I am thrilled to be the new associate trustee of Future Youth Zone. What an honour!

My adventure with Future began back in 2016 when I was introduced to this fantastic organisation through the Young People’s Development Group. This was a turning point for me, the start of a journey that would significantly shape my character and my future. I still remember a day in 2017, I was only 14 then, nervously standing at the brand launch, my first event with the organisation and letting our community know about Future Youth Zone’s arrival in our borough. It felt like the beginning of a thrilling roller-coaster ride that hasn’t slowed down since. And now, here I am, seven years later, back where it all started, celebrating our 4th birthday. It’s quite a surreal feeling.

Being a part of the YPDG has been a transformative experience. It taught me the importance of leadership, teamwork, and community. And boy, did it change me. I went from being a wallflower to a sunflower, standing tall and beaming with confidence to believe in myself and my abilities.  When I started this journey, I was quite the introvert, but through several events, residentials, and responsibilities, I’ve grown in ways I never imagined. I learned how to lead, how to work in a team, and most importantly, I discovered the power of my own voice. Being part of the YPDG We led the design of the brand and logo, and I even had a hand in selecting the architects and designing the interior of the building. These experiences were not just empowering, they instilled in me a sense of ownership and pride in what we have built here.

The YPDG has opened several doors for me and has given me some incredible experiences that have enriched me both personally and professionally and have shaped me into the young person that I have become today…..

I vividly remember the day the Youth Zone opened four years ago. It was a mix of excitement and anticipation. Seeing the hard work of so many individuals coming together was deeply gratifying. We had built not just a building, but a lighthouse for our community’s youth, guiding them towards a brighter future and it represented a beacon of hope and opportunity for young people in Barking and Dagenham.

Fast forward to today, I’m currently pursuing my studies at Royal Holloway, with a keen interest in business & finance. My goal is to build a career that allows me to make a significant impact in society, leveraging the skills and experiences I’ve gained through my time with Future Youth Zone. I want to create waves of positive change, and I have Future Youth Zone to thank for sparking that ambition in me.

As an Associate Trustee, I look forward to supporting Future Youth Zone in its mission to inspire and empower young people. I believe my experience as a young person from this community and this organisation gives me a unique perspective, and I am excited about the opportunity to give back to a community that has given me so much.

I am excited about the journey ahead and I am confident that together, we can continue to make Future Youth Zone a place where young people can learn, grow, and thrive.