Reflecting on my Experiences as a Youth Ambassador During COVID-19
Written by: Sarah Anisah Nabi
When I initially signed up as a Youth Ambassador with Babbasa, I had no idea what to expect. I knew the project that we’d be working on was to create workplace opportunities for disadvantaged young people, but I didn’t have a clue how I, of all people, could possibly help achieve that. It was also a scary prospect to think that I would be doing this alongside 8 strangers!
Looking back, it’s strange to think that I could have ever found any of this intimidating. From the get-go, Zoe and Pravanya were super lovely and so obviously passionate about Babbasa’s work that it immediately put all of us at ease, even though communicating over Zoom can be so awkward sometimes.
In the lead up to the “City Of Change” campaign, we all bonded over our weekly Monday meetings and discussed the best plan of action to take when recruiting businesses. It seemed like a daunting task to contact businesses and an even more daunting task to pitch our project to them. I was slightly unconvinced that we would be able to get anyone on board but once responses from companies who wanted to know more about the campaign started rolling in, I realised what an impact we could make.
Things only improved from there on, I pitched to businesses both alone and alongside the other Youth Ambassadors, something I never envisioned myself doing before this campaign because I’ve always found public speaking turns me into a tongue-tied mess. I loved the discussions we had beforehand where we brainstormed ideas because every single one of us was brimming over with brilliant ideas and I always left every meeting feeling excited and energised. We worked so well as a team, bouncing off each other and supporting each other. I have felt my own confidence grow throughout this campaign and working with Babbasa has empowered me as a young person and a person of colour to realise my worth and what I can offer businesses. So often lack of experience is the reason that’s cited for refusing young people job opportunities so it feels amazing that we’ve been able to create a real difference in the city, even getting big names like Channel 4 and Avon Wildlife Trust on board!
For me, the biggest impact has definitely been creating opportunities within creative industries. They are the industries that are often most inaccessible and I’ve personally struggled trying to get a foot into the door myself, so to know that I’ve played a part in helping someone like me gain an opportunity that could kick-start their future career is mind-blowing. I want to thank everyone on the Babbasa team for their never-ending support and faith in us Youth Ambassadors, always cheering us on and helping us believe in ourselves. A massive, massive shoutout of course to: Rasheed, Ella, Leila, Jessie, Shelena, Jake, Maheen and Molly-you are all so incredibly talented and I’ve enjoyed my time with you all so much. I’m looking forward to becoming a Trailblazer and seeing what the next cohort of Youth Ambassadors bring forward because it’s definitely onwards and upwards from here!