Council of Klaipeda Liberal Youth Organization, President of the Student Parliament of Klaipeda Herman Zuderman Gymnasium, actively involved in Klaipeda public life, youth policy and dissemination of liberal ideas in Klaipeda. Surprising and inspiring everyone with her ability to make time for everything.
Gustas Labutis. This person is very active in society, in terms of volunteer elections of the year, he volunteers: In the Amber Nautical Mile for the third year. Klaipeda Association of Youth Organizations “Round Table” .- Food Bank for the fourth year, Parliament elections (volunteer in constituencies) – In various concerts which took place outside Klaipeda.- “I know who I elect” – Lithuanian Students’ Union at Klaipėda Student Self-Government Information Center
YOUTH PROJECT OF THE YEAR:
Klaipeda – European Youth Capital 2021. The most ambitious project of Klaipeda, initiated and implemented by Klaipeda youth, city municipality, institutions and companies operating in the city, a wide network of partners on a national, local and international scale. Together, we had the opportunity to address the identified youth challenges in the title year with a 9-platform program that encourages action, creation and unfoldment. The project helped to establish a direct dialogue with the city council, to stimulate young peoples’ interest in youth policy, to promote volunteering and to contribute to the implementation of humanitarian aid, SDG awareness and promotion, entrepreneurship and creativity, creating favorable conditions for entrepreneurship and creative youth, creating youth spaces, traditions, creating activities attractive to young people and developing empathy in all areas of the city: from the northern to the southern part of the city, ensuring the integration of youth exclusion groups, forming the image of Klaipeda as an open city, thus revealing its potential. The project does not end with the title year. The strategic initiatives and the practice formed during the project, as well as the network of partners formed, will in the future contribute to the further strengthening of youth and youth organizations in the city, individual youth initiatives, cooperation and further close contacts with city authorities. Young people were heard during the project. The restored confidence in the city will contribute to the growth of the city in the future. The #chooseklaipeda project implemented activities for young people. Young people took part in the activities on an equal footing. They were able to make decisions and organize activities together. The project helped to implement the ideas we developed and provided a wealth of knowledge on how to improve the implementation of the activities. The trainings organized by the project helped young people to gain more knowledge about communication and we can use the knowledge gained to promote the organization. The project helped realize my dream of hosting my own concert. I’ve never dared to appear on stage before. I have gained a lot more confidence now and want to study at the music academy in the future. Thanks to the project. If it weren’t for this project, there would be no ambassadors. This project and the ambassadors have made me want to take part in activities to do events for the city and invite anyone who wants to take part. I see how Klaipeda needs a variety of actions and events where it is possible to meet, communicate, discuss and make decisions if there are things we would like to address. I see my future in Klaipeda and together with my classmates we want to continue participating in ecological events and do events at school ourselves so that as many people as possible get involved and start changing their habits. I really liked #chooseklaipeda. Very good slogan. Next year, I would like the activities not to end. I first participated in hackathon and #chooskelaipeda showed how to solve problems in a team. I really enjoyed this form of the event and the prizes were very good. I would love to attend another event like this. I also really like the fact that the project includes the activities of ambassadors. It was the ambassadors who invited me to take part. I have now become an ambassador myself and want to continue volunteering.
Klaipeda Science and Technology Park project “PORTATHON”. The project, which unites young people and representatives of companies, is in its third year and brings together schoolchildren, students and start-ups with technological ideas. The marathon generates innovative solutions applicable to Klaipeda port and beyond: 3 years in a row, more than 350 participants all year round, students and schoolchildren from Lithuania (Klaipeda, Vilnius, Kaunas, Silute), Germany, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, etc. More than 50 teams.
Brain-Battle League. From March to May, regular battles were organized remotely, in which teams of 2-7 gymnasium students (over 320 students; over 60 teams) from all Lithuanian gymnasiums could participate. During each battle, according to the regulations, it was possible to earn ranking points, which were recorded in the ranking table. Nine top-ranked teams were invited to the live finals of the battle league in Klaipeda Lyceum. This idea was initiated by the students, without many years of experience they brought together so many students themselves without any help.
THE MOST ACTIVE YOUNG FAMILY OF THE YEAR:
Viktorija Ivanauskaitė and Nina Samakova. Together they work on the integration of the deaf in Klaipeda, represent the deaf, prepare various educations for them, spread the culture of the deaf and sign language in Klaipeda. Help people with hearing disability to actualize their right to work, study and pursue a profession.
Rimvydas and Guoda Useliai. Young entrepreneurs who actively participate in events, are willing to share the start of their business and encourage not to be afraid to take the first steps. Also, feel free to contact them if you have any questions about where to start. The family is actively collaborating with other businesses in the city and has revived the area of the city’s north pier, where no action had taken place before and very little attendance. This family deserves to become the most active young family of the year, because thanks to their non-standard idea they have created a new object of attraction for Klaipeda, they are willing to cooperate, contribute to the implementation of youth initiatives and projects and show a great example of a young family.
Evelina and Gytis Simelioniai. A young family active in the cultural life of Klaipeda city, raising two children and finding time to be everywhere. This family initiated the “Live in Klaipeda” initiative during the quarantine, together with other artists they create and implement various public projects.
THE MOST CIVIC ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR:
Klaipeda Association of Youth Organizations “Round Table” (KLAS). KLAS implements various civic initiatives, encourages young people to be active citizens and participates in the implementation of citizenship initiatives implemented in the city.
Klaipedos Liberal Youth. Participates in rallies for human rights, organizes trainings for young people.
Lithuanian Students ‘Union Klaipėda Student Self-Government Information Center (MSIC). The Lithuanian Students’ Union actively contributes to the upbringing of a civic community, actively participates in various activities, forms and implements youth policy activities and various civic initiatives.
YOUTH BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR:
Ausra Paceviciute. Promotes leadership, ensures stability, seeks to recruit new employees and proves that a successful business can be created in Klaipeda.
Guoda Useliene. Promotes leadership, ensures stability, seeks to recruit new employees and proves that a successful business can be created in Klaipeda.
Sarunas Butkus. He has attracted many talented employees from other cities to Klaipeda and attracts technological companies that are being established in Klaipeda.
THE NOMINATION PROPOSED BY KLAIPEDA RESIDENTS:
IDEA OF THE YEAR– Aivaras Balčiūnas. Development and nurturing of the KlaipėdaON concept of open youth space.
CAURAGE OF THE YEAR – Aistė Vitkevičiūtė. For the implemented event “Finger Creators Concert” / Colours Aistė Vitkevičiūtė, organized one of the boldest events of this year, where the concert was translated into sign language for the first time in Lithuania. An unusual and unique “8 Room” concert was created.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR– Rūta Vaicekauskaitė. 2021 European Kyokushin Karate Championship. 2nd place in Kata Team match. 1st place in Lithuanian U20 Kyokushin Karate Championship. Represented Lithuania (national team member) and Klaipeda city (Okinawa Sports Club) in Europe. On November 13 will participate in the European U20 kyokushin karate championship in Romania.