Making a Positive Difference

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Written by Ashleigh Donaldson on in Strathclyde and West

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My name is Ashleigh, I live in Glasgow and since June 2011 I have been involved with the Young Scot project Truth about Youth. I thought it would be good to share some thoughts about being involved in the project and take a look at the difference I have seen made through the work that we have taken part in.

The project aims to challenge the negative perceptions of young people. The appeal for me is that it is about young people, for young people and by young people. However that’s not to say adults are not involved or impacted as well. The point of the project to is to change the minds of adults themselves and in doing so, creating new positive perceptions of young people. However, the project has also had an impact on me personally.

As an English student at Strathclyde University, the primary reason for my involvement was to gain necessary writing experience. However, during my time with Young Scot I have had many opportunities to practice and develop not only my writing skills but the chance to develop some new skills which will undoubtedly benefit me in the future. Since contacting Young Scot over a year ago now, I have participated in various tasks such as blogging regularly for The Patter and presenting to Co-operative Board of Trustees about plans to expand and develop the project across Scotland. During the presentation I was responsible for giving information about my involvement with the project and ensuring my participation has had a positive impact upon me. Furthermore I was given the opportunity to visit the Sunday Mail offices and have a Q and A with the editor of the newspaper, which gave me further insight into the world of newspaper journalism.

Front and back pages of August 2011 Truth About Youth Supplement featuring Ashleigh.

My blogs however, have been my primary focus. They look at issues affecting young people and how we can challenge negative perceptions. My first blog concentrated on the future and the pressures young people face when making career decisions. Other blogs have included subject matters which I both find interesting and informative such as whether wrestlers make good role models, or whether T in the Park is now known for trouble between young people as much as it is for the music. The reaction I’ve had to my entries has been great. A few of my blogs have been published in the Sunday Mail Truth About Youth supplement and the support from friends has also been encouraging. The Truth about Youth project has had nothing but a positive impact on me. I have developed as a writer and presenter, familiarised myself with the workings of a newspaper and print factory, met some interesting people and even got to attend the 2011 MOBO awards for free!

I enjoy every aspect of my participation but what I appreciate and value most is the freedom to use my own style of writing. I have been given a platform to get involved with various aspects of the project, which has now led me to doing work experience for Young Scot. As I intend to have a career in the media industry, being involved with this project has enhanced my CV and given me the experience needed to progress professionally. I hope to still be involved with Young Scot after I have completed my degree, and as for the project itself, I hope that it continues to grow and continues to make a lasting difference across the country.

Have you been inspired by Ashleigh’s story? Would you like to get involved in Truth About Youth? If so, visit the Contact page and find out how you can get in touch with us.

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  • Supports2

    Great article!