I am Azisa, I’m 17 years old and from, well, many places!

Over the past 17 years, I have spent at least five years or more in one country before moving to another. This has included a few years in Saudi Arabia, some in Goa, and some here in the UK. I have been in a number of different job roles since I was 13, which has enabled me to gain experience that other young people may not have had access to.

Overcoming barriers

Having the courage to speak in front of others was a barrier that I had to overcome in order to fully immerse myself in Participation People’s projects. Time management and being available when needed were other obstacles, but I have conquered these over time.

It used to be challenging for me to speak in a way that was both respectful and powerful enough to ignite change. Since working with Participation People, I’ve learnt to craft my arguments and views to make my points clear and concise, communicate my voice in a professional manner, and build a strong work ethic.

Learning new skills

Being involved in a variety of projects with Participation People requires me to continually collaborate with a broad set of people to uncover answers and solutions to problems within a number of organisations, which has helped to grow my confidence and team-building skills. 

Through the variety of youth engagement opportunities, like joining Wandsworth Youth Council in 2019 and becoming part of a group of youth councillors, I have also learned to assume leadership roles and have improved as a group facilitator.

These opportunities have benefited me outside of Participation People too. Through my experience, I have received employment offers, which I believe would otherwise be extremely uncommon and difficult to come by. By enabling me to have confident conversations with clients and other business partners, the youth employment skills I have gained working with Participation People have helped to raise my employment profile.

Influencing decision-makers

One of the most significant projects I have worked on was the Hounslow Knife Crime Report, producing an in-depth report to help policymakers make important changes to their policies. We conducted focus groups in teams in numerous places throughout Hounslow, including schools and other public spaces, so that young people could express their opinions on knife crime. 

Out of the 2000+ replies we obtained from the survey we had prepared as a team, I was able to get over 700 responses on my own. This was a personal accomplishment that made Participation People very excited!

The decision-makers benefited through gaining access to a detailed and inclusive report produced by young people to assist them in making important decisions. The opportunity to work on such a prestigious initiative gave young people the experience of reaching out to a large group of young people to give their voices an important platform and influence decisions that impact their future.

 If I was a CEO…

If I was a CEO, I would want young people to have their say within my organisation through youth participation. Reaching out to young people can help businesses and organisations to keep up with the needs of young people and gather innovative insights into how they can improve their products or services. 

In turn, they would be able to produce products and services that are more profitable by gaining a better understanding of what the next generation needs, helping to safeguard the future of their organisation.

Sign up and get involved!

I would advise other young people to try and get involved in as much as they can to impact business decision-making. This not only would give their voice a platform but also help them with building key youth employment skills and qualities that will support them when applying for jobs, university and more.


Thinking of getting involved with one of our projects? We’d love to hear from you. 

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