Staffordshire Youth Commission: Telling Stories

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WEEKLY COLUMN BY THE STAFFORDSHIRE YOUTH COMMISSION


We all have different dreams in life. My aspirations are likely to be completely different to yours. We make choices based upon our goals: we choose different subjects at GCSE, we complete work placements with different organisations, and we reach out to people who can support us in the particular field that we’re interested in.

The Staffordshire Youth Commission coordinator assisting on one of the project’s campaign stalls at Staffordshire University in September 2019.

Choosing a Direction

I joined the Staffordshire Youth Commission in 2016. At the time, I was studying A-Levels in college and wanted to study Journalism at university. Truth be told? Initially, I only joined up because I wanted to add some voluntary work to my CV.

I struggled to choose a direction in life for a little while. I knew that writing was one of my strong points – as well as being something I’ve always enjoyed – and so, in the end, pursuing a career in journalism made perfect sense to me back then.

Changing Pathways

How times have changed. I write this, just three years later, as a Level 6 BA (hons) Journalism student, sat in Staffordshire University’s newsroom facilities, regularly reporting for StaffsLive, a Parish Councillor for my local area, and employed as the Youth Commission coordinator. But… I’m not sure I want to be a reporter anymore. It’s fun but, for me, I don’t think it’s creative enough.

All our Youth Commissioners have different goals in life and different motivations for joining, but they all come together to produce amazing work and support one another’s development.

Now, I’m steering my ambitions towards a career in PR and marketing. I don’t regret my choice of course at university at all; I’ve enjoyed every single second of it so far. In fact, it’s my varied course which has opened my eyes to the variety of doors a degree in journalism provides you with. PR and marketing is one of these doors.

I’m not saying goodbye to reporting – I’m just looking beyond your stereotypical journalist job. I guess that, what I’m trying to say is: it’s good to work towards something, but it’s also good to explore any opportunities that come across your way.

Flexibility is the Key to Success

My work with the Staffordshire Youth Commission has also opened my eyes to the possibilities that lie ahead of me. The project flared a passion in me that I never before knew existed. Suddenly, I wanted to deliver opportunities to those who don’t have them, to support those who need it, to improve wellbeing and safety in our community, to implement meaningful change, and to promote awareness and understanding of the voices of young people.

The Staffordshire Youth Commission at their Annual Event in 2018.

After 18 months of volunteering, I was offered the coordinator role. I was terrified. I had no idea what the job would entail – but my gut feeling was to go with it, and so I did.

Admittedly, I never envisioned working with young people but I have found my role to be so rewarding. It’s been a learning curve for sure. My role with the Youth Commission allows me to continuously learn and explore new opportunities. Most importantly, I love supporting and watching our volunteers grow, develop and thrive. It’s a truly remarkable process to be a part of. I am forever being inspired by the stories, courage, tenacity and determination that Staffordshire’s young people have.

Start your Journey

I am currently really enjoying gaining experience in the multitude of areas which I’m involved in. We live in an ever-changing, fast-paced and exciting era – the Staffordshire Youth Commission gets that. With flexible roles available, you choose what you want to do and when you want to do it.

Volunteering with the Youth Commission can be a life-changing experience.

This is just my story. Start your own with the Staffordshire Youth Commission today. Make your 2020 one filled with growth and achievements. You can apply here.

Olivia – Staffordshire Youth Commission Project Coordinator

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About Author

20-year-old Journalism student at Staffordshire University. Reporter for StaffsLIVE. Project Co-ordinator for the Staffordshire Youth Commission. Cheddleton Parish Councillor. Based in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

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