Katy, local hero

Written by Jessica, a young leader

When I heard the words ‘Young Leaders’, the first person I thought of was Katy. At 22, she became the Coordinator of Streetbase, a borough wide youth-engagement programme that connects young people to opportunities. In this role, she constantly advocates for the young people she works with, pushing them to be the best versions of themselves.

To become Streetbase Coordinator, Katy first had to become a Young Advisor for the local council, which she did at just 12. It took a huge leap of confidence to apply, but she is grateful she did, as she never would have guessed a decision made so young would continue to open so many doors for. For her, a key part of her success comes down to the reputation she has built for herself, through carrying herself well at all times.

Her inspiration comes largely from Jane, her manager, who she describes as someone who ‘always goes above and beyond for her young people’. Jane has also helped her overcome challenges along the way, like learning how to say no, so that she isn’t overworking.

Katy says it is difficult to be a young woman in such an important role, as it feels like there is a pressure to prove that she deserves to be there. Despite these challenges, Katy has found the role very rewarding. People seem to be taking young people more seriously, and the young people she works with are now reaching their own goals.

 The main advice she would give is ‘never underestimate what you have to offer’. She says each and every person has their own unique experience and skills, and it is important for young people to know their worth and value themselves, because as soon as they start to do this, others will do the same.