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Sara, youth advisory panel alumni

Meet Plan Global Youth Advisory Panel (GYAP) alumni Sara, aged 22, from the USA

What are you passionate about?

In addition to advising the GYAP, I am a member of the Youth Advisory Board for Plan International USA, which is made up of 7 young people from the United States and works to provide a youth perspective on the operations.

Being a part of Plan International has really helped me connect to young people all over the world. I have learned of the struggles and bravery of young people and had the chance to meet amazing youth activists.

Why is Plan’s youth engagement strategy important?

Over my many years with working with Plan International, I have become familiar with the organisation and understand that to do what is best for children and youth, Plan International needs to include the ideas of young people in its internal governance. This is the purpose of our strategy. Because children and youth are the essence of the organisation’s work, I believe they should be just as involved in reaching goals as they are in identifying and developing them.

Youth are intelligent, committed and energised to work for their fellow peers across the world. Youth provide a unique lens for Plan International that strengthens the validity of the organisation.

What do you enjoy about working with GYAP?

I was motivated to join GYAP in order to help Plan International fulfil its mission of empowering children and youth worldwide.

My experience has provided me with the knowledge and resources to make change happen within Plan International. I have learned to vocalise what I strongly believe, how to speak with key decision makers and how to collaborate with my youth peers to get things done.

So far, I’ve enjoyed working with a really fantastic team on GYAP and joining together to implement a strategy for youth participation in internal governance that we helped to design.

Though at times getting our voices heard comes with its challenges, we are making progress and helping the organisation to adjust to these important improvements.