Over 100 young people from around the world volunteer as part of the Young Scientists Journal Team. In celebration of Volunteers’ Week 2019 (1st-7th June), Michael, a 16 year old from Ireland, shared his experience of being part of the team…
When I volunteered to write this article, I thought about giving up straight away because as simple as it sounds “What does Young Scientists Journal mean to you?” was far more complex to answer than I realised. The journal is more than an organisation to me, it is a home away from home where science geeks from around the world can come together and do what we love most, science.
How did I get roped into the journal? Well my sisters’ friend Ao Sasame mentioned to me and upon hearing what it was I knew I had found my oasis. The journal sounded too good to be true, a place where I could finally let my nerd free and help promote education in the process. As well as that, I wanted to finally take action in my future. I wanted to do something of importance that had positive impacts on the world, not learning Shakespeare quotes off by heart. Within 24 hours of hearing about the journal I was a member of the outreach team as the Ambassador to Ireland.
As cliché as it may sound, since joining the Young Scientists Journal my life has changed dramatically in every aspect. I found myself being more motivated and being a lot happier. Being able to take direct action in my community really motivated me to do more and since joining the journal I’m now writing articles, designing a public garden and I was part of a research programme, and I have the journal to thank for that. I found myself a lot happier as I was directly impacting people, I was giving talks and helping other young people who need a space to do science find their oasis.
As Ambassador to Ireland it’s my job to promote the journal nation-wide in schools and in any youth groups. As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the country and give a talk for a youth group, as well as having meetings with college professors. I got to explore the country and bring my message of science and education along with me.
For those of you reading this that are on the fence and aren’t sure whether the journal is for you here’s my advice- join us. We are here to support and build communities that promote education and help you do what you want to do in STEM. It’s not just an opportunity to improve your community, it’s an opportunity to improve yourself.