Day 255- Rachael, 19, Inverness-Shire

I work as a youth worker covering the Inverness area, and can venture further a field when I need to. I’ve spent the last 3 years as a member of the Highland Youth Parliament, with this year seeing me sitting on the executive committee as well as actually getting to chair one of the conference days this year! I’ve been part of Young Scot projects as a YOYP2018 Ambassador here in Highland, the SaveStudySpend codesign project with the Money Advice Service and more recently the National Youth Volunteer Design Team!


Which young Scot inspires you?
I can’t pick just one! It may sound cheesy but the young people I work with constantly inspire me, from watching some of them start as shy and quiet individuals, struggling to take part in groups to seeing them go and speak in community meetings, getting college places and this year I’ve got a few going off to Universities across Scotland! 

What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
The best thing about living in Scotland is the community spirit that we’ve got! It’s important to me because there is so much wonderful things that can happen if we pull together. Living the Highlands can mean it feels like young people are cut off from the opportunities else where, but it gives us the chance to team up and do our own thing!

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 to want to be part of the change that’s happening. We want to be sitting round the table as an equal partner to everyone else as we know what it’s like to be young today, and we’ll be the adults of tomorrow.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement to date has to have been able to get a job out of volunteering. For someone who went through school with Additional Support Needs, it was always a far and distant hope I’d even get a job. After working my way up through my local youth forum to becoming chair, while being a volunteer assistant youth worker, I was offered a paid post a year ago.

What would you most like to achieve in the future?
In the future I would love to go to university and study Community Learning and Development, it’s a career path I only recently decided I wanted to follow, but I want to give something back to the youth work services who helped me gain the skills I have today.

What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
My message to young people is simple: Be heard! When things are happening around you, ask why? Don’t be afraid to ask questions when the decisions being made can affect you, disagreeing isn’t a bad thing, it can offer a different perspective, a perspective that’s usually needed.

If Rachael’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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