#iwill Ambassador Emily reflects on youth voice and the road ahead
Often I think it can be hard to reflect at the end of the year, which is why I’ve taken a few days to remember the moments which made 2018. I have participated in a range of activities in 2018, this post will showcase a small selection of them, as well as my 2018 reflections and hopes for 2019.
In February, I wrote a piece for #StudentVolunteeringWeek, where I mentioned 5 ways you can benefit from volunteering, which you can view here. You can start to take action anytime, so 2019 is the perfect time to get stuck in and make a difference for yourself and your community. There’s plenty of organisations on the #iwill website that offer opportunities for young people of any background, so make sure you check those out!
In May, I helped to facilitate a session for the Government’s Civil Society Strategy with a group of #iwill ambassadors, following my participation in a similar workshop at a UK Youth Voice Residential. It was great to be on the other side this time round, making sure young people were consulted and represented at this level! Plus, it definitely helped develop my presentation skills.
In mid-August, I was invited to represent De Montfort University at the United Nations for the annual NGO Conference and present ideas for a project that helps refugees and asylum seekers in Leicester. Additionally, I received a letter from the Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty for achieving respectable grades in the first year of university! To me, this shows that when you persist at something and put the effort in, hard work can pay off and be recognised.
2018 was a packed year to say the least and these were just a few things I was involved in over the course of twelve months! I would encourage you to make that first small step to get involved as it will lead to a wealth of skills and experiences that will undoubtedly change your life by opening doors to new opportunities.
In 2019, I’ll be saying goodbye to some organisations and moving on to new opportunities where I can gain skills and develop professionally. I’m hoping that in the summer of this year I will start a placement which will expand my horizons, push me out of my comfort zone further and give me a clearer idea of what I’d like to do once I graduate from university. But volunteering and social action will always be something I hold close to my heart, and I can’t wait to continue!
This year, I hope that young people will be listened to more than ever before! My message to any young person across the UK, would be to go out there and work towards your goals, no matter what it takes! Although the media sometimes underestimates us, we do a lot of positive work through youth social action and we’re making the difference! Things may take time and perseverance, but we can do this.
If you’re interested in hearing more about my social action journey, feel free to tweet me @FoxyEmily13 and I would be more than happy to talk!
Emily Fox became an #iwill Ambassador in 2015, and is from Norfolk. Emily has also previously been a Scout and Minister for Young Parliament, and this November was part of the UK Youth Awards. You can read Emily’s ambassador profile here