Kusai joined our Youth Action Team in January 2015, since then he’s been involved in countless campaigns and community projects. Kusai has inspired everyone in the Nutmeg team through his hard work and dedication to the causes he cares about. In December he awarded The Nutmeg Young Leader 2015. This is his story:
Before getting involved with Nutmeg Community, I was a very shy person. I couldn’t even talk to people, I found it difficult so sometimes I resorted to violence. I didn’t have as many opportunities, there are a lot of opportunities open to me, but I didn’t really know about many of them until I joined Nutmeg.
I first heard about Nutmeg at School in November. The Nutmeg team came in to do a workshop at my school that I took part in. I had been thinking that I wanted to do more for my local community, and that might be a good way for me to develop my skills. So when the Nutmeg team asked if I was interested in becoming a Youth Action Team member, it felt like an ideal start.
Since joining the Youth Action Team in January I’ve been involved with a lot of campaigns and projects. An achievement was being chosen by the other Youth Action Team members to be the project manager for Let There Be Light (a campaign focussed around lighting and safety in local parks).
While working on the campaign we did come to difficulties, however we worked hard and managed to keep the campaign going. We we’re able to raise awareness of our project at the Burnt Oak Residents Association Multi Cultural day where we managed to get over 400 signatures from local people. We’ve now got over 700 and we’re hoping to break the 1000 mark.
From working on the campaign, we even managed to meet with the chief executive of Barnet council (Andrew Travers) to discuss our project with him. Meeting Andrew was a great experience, I never thought I would meet the chief executive of my council! I always had this view of these people in big positions that they don’t care about young people, but meeting Andrew gave me a new perspective, we we’re only meant to have a 10 minute meeting but he stayed for 2 whole hours! It made me realise that my voice was valued.
Since joining Nutmeg a year ago, I’ve started to see major differences in myself. I’ve grown in confidence and I’m able to communicate with people without feeling shy. My confidence to speak in front of large groups of people has also grown, I can now speak in front of over 100 people – and now that I’m at university, being able to do that has really helped me.
Through leading the Let There Be Light campaign, I also gained a taste of leadership which I enjoyed. I’m now hoping to build these skills by standing to be the 1st year representative and course representative at my university.