Volunteering with Youth Employment UK is great for your confidence, youth empowerment and your CV! Meet our Youth Ambassador Ciara O’Donnell.
Tell us a bit about you…
I’m 20 years old and I’m an engineering apprentice. My journey with Youth Employment UK started in November 2019, when I was on a gap year after finishing my A levels. I found the Youth Employment UK website whilst researching what careers/apprenticeships were out there and whilst going through the Careers Hub, I stumbled across the youth ambassador volunteering programme. I emailed off my application and the rest is history!
Why did you join Youth Employment UK as a Youth Ambassador?
I joined the volunteer ambassador programme because it is such a unique opportunity. Not only do you get to work with other inspiring young people, but you also get the opportunity to shape policies and projects which can help positively affect young people’s lives and help give them more opportunities.
What have you been involved with so far?
Some of the opportunities that I have been given include becoming a Youth Ambassador board member, joining various webinars/discussions with organisations such as the Prince’s Trust to share experiences and I have given evidence to a House of Lords committee on my educational experience.
How has being a Youth Ambassador helped you?
I have become much more confident in my public speaking and conducting myself in online meetings and discussions. There are constant opportunities to work with other passionate young people who have all made me feel really welcome and with whom I’ve been able to some really great work.
If a young person was unsure about joining the Youth Ambassador team, what would you tell them?
I would tell them that it is one of the best decisions that they’ll make. Everyone at Youth Employment UK is so supportive of not only what you do at Youth Employment UK but also in your educational, professional and personal life.
Can you sum up your experience in one sentence?
It’s a fabulous opportunity which will help make you the best version of yourself.
Let’s say it louder for the people at the back… what do the people in charge really need to know about youth employment today?
The people in charge need to learn how to listen to young people and actually understand what it is that we are saying. People in charge have been making decisions on behalf of young people without asking us to be involved and not actually taking our ideas and opinions on board for too long.