Emma grew up in Ireland where she attended her local Youth Service seeking support, fun and experiences that could enhance her skills, opportunities, and life.
Through youth work, Emma took part in afterschool programmes, water and adventure sports, public speaking, arts and crafts, international exchanges, cross border exchanges and drug and alcohol awareness programmes.
I was fortunate in my misfortune
Emma learned that youth work was and is a viable career option that can impact social justice and social change – even if teachers and others disagreed at the time. Determined, Emma began to shadow youth workers and volunteered weekly to run groups within the community with her peers. Emma began to find her voice and spoke up to help create change within her community.
The opportunity to access education happened many years after Emma dropped out of college. Studying Youth and Community Work as a Social Science helped Emma to further expand her knowledge and understanding of society and how much power people can have to influence change. It was here that Emma made a commitment to support other children and young people to question the systems and structures that oppress or neglect them and has since had a long-standing career within the field of youth work.
Meet people where they are at
Emma has worked with many children and young people who are cool, refreshingly honest, trailblazing, influential, and humbling in what they want to contribute. There is not a day that goes by where she is not amazed by the people that she meets.
Everyone has the capacity to inspire, educate and make change – just by being you, speaking your truth and holding people to account.
Ní neart go cur le chéile” – Pronounced: Nee Nyart Guh Cur Le Kayla
Translation: “There is no strength without unity”
Emma has worked in previous roles as a Youth Worker, After-School Coordinator, Youth Justice Worker, Youth Exchange Worker, Youth Opportunities Worker, Engagement and Outreach Coordinator between the areas of Dublin and London.
Emma promotes effective and authentic participation at JfKL by championing the JfKL Ambassadors and Youth Projects Team – Youth Campaigning and Youth Opportunities.
Outside of work, Emma enjoys arts and crafts (she can put images on candles!) watching comedies, advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights, abortion rights and menstruation awareness.
Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day