Young woman with big future
Volunteer impresses with scope of her commitments
Kiwi born and bred Emily Boud is one of the region’s young volunteers to keep an eye on.
Currently on exam leave from Dunstan High School, Emily volunteers with the award winning Sticks ‘n’ Stones; a student-led project, managed by Central Otago REAP that focuses on taking positive action online to reduce cyberbullying.
Along with 50 other young volunteers, Emily has been instrumental in its development since 2012, ensuring it continues to grow and impact positively on young people’s lives and their families across the region.
‘‘In the past I was bullied, and I didn’t want others to go through what I went through.’’ Emily says, ‘‘I wanted to give people a better understanding of cyberbullying, not only young people, but their parents who didn’t grow up with this technology and didn’t understand the different aspects of bullying.’’
She has achieved what she set out to do and much more. Emily is now head of Video Footage which helps spread the word on social media and in the region’s schools. She has gained so much from her involvement.
‘‘I have a better understanding of people and realise that you can never assume to know what is going on in someone else’s life. People make mistakes, but they can always overcome them,’’ Emily says. ‘
When I asked what Emily’s proudest moment has been I wasn’t surprised that she recalled presenting at the National Trustpower Community Awards with her friend and volunteer Ashleigh Smith.
‘‘I used to suffer from anxiety so presenting in front of hundreds of people was a huge accomplishment! I was really nervous and still can’t watch the video of us; but it was a great atmosphere, a really big weekend and coming runner- up was such an achievement for everyone involved!’’
Sticks ‘n’ Stones are currently working with Facebook, Google and the Government around cyberbullying policy. In the future Emily hopes to study law or medicine at university and would like to set up a Sticks ‘n’ Stones project there. She also volunteers at Ranui House, with SADD and is planning a trip to Cambodia to help build homes in the community.
To hear Emily talk about her experiences, join Volunteering Central’s National Volunteer Week celebrations in Cromwell and Alexandra tomorrow. Contact Volunteering Central for full details.
Sticks N’ Stones members Ashleigh Smith and Emily Boud talk at the Trustpower National Community Awards in Wellington.