US President Joe Biden paid a glowing tribute to a Ballywalter woman during his brief visit to Belfast last week.
In his speech at the Ulster University, President Biden praised young businesswoman, Aimee Clint, an entrepreneur who is best known for publishing a book series called ‘No Two Stars are the Same’, designed to help children better understand people with autism.
The books were inspired by her younger brother’s diagnosis, and were published under Books by Stellas, which was founded by Aimée when she was with Young Enterprise NI.
Accolades earned by the decorated Ballywalter native include the Diana Award, Top Entrepreneur Under 20 in Europe and she was listed among NI’s 30 Under 30.
Aimée’s work earned her a front row seat to Joe Biden’s opening of the new Belfast campus of Ulster University.
As an alumni of Young Enterprise NI, Aimée knew her name had been put forward by them to be mentioned by the President in his speech. She was then amazed to find out that President Biden spoke glowingly about her many achievements in her young life, along with the work of other rising stars.
Said President Biden: “Young people like Aimee Clint, born in 2000, whose parents like to tell the story about how she came home on her first day of secondary school and asked: ‘What’s the difference between a Protestant and a Catholic’?
“She didn’t grow up thinking of sectarian divides, she grew up thinking about how she could support her beloved brother and other children with autism.
“Today Aimee’s social enterprise has donated more than 5,000 copies of her book to schools across Northern Ireland to help children better understand autism and to learn to treat others with kindness and respect.
“That’s the real power of the Good Friday Agreement. Compassion,” said the president.
Aimee, still amazed that her great achievements were mentioned at length by Joe Biden, soon met with the American leader as he made his rounds through the large audience, which was made up of many young people and business leaders.
“When President Biden came around, I thanked him for mentioning me in his speech and mentioning my work,” began the author. “He said about how amazing it was, how he had heard about it and was trying to encourage me to keep that going.”
“I was very thankful that I had been thought of,” recalls Aimée. “It’s nice to know that my work is respected in that way. Regardless of what happened, I was even honoured to have been invited to the event.”
“I thought my name would be listed among several other names, but that wasn’t. He went into so much depth.”
With the president Speaking glowingly about the impact of the Good Friday Agreement, Aimée said without it, her work and career may not have been able to take off.
“It was outlining that if the Good Friday Agreement wasn’t in place maybe my work would have not been able to have happened. But it has, and allowed me to do my work and grow up here as a young person,” the Ballywalter native added.