I’m a Year of Young People Ambassadors in North Ayrshire. I was elected chair of our YoYP Strategic Group, which is a group in which we discuss what North Ayrshire’s young people want to happen in Year of Young People with councillors and elected members of NAC. I’m part of the North Ayrshire Youth Council Executive Committee which represents the youth voice, as well as my schools Pupil Council. I’m in 5th year and studying Media, Computing Science, Physics, English and Maths at Higher.
Which young Scot inspires you?
The YOYP Ambassadors I work with, including some of my closest friends and my sister (she was the person who encouraged me to get into youth work) ! They all work so hard for the young people not just in North Ayrshire but in all of Scotland, and are so passionate about all the issues that affect young people!
What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
It’s hard to choose one thing between the the diverse range of young people, the food, the music, the history and all the other amazing things Scotland have to offer, but the best thing about growing up in Scotland to me is the nature and the views! Scotland is so beautiful and there’s always places you haven’t yet explored and things you haven’t yet discovered!
What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
We’re not lazy, moody or obsessed with screens! We’ve got so many ideas and are too diverse to fit into one stupid stereotype! We work hard and want to feel listened to and appreciated just like the older generations. We want to have our say in decisions and be involved in any discussion that affects us! We want to be accepted, we want to work with older generations, not against.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Two of my friends and I were interviewed by national TV news companies at the launch of North Ayrshire’s Period Poverty Campaign. It was terrifying to talk into the camera knowing it was going to be on national television, that many of our peers would be watching, but we got our views across on an important issue, and we had a great time doing it!
What would you most like to achieve in the future?
I want to find a career that’s going to make me happy, hopefully one that I can make a difference by doing! I haven’t decided on a career path yet, so I guess my first goal is to work that out! In the meantime (and in future) I want to keep representing the voices of young people, it’s something I enjoy and it means so much to me!
What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
Get your voice heard! Your opinion is so important, and it deserves to be put out there. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. Your views matter on every subject that affects you, and there’s so many ways you can get your voice heard! Your future is important, but so is everything that’s happening to you currently. People say that young people are the future, but we’re also here right now!
If Emily’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!