My name is Danielle and I’m 23 years old. I love to play the guitar, bake, cook and learn languages. I really enjoy chilling in green spaces in Bristol, visiting different music venues and going to the climbing gym.

I faced a lot of bullying in school and even from adults at work and this really knocked my confidence. My motivation to overcome this was simply that I did not want to let their attitudes stand in the way of the things I wanted from life. I grew up in the countryside and at the time there were not many people from different backgrounds around even in the nearest town. I was younger, I felt like I was always going to be alienated and that my future supervisors might get away with the same behaviour. When I was the only girl in my college course, I struggled to gain the respect of much of my class, and I felt like this did not bode well for the work environment I might have in the future.

I first heard of Babbasa last year when I was googling support for young people in Bristol. Then I saw the Instagram account a few months ago and applied to be a Youth Ambassador. So far, I have designed templates for posts to promote the City of Change: Connections networking events, reached out to potential attendees and organisations and researched companies for the engineering and tech event to prepare to host the event in a few days. I am really grateful for the opportunity to boost my communications skills.

While most of my pessimism about the future has gone over the years, the lack of confidence remains, and I often feel inadequate in professional settings – or rather I experience “imposter syndrome.” I think that networking at the events and helping to organise them will help me see myself in a professional light. My feelings about life currently are somewhat stressed but ultimately optimistic. At the moment I am studying my Master’s in Aerospace Engineering. I am nervous about finding work after graduation this year, but mainly because of how uncertain things are this year. I hope to either find a graduate role within the engineering industry and put my studies to use or to study abroad.

If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be that my things I was insecure about will not hold me back anywhere as near as much as not having the confidence to put myself forward for things, be more assertive when working with others and allowing fear of failure to limit my ambition.