A former Westminster Kingsway student who hopes to become a detective has been named the Metropolitan Police’s Cadet of the Year.
Andreea Vlădeanu, 18, was named among the winners in this year’s Met Excellence Awards, which recognise the dedication of officers and police work across London.
She was announced the winner at an online ceremony hosted by LBC presenter Nick Ferrari and guest presenters including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Stephen Fry, Robert Rinder and ITV London News reporter Ronke Phillips.
Andreea joined the Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) at the North East Basic Command Unit that covers Waltham Forest and Newham, in 2017 and was promoted to Head Cadet two years ago.
She said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be Cadet of the Year and not something I expected. I am proud to be a police cadet and glad I can help influence my generation. It’s made me realise I can do anything if I put my mind to it, and what I want to do as a career.”
Andreea, who is originally from Romania, was 14 when she came to the UK. Her father felt London would give her more opportunities and she threw herself into learning English and other activities.
She joined the VPC after seeing an advert on the internet, which helped her to continue improving her English and learn new skills. Her work in the cadets has included helping officers with traffic operations where she has provided translation for police and Romanian drivers.
Andreea studied A Levels in history, law and psychology at WestKing from 2018-20 and is now studying International Relations and Psychology at Royal Holloway University of London. She hopes to join the Met when she finishes university and wants to work to help prevent domestic and youth violence.
She said: “Working in the police is really inspiring. A lot of the time you only see what is happening on the street, officers making arrests and in dangerous situations, but there is also work going on to stop domestic abuse that you don’t see. That is what I want to do in the future.” During her time at WestKing she completed the Career Ready programme, which works with educators and employers to prepare young people for work through mentoring and placements.
She said: “I have good memories and friends from when I was at WestKing. My teachers were amazing. They helped me with everything and gave good feedback. I really enjoyed the Career Ready programme, which helped me a lot. The internship was extraordinary for me.
“I learnt so much at college and will always remember it as a great journey.”
The VPC is one of the fastest growing uniformed youth organisations in the country. More than 5,000 young Londoners aged 10-19 are currently based at units in every borough in the capital.
In a Facebook post announcing her win, the Met said: “Andreea has made an outstanding contribution for her cadet team in Newham, showing her dedication to tackling youth violence.
“When Andreea arrived in the UK from Romania in 2015, she couldn’t speak English. She joined the cadets and quickly volunteered at every event to improve her English and understand London’s culture.
Now Head Cadet, she leads a team of 40 cadets on how to give back to the community and is a role model to so many around her.” Click here to find out about A Level courses at WestKing.
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