Amy is a Youth Guarantee Employability Link Worker for the Employability and Skills Service, Dumfries and Galloway Council. She supports vulnerable young people and adults into quality, sustainable employment, education or training and offers assistance with CVs, job and college applications, funding/grant applications, financial/benefits advice and general mentoring and guidance. Amy also volunteers for a local theatre group as their Digital Marketing Manager, helping them break into the digital world and establish an active website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts. She also volunteers for Dumfriesshire Scouts, previously as a Cub Leader and soon to be as District Secretary.
Which young Scot inspires you?
The Young People in Scotland that inspire me are the young people I work with every day. Some of these young people have been through hardships and trauma that some people could only imagine, some suffer from mental health issues and some have been told their whole lives that they are lazy and will never amount to anything; and yet they are still so committed to their futures and are determined to progress and move on and gain employment, get into further education, or even go back to school. They are ambitious and dedicated to working hard and that inspires me to work hard every day.
What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
There are so many great things about growing up in Scotland; education is free for all and so is our healthcare. The people of Scotland are fiercely patriotic and I am proud to say I am Scottish. The best thing about growing up in Scotland is having so much beauty and culture right on my door step. Scotland has such a beautiful and diverse landscape and all of it is free to roam and explore. My favourite memories are from when I would go hiking and camping; I climbed Ben Nevis with my Dad when I was 10 years old and that kick-started one of my favourite hobbies of all time.
What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
I would like people from older generations to know that young people are not all ‘lazy’ or ‘obsessed with our phones’ but in fact we are ambitious, motivated, dedicated and committed to making changes to our personal situations as well as our society as a whole. I would ask people from older generations to listen to us, and not ignore our voices just because of our young age. We are all concerned and conscious of our futures and the future of our country and society and we all want the opportunity to be heard and make a difference. I’d also like older generations to realise that all young people are different and just because we do things differently it doesn’t mean we are wrong. I think it is so important for older and younger generations to learn from each other and that starts when everyone, young and old, listens and respects each other.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement to date is that after several years of hard work I now own my own house at age 23. I’ve been in constant employment since I was 15 years old and took every opportunity to learn from my parents about budgeting and saving money. I’m very, very lucky and still can’t quite believe it sometimes.
What would you most like to achieve in the future?
In the future I would like to go back to university and study Educational / Child Psychology. Psychology has always fascinated me and while I studied it throughout my Education degree, I would love to go back and study it much more in-depth. Throughout my working career I have noticed how often the issues that some of the young people I work with are facing could have been prevented, or at least lessened, with more proactive early intervention. I want to make a difference to people’s lives and help any way I can.
What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
I would like to advise young people in Scotland to remember that you never know what someone else is going through or has been through, and so to always be patient, understanding and kind. Treat people how you would want to be treated and make a conscious effort to make others happy. The world is filled with so much negativity; it doesn’t need anymore.
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