Day 331- Isla, 22, Edinburgh

I work full-time for a local government organisation, LGiU Scotland, which provides a subscription and membership service to local authorities primarily, but also to third sector organisations and trade unions. As well as this I volunteer as a Guide leader every Wednesday, and I campaign for the local Labour party on a semi-regular basis. I’m a YoYP ambassador and an ambassador for the 70/30 campaign, which aims for a 70% reduction in child abuse and neglect by 2030.


Which young Scot inspires you?
My friend and fellow Guide, Katie Horsburgh, really inspires me. I have known her for a few years now since she was about 15 and have seen her go from strength to strength. She is currently the Girlguiding Scotland representative on the First Minister’s National Advisory Council for Women and Girls, and represents Girlguiding at a national level. She is only 18 and has already done so much!

What is the best thing about growing up in Scotland?
I have loved growing up in Scotland because the education system and healthcare system has benefitted me immeasurably. Without free prescriptions in my uni years I would have been considerably worse off, and the Scottish Highers system meant that I had a much wider range of university courses to choose from when it came to applying than had I done A-levels. For that I am grateful!

What would you most like people from older generations to know about young people?
Young people can be trusted to make decisions that affect them, and to have a say in how these decisions are implemented. If a decision affects young people, they should 100% be involved with how the decision is made and have some sort of input. Young people should not and cannot be disenfranchised – they are the future, after all.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Last year I was chosen to be one of the “30 under 30” young women in Scotland by the YWCA (Young Women’s Movement). It was a big achievement because I have overcome a lot of adversity to get to the point I am at at the moment, and I also have suffered from low self-esteem so it was quite self-affirming to have been included in the list!

What would you most like to achieve in the future?
For nearly 6 years now I have aspired to work in the third or public sector and to directly impact on activism, policy and politics in a positive way, by improving the outcome of people’s lives. I get the most joy from making social change and encouraging other people to do the same, so my dream career path is based on this.

What message would you like to give to other young people in Scotland?
Trust your gut instinct and don’t let other people influence you too much. If your teenage/high school years aren’t great, life will be so much better once you leave and hit your twenties. Be aware of what your rights are as a young person and don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it, in any kind of situation.

If Isla’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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