We focus on Maia’s involvement with the Youth Board and reflect upon her resilience and continued commitment to 1625ip in the wake of Covid-19.

“It’s for the next generation…I know what it’s like to be a young person…if I can use my knowledge of how I was, or am…if I can use my experience to help other young people then I’m doing a good job.”

Maia has been a long-standing member of the Youth Board and familiar face within 1625ip since first being introduced to us approximately 4 years ago. Whilst only being a service user for a very limited time – after a brief time spent within one of our hostel’s – Maia has remained a volunteer and has contributed to many of our Participation services, including Peer Education and Youth Board.


Maia’s strengths

Maia has demonstrated a great deal of resilience in response to the things that lead to her needing to leave home, and the subsequent challenges she has faced. Maia is someone keen to reach positive outcomes for herself and encourage others to do the same. She has very much demonstrated a desire to turn her experiences into a determination for the better – for both herself and her peers, showing such loyal commitment to 1625ip’s mission to end youth homelessness. Maia has put herself forward for many opportunities that allow her to have her voice heard and advocate on behalf of her peers, including more than one poetry event – with a poem soon to be published, as well as collaborative projects with the local Council. Her go-getting attitude and desire to express herself makes her a very valued member of the Youth Board.


Remaining with Youth Board in 2020

After we spend some time reflecting upon the challenges of this year, Maia explains to me how she overcame a very difficult time in her personal life. Covid 19, as it has for many, has disrupted Maia’s plans for the future and has understandably impacted upon her wellbeing at times. She expresses that the support she gains from the organisation is very significant to her, reflecting upon how this has only been made more crucial during the national pandemic. We discussed ways in which Maia felt the organisation had adapted to the crisis, how the operations were impacted.

However Maia’s drive remains just the same as before. Youth Board to her is all about advocating for young people and being a driving force towards positive change, she realises that her participation is crucial to making this happen.

Covid 19, has made us all seek connection with people and this is something that the Youth Board provides Maia; a space to connect and relate to others with shared experiences. Being part of this collective is empowering for her and allows her to act upon her values; advocating the needs and rights of her peers and ensuring 1625ip know how best to meet them.

This is a woman with a lot to say and Youth Board provides one more platform to be heard!

“It’s for the next generation…I know what it’s like to be a young person…if I can use my knowledge of how I was, or am…if I can use my experience to help other young people then I’m doing a good job.”

Maia expressed how the organisation is imperfect and answerable to the young people it supports, she said how remaining with the Youth Board was her way of improving 1625ip ‘from the inside’ and being a part of positive change ‘in a meaningful way’.


What now for Maia?

Maia has recently earnt the role of a relief worker, something she feels very excited by and is rightly proud to have achieved. It is testament to not only her commitment to 1625ip but also to her future. Having faced the disappointment of not receiving a place on the access course she was hoping to attend, Maia has re-evaluated and proactively sought a new pathway to reach her goals. Alongside this, she has signed up for further educational courses to assist with her maths and another that shall introduce her to a career in counselling.