Matt Woodley, 21, from Hull, was crowned the winner of the Yorkshire Post Flying Start Award at The Prince’s Trust and L’Oreal Paris Celebrate Success Awards.
Katie Hulse, 25, from Doncaster and Matthew Purchon, 18, from Wakefield, were both named as runners-up for the award.
After his dream of joining the Army was shattered when he failed his medical at the age of 17 due to a curvature of the spine, Mr Woodley began self-harming, drinking heavily, and tried to commit suicide.
But after counselling and completing two Prince’s Trust courses he has found a steady job and hopes to join the RAF in 2014.
Mr Woodley is now a young ambassador for the trust and is committed to inspiring other young people to turn their lives around by telling his story.
He has helped raise funds and awareness of the trust and the work it does.
He said: “I’m delighted to win this award. I was in a bad place a few years ago but thanks to The Prince’s Trust I managed to turn things around.
“I don’t know where I would be today without them.”
The ceremony celebrated the achievements of individuals and groups who had been shortlisted for awards.
More than three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into training or education. The charity has helped more than 650,000 people since 1976.