Overcoming Challenges

Hi guys!
As some of you might be aware, recently I've stood for election into the UK Youth Parliament, an organisation that allows its 600 elected members (all 11-18 year olds) to use their voice and passion to create positive social change. If you are elected as an MYP (Member Youth Parliament) you get to campaign on the top five issues that get picked every year in a houses of commons debate, as well as your own personal manifesto. You can find out more about their work on their website: http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk

The reason I want to talk about this now is because we had the results evening for my area (Dorset) last Thursday. I wasn't elected, and although I am gutted (I've wanted to be an MYP for over two years) the four MYPs that were elected are so so deserving and will do an incredible job! For those of you in Dorset your new MYPs are Lucy Armstrong and Jack Dunne. Their deputies are Crystal Lily Mills and Grace Van Zyl. 

But I want to take this chance to talk about challenges. I am still so pleased at how far I managed to get in the election process, I was against young people four or five years older than me who come from schools with over 1000 students voting for them. My middle school with only 300 pupils eligible to vote seems tiny in comparison. And yet I still managed to receive 3681 votes! The turnout was 17,500 and there were eight candidates. 

During the last few months I've met some incredibly dedicated young people and made some amazing new friends. Every person I talked to about my campaign was so supportive and it's a real testament to the fact that young people do care about changing the world for the better. It was a fantastic experience to be involved in such a large election, and it's given me the opportunity to develop so many skills like public speaking, debating and using social media to campaign. I've also become a member DYCE  (Dorset Youth Council Enables) through standing for election and I am already involved in several projects that I'll be talking about in my upcoming posts! 

On the topic of projects and campaigns, all hope is not lost for my manifesto, which is to campaign to reduce instances of bullying by creating a county wide anti bullying policy. On Thursday evening I met the Children's Services Director for Dorset County Council who is interested in working with me and the rest of DYCE to help roll out my campaign anyway! There is also an idea that this blog will start to become a sort of hub for all the work DYCE is doing. Expect some guest posts from my fellow DYCE members in the next few months! 

So despite not being elected, it's looking like I'm going to be in for a pretty busy year anyways! But on a side note, I don't want anyone thinking that I've given up on becoming a Member of Youth Parliament! As I said before I've wanted it for over two years, ever since I found out about the organisation. You just watch out for me next year; I will be standing again with twice as much determination!;) 

The moral of this post is to not give up on your dreams. Whatever you're trying to achieve, keep going! You will certainly have set backs along the way, but if you want something bad enough you'll find a way to make it happen. Stay strong, keep positive! 

EDIT: I received the nicest letter from my grandparents this morning telling me to not give up on my dream of becoming Member of Youth Parliament. They managed to sum up everything I've been thinking far better than me, and I just want to share this quote from the letter: "Coping with knocks along the way is hard, and it happens to all of us, but these can be very positive experiences and give us the resolve, strength and determination to reach our goals." That is so true, and I think we can all learn from our setbacks and use them to make us stronger individuals in the long run. I hope everyone is having a fantastic day and remember to follow me on social media to find out more about everything I'm doing! 

Instagram: @sarahzsay
Twitter: @sarahsmiles789

P.S. I've got a super busy week coming up so it'll be blog post heavy, I won't say too much yet but some it is really exciting, and I mean REALLY exciting!:)

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