Article written by Beatriz Tanaka and Max Hoelzle Ferreira
Babbasa is increasingly becoming recognised as the organisation that bridges the gap between Bristol employers and young adults from our diverse communities. They provide real opportunities, through mentoring schemes, training, and events like their flagship intergenerational networking event ‘Ask About Me’, returning on Wednesday 24th April, 2019 in collaboration with Bristol 24/7.
This year event organisation is led by 14 aspiring young leaders who Babbasa has engaged and supported in the past: The Youth Ambassadors. Babbasa’s Youth Ambassadors are a group of young people who all share the Babbasa ethos to empower other young people. While they all face challenges they are aware that there is guidance and support out there and recognise that they are in a unique position to reach out and connect with their community.
Hailing from different walks of life, all the Youth Ambassadors share a goal to organise an event that will provide a platform for young people looking to make connections and find opportunities. By collaborating and bringing together their different experiences, they are stronger and more able to empower others. The event not only benefits the attendees but is also a rewarding experience for the Ambassadors themselves, requiring them to step outside of their comfort zones and adopt leadership and professional roles. The Youth Ambassadors are at the start of their journey which began with a search for guidance that Babbasa were able to provide, helping them to improve their social, employability and networking skills.
The Youth Ambassadors keep Babbasa relevant to the people they support. As Max Hoelzle Ferreira, one of the Youth Ambassadors helping to organise the upcoming event, says: “We’re young, and we know what the system needs to help us succeed”. The challenges that young people face are varied and the education system is often limited in what it can offer. The Youth Ambassadors’ have first-hand experience of these challenges.
The Youth Ambassadors came together because they want create something amazing for other young people. They understand that young people are often thrown into the adult world with very little guidance on how to apply their skills and talents and focus their aspirations. One of the many highlights of being a Youth Ambassador is the chance to work with and get to know other young people who have the same drive and the same motivation to make a difference. “We recognised ourselves in each other”, says another Youth Ambassador, Beatriz Tanaka.
Babbasa’s extensive research into the local community’s needs illustrate that most young people lack the connections required to pursue their dream careers. Babbasa’s Ask About Me 2019 in collaboration with Bristol 24/7 is a direct response to this problem. It is one of the most ambitious and unique networking events of the year, connecting 100 young people with 100 established professionals from an array of different industries. The intergenerational aspect of the event is not the only thing that makes it unique — its design and organisation is led by the 14 Babbasa Youth Ambassadors. As Youth Ambassador, Kamari Williams says: “This event is by young people, for young people”.
Bristol Creative Industries is the membership network that supports the region's creative sector to learn, grow and connect, driven by the common belief that we can achieve more collectively than alone.