Cian has been volunteering since she was in Guides at age 10, starting out with fundraising and helping out at coffee mornings. She then became involved with Scottish Borders Youth Voice in secondary school. From this she helped organise a local awards ceremony recognising inspirational young people in her area.
Cian went on to be elected as an MSYP for 2015-2017 and represented South Scotland in the UK Youth Parliament at the House of Commons debate in 2015. She was a convener for the 2016-17 Transport, Environment and Rural Affairs committee and through this was given the opportunity to engage with the Scottish Parliament and facilitate a campaign event. Now she is an ambassador for the #iwill campaign and encourages other young people to get involved with social action. She is also a YOYP Ambassador and was a ScotWord Champion!
In September 2017 Cian started her first year of studying Law at Robert Gordon University.
Which young Scot inspires you?
The young Scot who inspires me is Nina Nesbitt. She inspires me because of her love for what she does and I find I can relate to a lot of her songs. She is an amazing and talented young woman who hasn’t let fame stop her from being who she is.
What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
The best thing about growing up in Scotland is the opportunities young people have through youth work. This is important to me as my confidence grew massively when I became involved in projects with youth workers. I have changed for the better and strongly believe I would not have had the confidence to go to university after leaving school had it not been for the opportunities I was given.
What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
I’d like to tell older generations that young people and their opinions matter. We matter because we are the future but we are also here now. There’s too much negativity surrounding young people in communities and I believe we need to show older generations the amazing young people doing fantastic things up and down the country.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement is being elected as an MSYP. This meant a lot to me at 16 because I didn’t have much confidence and worried a lot. Having left the organisation now, I still have problems with anxiety and doubt myself at times but now I know that I can speak to large groups and reassure myself that things may go wrong but will usually work out in the end.
What would you most like to achieve in the future?
In the future I would like to be keep volunteering whenever possible and ensure that young people have access to the same quality of youth work and support that I did in order for them to develop their skills. This is important to me because I know personally the difference it can make to a young person’s life and I want everyone to see the benefits of youth work
What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
My advice to young people in Scotland is to get involved. Do what you’re afraid to do. Forget what other people will think. This is important to me because I know what it’s like to be scared of trying something new but I did it and I’m so grateful that I did. The YOYP is fantastic opportunity to start getting involved in your community!
If Cian’s story has inspired you, why not share it on social media using the hashtag #MyStory365 or visit the ‘Get Involved’ section to share your own story!