1. How do you and your parents best communicate?
I communicate really well with my mum. We spend a lot of time in the car together and I find that’s a really good time for us to talk. My dad is much quieter and I don’t think we really understand each other. He never asks what I’m doing and I never ask him anything. And if I do I just get such a short answer, it makes me regret it. He makes me really angry sometimes.
2. What do you feel you contribute to your community?
If you mean my school as my community, I feel I contribute a lot. I am captain of the girls’ rugby team, I’m a member of amnesty international at school and I also work on the school newspaper. I really enjoy that. In my local community as in where I live, I’m not sure I contribute very much. If you want to get involved with the community where I live you have to join a group, and they are usually run by older people. There is an Arts Centre which I wanted to join so I could do some drama with them, but it was so cliquey I only went to one meeting.
3. What are your family rules like?
We don’t have too many, really. Not compared to some of my friends. My dad doesn’t get involved, which is another part of his quietness. My mum doesn’t tell me when to go to bed or anything, but she does like to know where I’m going if I go out with friends or something, and what time I’ll be back. That isn’t usually an issue though because she normally offers to come and pick me up. I think that’s her way of keeping an eye on me.
4. Do you do any creative activities?
Like I said, I write for my school newspaper. We meet once every fortnight to discuss how things are going and to plan the next edition. I also really like art and go to a lunchtime club for that.
5. What do you like most about learning at school?
I like the subjects I’m interested in, like English. I enjoy reading poems and annotating them. I don’t like some of my subjects though and I really dread them, like German. I find it so hard and the teacher is boring.
6. How do you feel about poverty in the developing countries?
It makes me very sad. I hate seeing the adverts on tv about children who are so hungry you can see all of their bones. Sometimes at school we hold events to raise money for Africa. But what I don’t understand is if so much money gets donated all the time, why are there still so many people dying? It doesn’t make any sense.
7. What would you do if you saw someone getting bullied at school?
It happens quite a lot, and it’s really hard to know what to do. I wish I could say I was brave enough to stand up to the bullies, but I’m not. I don’t laugh along or anything, but I can’t stop it happening.
8. What do you see your future holding?
That’s a difficult question. I want to be a doctor when I’m older, so I guess I see that happening. I think I’ll have some children too, once I’ve been working for a while. And I also want to travel around a bit too. I really want to see Asia.
This young person’s external assets are interesting. She has a good relationship with her mother, and their household doesn’t seem to need strict rules. She seems to think that the adults in her community don’t value the contribution of youth but, again, this doesn’t apply to her mother. She seems outgoing and like she takes part in a lot of activities. She seems very confident in that way.
Her internal assets are generally positive. She foresees a bright future, and has a good attitude to learning subjects that she is interested in. She seems to lack some confidence, demonstrated by her answer to the question about bullying. Overall, however, she answered all of my questions openly and confidently.