My name is Gloria T Gomo and I am 26 years old and I enjoy travelling, cooking, interior design. When I think about the things I enjoy about Bristol, I think of activities that unity the city, like free leisure centres that provide a safe space for young people.

I believe that racism has been one of the most significant struggles I’ve faced, not being given roles or opportunities that I am well qualified for because of my race. Integrating into a white dominated environment where I have to change who I am in order to fit in. I struggled a bit as I had moved to the UK when I was 16 and had to adjust to adapting to the new environment and system. But joining youth activities helped me to learn more about the country and other community activities that I was interested in. I was lucky that I had people to guide me and motivate me. My family, friends and  mentors helped remind me of who I was and not to compromise who I am for anyone as the would be will be willing to do the same for me.

I heard about Babbasa from Equity a program I used to volunteer at when I was studying at UWE. I registered to learn more about how to start my business and ended being a youth ambassador for a year. When I completed my ambassadorship, I continued to be a trailblazer for Babbasa, a role I’m proud to still have now. Through this, I have gained mentorship opportunities, attended a Creative thinking program in which I met other lovely and amazing young people. They also gave me a leaning shoulder, a place where I could go to and voice my thoughts or opinions and not be judge. I am more confident in who I am and have stopped apologising or pitying myself for being me or different. I am more self-aware and less ignorant in many aspects of life.

I am learning to leave life on my own terms. I am self-developing myself, studying different courses that I am interested in to increase my value. I hope to one day run my own events company and accounting firm and develop more safe spaces for young people to grow on their terms and determine their course of life.

If I had any advice for other young people I would say, be kind to yourself, be more accommodating to your own needs and do not be afraid to make mistakes and understand that perfection can lead to distraction. Persevere in all you do!