Young woman with big fu­ture

Vol­un­teer im­presses with scope of her com­mit­ments

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

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.

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