Work of Honor
BY Michelle Garcia
September 07 2012 1:19 PM ET
Celebrities like Sir Ian McKellen (who was knighted in 1991) aren’t the only people to be honored by British monarchs. Philanthropists, scholars, and industrialists have all been inducted into the prestigious Order of the British Empire, and the recently announced list of this year’s honorees includes Emma Elizabeth Colyer, director of the U.K. charity Body & Soul, who was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE. She launched the nonprofit 16 years ago and has been helping people with HIV of all ages not only live with the virus but also thrive. Among its many works, Body & Soul launched that country’s first support group for kids under 12 who are affected by HIV in some way.
“I see young people who are coping with all sorts of other adversities in life…and they can’t be open about their status,” she told the Daily Telegraph. “But then I see them overcoming that and achieving far beyond so many other young people that don’t have even some of those challenges.”
Colyer said she feels like the honor is a stamp of approval, which will only motivate Body & Soul’s staff and volunteers to keep helping those in need.