Day 228- Johanna, 23, Dunblane

Though currently between degrees, I have just graduated from the university of Aberdeen, after 5 years of study, with an MSci (Hons) Biomedical Science (Molecular Biology) with Industrial Placement degree. I am still studying, as I continue to do laboratory work for the university until I start my PhD at the university of Dundee in DNA replication, funded by Cancer Research UK. Whilst at university I’ve gotten involved in societies alongside my studies, being executive committee for both the Biomedical Sciences and Scottish Dance societies. Getting involved, I’ve helped people meet easily with others in their course, in biotechnology businesses, and in the wider community of Aberdeen and Scotland, through organising events where all are welcome. Outside of university I’ve also become a Street Pastor. The strap line is ‘Listen, Care and Help’ and that’s exactly my aim in all things I do. Having carried out street pastor shifts in both Aberdeen and Edinburgh, this involves going out on a Friday or Saturday night once a month, often from 9pm to 5am and just serving the community where needed. Treating the cut knee or hand, being a shoulder to cry on, or providing a hot drink on a cold, snowy winters night, I’ve loved meeting the array of Scotland’s nightlife.

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Which young Scot inspires you?
My flat mate Georgina Rolfe. She does so much for Girl Guiding, yet seems to think it’s just normal and everyone is doing the amount she does. She has about four different job titles! She runs around the city of Aberdeen and to camps to make sure girls have a great time and are safe, and seems to really care.

What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
I loved growing up in Dunblane. You could walk anywhere, talk to all people, and anyone you passed would give you a smile. There’s the community vibe too. Each summer, the churches come together to run a club for children to provide a free, fun place. Also, if you run a coffee morning, you know there will be loads of support. Everyone’s there for each other!

What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
That we aren’t all rebellious. The more you say we can’t, we will do. But the more you say give it a go or think about it, the more sensible we will be. Current day culture is about taking risks. So teach us to do it safely rather than never to try. We all have to start somewhere and older people would have been the same.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Getting a first class Honours in my MSci (Hons) Biomedical Science (Molecular Biology) with Industrial Placement degree at the University of Aberdeen after 5 years of study, 3 different cities to work/study in, and a lot of ups and downs.

What would you most like to achieve in the future?
To be a mum, but also to keep within the science field and balance both lifestyles healthily. Current day targets are push, push, push. Whilst I want to balance that so that work and family is well-balanced. Becoming lead author on a few science papers would also be great….

What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
Listen to the advice given to you from those older. Being older can mean more knowledge so listen carefully. Then think upon what is said. Don’t immediately ignore it, nor do the opposite. But take what you can from the advice given, whether that be a lot or nothing at all, at least you’ve thought about it. Basically, think.


If Johanna’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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