How you can get involved to make a change

Young People Insight has been going for three-quarters of a year now, and bigger things are being planned for 2015.

This has all been kicked off with a bright new logo, which will be officially revealed next week.  This blog will also see a few changes, as it will appear more like a website with an official domain name and some forum type elements.

However, the central element of Young People Insight is to be a voice of and for the young people.  I want this to be a platform for young people to share their thoughts, views, achievements and most importantly, their stories, with the world in their own words.

Sometimes the media finds a way to twist the words that we say and on many occasions, the media portrays us young people in a negative light, but this blog will allow us to tell our side with honesty and sincerity.  It will also give some older individuals the opportunity to see the young people I know and love through my eyes.

As I always say, if young people want to see a change, then the change has to start with us.  So please, take some time to share your stories, thoughts, views and solutions with Young People Insight.  You never know what young person you may inspire or whose perception you might change with one single post.

If you are interested in writing a piece or simply sharing your story if you don’t feel comfortable enough to write it yourself, then please get in contact.  You can e-mail me at shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk or follow Young People Insight on Twitter – @YPInsight.  Together we can make a real change.

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Why you should give back with Future First

Earlier this week, I returned to the school where I spent seven years studying for SATs, GCSEs and A-Levels.  Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls (NMBEC) holds a special place in my heart, because of the amazing teachers I was inspired by, the many lessons I learned and the great friends I made there.

However, on this occasion, I was not there for a social visit.  Instead, I came to speak to the girls in Year 9, who are beginning to consider their GCSE options.  Myself and two other NMBEC alumni sat on a panel to speak about our GCSE options and how they may have (or may not have) contributed to what we are doing now.

This particular event was put on by the school in partnership with the charitable organisation, Future First.  According to the Future First website: “Future First’s vision is that every school should be supported by a thriving, engaged alumni community. Our programme provides the infrastructure and expertise that make establishing these communities easy and inexpensive.”

Future First allows state schools to engage and keep in closer contact with their alumni, resulting in greater opportunities for current students.  Alumni can offer support or work experience, provide students with advice on their career aspirations, and most of all, inspire young people in a time when there is so much working against them.

Image by RRZEicons and used under Creative Commons License.
Image by RRZEicons and used under Creative Commons License.

When I was contacted by Future First and informed about what they do, I immediately wanted to get involved.  I not only wanted to give back to the school that gave me so much, but I also wanted to offer advice and support to students that I did not necessarily have at their age.

Speaking to the girls in Year 9 was a great experience and I loved seeing their enthusiasm, as they threw up their hands to shower us with questions.  I could also see that they had gained something from the session, which made me feel happy, because that is what you really want to see.

Future First is a special organisation that is inspiring, and is going to inspire, countless young people.  Alumni are really important to any educational organisation, because they exemplify what current students can aspire to and they could provide them with the inspiration that many young people may be missing.

I encourage you to head to the Future First website and look at how you may be able to get involved.  You never know, they might be connected to your old school and I can tell you, it feels great when you are able to give back.NMBEC

The Power of Words

A touching and emotion-filled piece on the effect that bullying can have on young people. How can we work together to put an end to bullying?

Hope for the Hopeless

I apologize for being gone for a month. Life got in the way. I plan on getting back to this site on a regular basis.

Words are a strange thing. They can lift you up, or tear you down. It’s depressing to think about, really.

A while back, I heard about this young boy just twelve years old that committed suicide. Why? Because he was bullied. For being a cheerleader. For doing what he loved. He was called gay and feminine. It really breaks my heart.

If everyone had just said he was really good at cheerleading, or focused on how he was as a person, he could have lived. He could have been happy. He could have lived life to the fullest and never held back. But no, they chose to focus on what they thought was negative. They chose to focus on the fact that he was the…

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