Two pupils feature in list of 30 inspiring young women

The '30 under 30' list identifies inspiring young women in Scotland, and has highlighted some outstanding role models in schools

Henry Hepburn

Two pupils feature in list of 30 inspiring young women

The annual "30 Under 30 list" of inspiring young women in Scotland has been published – including two schoolgirls.

YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement launched its annual list in 2016, when it noticed that 30 under 30 lists rarely included women from Scotland.

This year’s list is the fourth edition and features "incredible young women from, or living in, Scotland".

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They include Razannah Hussain, a Scottish Indian Muslim girl who wants to break stereotypes people have about hijab-wearing Muslim women.  The pupil at Alness Academy in the Highlands co-hosted a session with Nicola Sturgeon, where young people were able to ask the first minister questions about things they care about.

Since the age of 14, Ms Hussain has volunteered and mentored at after-school clubs, and joined the local youth forum. She has also worked with NHS Scotland and Police Scotland to help them develop more young-people-friendly approaches to their work, and challenged a director at Google about the lack of racial diversity in their team.

At the most recent Young Scot Awards last November, she stood up in front of hundreds of people and delivered a speech and was chair of the judging panel.

Another pupil on the list is Meg Wishart, from Broxburn Academy in West Lothian. After studying social inequality independently, she organised a foodbank collection in the local community.

She volunteers for a local charity called the School Bank, which helps struggling families with school uniforms and supplies. Ms Wishart has also been a pivotal part of a charity in the school which is raising funds to help orphans in Uganda.

At the age of 15, she was chosen to give the opening speech at a House of Lords debate, making a passionate demand for the UK to do more to aid the plight of refugees.  The Royal Commonwealth Society were so impressed by her speech that they invited her, and the school, to attend its Commonwealth Service for schools and youth groups last year.

As well as reaching the finals of an ESU (English Speaking Union) debating competition this year – the only female pupil from a state school to do so – Ms Wishart won an ESU national public speaking competition.

She has also done her best to pass her debating skills onto younger pupils, coaching junior teams to great success. She was chosen as the winner of the inaugural Heriot-Watt University Leadership Award for her work with younger pupils in the school.

Another name on the list is Katie Salvin-Trower, who runs a theatre school for children and adults with a wide range of additional support needs (ASN).  She started off with just eight pupils and is now hosting just over 100 children and adults over four classes per week.

Dr Patrycja Kupiec, director of YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement, said she had been "so impressed with all the amazing and inspiring young women in Scotland who we have been able to feature in this series".

She added: "We need more role models, and this list delivers plenty of these.”

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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