Back in December last year I saw an advert on Facebook recruiting people for the Christchurch Youth Council. I decided to pop over to their website and have a look around. It sounded like just the thing for me, not to mention I ticked the boxes. I was in the age bracket of 12-24, a social media whizz, an events planning fanatic and I loved public speaking. The prospect of reaching out to decision makers in Christchurch excited me and this seemed like I skill I would love to improve on. Growing up in the ‘Shaky City’ I think it is very important to have a say in how Christchurch is rebuilt and what all this money is being spent on. Being a part of the creation of our 'new' city is something to be proud of: knowing that I had a say and that my voice was being listened to. The Youth Council seemed like the perfect opportunity for me as I entered my third year of high school, to really make the most of my time in the city. After being given creative license when producing an application I decided I would stick with the trusty technology and I made a powerpoint - all about me and why I wanted to join CYC.
Nervous and excited, I turned up to the interview day after receiving some much needed advice via text from my friend, Kate. The text read: “Good luck, and don’t forget to mention your people skills”. After the first half of the day they began interviewing people in groups and the first thing I stuttered was about my people skills. Well I must've done something right because I got selected to join as an Executive Member to the Christchurch Youth Council.The journey began...
Reaching out to decision makers? Tick! This is James, Kaitlyn, Alice and I (far right) at the Memorandum of Understanding signing in the Christchurch City Council building back in March.
Slowly but surely I gained confidence in the Council and starting getting involved. We began planning lots of fun events including Face To Faces at Polyfest, Summerzend Festival and the Buskers Festival. Hearing the opinion of the youth in Christchurch is an eye-opening experience that extends your mind to the viewpoints of others. We found out the barriers people face in their community according to the youth and the results were: A lack of Youth friendly places and spaces, housing, public transport, bike lanes and cleaner rivers. These issues are severely important and we are working on connecting to decision makers in changing these around.
So many opportunities have arisen from being on the Christchurch Youth Council. I have gotten the chance to attend a range of interesting and fun events. These include important meetings, fun events and even starring on the Daily Fix! Having the opportunity to talk about my passion project on the online tv show, The Daily Fix was a fun and nerve racking experience. I’m sure anyone that knows me well can say that I don’t get very shy but I was shaking before we went to air. It was an awesome experience though and I am glad that I put my foot forward and did so. On Saturday the 3rd October, I am very lucky to be attending the TedXChch event which I am beyond excited about. This will be a very fulfilling experience and I believe I will get a lot from it.
To wrap up, being an executive member of the Christchurch Youth Council, has presented itself with many exciting opportunities that I would not have otherwise received. I have turned into an open-minded person and have learnt to see things from everyone's point of view. Attending educational and fun events has been a huge highlight along with working with an incredible team of passionate, motivated young people.
KEEN TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JOINING CYC IN 2016? rECRUITMENT OPENS OCT 15TH - CLICK HERE FOR INFO!
CYC's Sofie has done some brilliant working putting all the thoughts people at our two most recent Face 2 Face events at the Lyttelton Farmer's Market and the Downtown Farmer's Market. Click on the links below to see what people are thinking currently (they're scans so you might need to print them out!):
You can keep up to date with what we're doing for young people in Christchurch here. Join in the conversation!