Age 16, Glasgow, Scotland
When I was 12, I heard about child soldiers and what they have to go through around the world. I was horrified, and I knew then that I wanted to do something to help change the awful conditions that so many children face.
I started off by joining groups at my school, like Fair Trade and Rights Respecting Schools. Then I started working with UNICEF to fundraise and raise awareness, as well as trying to spread the message about the importance of youth participation in social action. My campaigning led to me being selected for the prestigious J7 summit team. Our team came up with possible solutions to global issues like gender equality and the rights of the child, and then our ideas were discussed by G7 leaders – one of my greatest social action experiences.
Taking part in social action in my school has really helped my friends and I to get our voices heard by our teachers – as teenagers, it can be so hard to get people to take notice of what we’re saying, but our opinions are respected and valued within our school. A particular inspiration to me is the teacher who runs our Rights Respecting School group: they’ve given me hundreds of opportunities to share my opinions.