Day 180- Marissa, 17, Barrhead

Marissa is in Sixth Year of high school and is going to be a Youth Worker when i leave school. In her own words;

My mum died when i was 10 and i had to move town and school which really affected my confidence as i started to make friends at school,guides and PACE my confidence started to build.This all changed when my dad died at the beginning of my 4th year of school when i was 14. This really dented my confidence and i became a very quiet individual and i dropped out of all my after school activities i then started to attend DofE and made really good friends and this has opened so many doors for me as i volunteered in a Bernardos charity shop for a year which i gained many skills and became more confident in talking to people that i don’t know. I began volunteering as a youth worker and this has inspired me to do working with communities at college when i finish school. I started attending Netball which has i used to do in primary school, this has been a good coping mechanism for dealing with my grief as it allows me to excursive and have fun and momentarily forget about all my stresses.
I done my DofE expedition in the Pyrenees and this challenged me both mentally and physically and i will forever treasure the memories i made on my trip to France. I also went to Malawi in November 2017 which was a voluntary trip run by East Renfrewshire Council, I had to fundraise £2000 to go on the trip. During this time i helped in a school in Kaponda, i played with the children teaching them playground games and Scottish songs. We also painted the classrooms with the alphabet and number etc to help facilitate their learning. After returning from my trip i have fundraised for Betty Cunningham International Trust which supports the village of Kaponda and hope to raise more in the future.

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Which young Scot inspires you?
Kieran Aitken inspires me most as he has shown that young people from a impoverished area can go onto to be very successful if they are willing to work towards what they want to achieve. The fact that he is using his skills to help other young people get into business and build their skills is also very inspiring.

What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
I love the fact that most people in Scotland are very friendly and will take time out of there day to talk to you or offer help when needed even if they don’t know you very well. People in Scotland are the friendliest people. I have visited many countries and have never experienced the kindheartedness that i experience walking down the streets of Glasgow. People make Scotland.

What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
Young people do know what stress is. Just because we haven’t fully experienced life we have experienced hard times. We know what its like to lose someone we love, we know what having a heavy work schedule feels like and not all young people are rude and in that fact the majority of us are well mannered and will give time to help.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Everything i achieved i am very proud of however i feel my biggest achievement was moving school as i had just lost my mum and then i was moving to a totally different town. I was leaving my home, my friends and my family. At first i didn’t think i would make any friends and now i have solid friendships that i hope will last a lifetime.

What would you most like to achieve in the future?
I want to go to Malawi again and help in Kaponda. I also want to become a youth worker and hopefully travel in this job, i would like to work as a youth worker in Canada for a year as i have family who live out there and would like to experience their culture. I want to be able to help as many young people as i can.

What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
Don’t listen to people who say you will never be able to do something i.e. University, travel. Its your life you get to decide what your destination is and the journey you take to get there. Set your own aspirations and please don’t put people down because of theirs, everybody is different in this world.

If Marissa’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!

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