Young Leaders Directory 2022

To celebrate 2022's International Day of the Girl, explore our third edition of the Young Leaders Directory, a directory of incredible young activists, leaders and campaigners. These girls and non-binary young leaders are working to change the world across issues including social justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate action, education activism, disability rights, and gender equality.

You can also explore previous editions of the Young Leaders Directory in 2021here and 2020.

With thanks to Purposeful for its support in identifying these inspiring activists.

Zayna Ahsan

Zayna is a 15-year-old who has been a champion swimmer since 2021. She started competitive swimming at the age of 10 but was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, an autoimmune disorder which has no cure. Keeping her disease a secret, she continued to compete and proved herself to be the best! Working closely with Arthritis Care Foundation since the age of five as a donor, she now continues to create awareness and raise funds for the underprivileged. Her struggle and achievements are an inspiration for children suffering from similar diseases, and she inspires young leaders with a cause. Recently, she collaborated with ACF for the Young World Rheumatic Disease Seminar held in March 2022 and is working on opening a fund-raising club on their behalf in her school.

One action Zayna would like everyone to take:

“I would ask my peers to create awareness about different forms of arthritis and help raise funds so that children become as enabled as I am and they do not suffer from disabilities. Though there is no cure, there is treatment and many of the people suffering are unaware. I would like people to have more talk about this and work to make treatment available to everyone.”

Find out more about Arthritis Care Foundation and its work here.

Sapphire Alexander

Sapphire is a 19-year-old strident feminist and youth advocate who is passionate about equal rights and climate change awareness. She is the founder of Caribbean Feminist a digital initiative and platform for young people to come together and to learn from each other, inspire and be inspired themselves. In addition to her role as founder of Caribbean Feminist, Sapphire is a member of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust Network as well as a member of the young feminist coalition Transform Education. She also stands on the Caribbean advisory committee for the international non-profit FRIDA where she aids in informing the grant-making process for the region.

Sapphire lives by the credo that elevating the voices of youth is the key to the progress of society.

One action Sapphire would like everyone to take:

“Follow the work of Caribbean Feminist online.”

Follow Sapphire on Instagram and Caribbean Feminist on Instagram and Twitter.

Mabel Alie

Mabel is a 19-year-old Sierra Leonean student and business owner. She just finished high school and is looking forward to entering university next year. She is passionate about working with girls and other young women. Mabel is a mentor of one of the Purposeful Girls’ Collective in Port Loko, Sierra Leone. She opted to mentor the girls in her collective because she wanted to ensure that girls have the knowledge they need to fulfil their dreams and live in solidarity. Her mentoring classes helped girls escape the culture of FGM and early marriage. Mabel has also learned much about the importance of girl empowerment through her work with Purposeful.

One action Mabel would like everyone to take:

“Empower girls by putting money directly in their hands so that they can own their initiatives.”

Find out more about Purposeful and its work here.

Amanda Amaeshi

Amanda is an 18-year-old British-Nigerian whose advocacy journey began when, as a Year of Young People 2018 ambassador, she would speak out on issues that mattered to young people. Amanda has been a member of the Girlguiding Advocate Panel since October 2019, and speaks out on issues that matter such as sexual harassment, mental health, and the importance of centring girls and young women in decision-making. She is a Young Spokesperson for Girlguiding Scotland, and a member of the First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girls.

From an early age, Amanda has been keen on speaking out about social issues. Through her writing, she has raised awareness on a variety of issues, from the lack of women in STEM and the harms of fast fashion to period poverty and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. She won the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) competition, writing about problems and potential solutions concerning food waste in Scotland and has written for websites such as the Scottish BPOC Writers Network and the Scottish Feminist Bloggers Network.

One action Amanda would like everyone to take:

“I know that there are many talented young people out there, so hopefully, the work I’ve done will inspire others, especially those from ethnic minority groups, to contribute positively to society in their own way too. After all, everyone’s voice, regardless of who they are or where they come from, is important and deserves to be heard. And I believe that if we all work together to fight injustice in the world, we will leave the world a better place than how we found it.”

Follow Amanda on Twitter.

Adhara Ayndrila

Adhara is the 19-year-old founder of Voices Against Violence, a Dhaka-based non-profit youth organisation that aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence. Her journey as a gender activist began in 2020 in response to a significant rise in rape cases across the country, when she organised the 'Movement Against Rape' protest, which included hundreds of female students. During the protest, she realised that she needed to develop a long-term platform to mobilise the Bangladeshi youth to combat GBV. Adhara and her team at Voices Against Violence have since been researching and creating educational content on the cause, legal barriers, policies, and repercussions of gender-based violence.

Outside of her organisation, she uses her social media platform and competitive debating to raise awareness of other social injustices; and as a member of the Youth Policy Forum, she regularly writes about international politics and advocates for minority rights.

Adhara’s ambition is to become a policymaker and to ensure equitable economic and social opportunities for vulnerable communities, particularly gender and religious minorities.

One action Amanda would like everyone to take:

“Observe your surroundings and try to notice the symptoms of rape culture in your daily life. Hold people accountable when they make sexist remarks, create scope for misogynistic practices, discriminate against people on unfair grounds, and take part in gender-based violence themselves. Hold the state institutions and political parties accountable as well when they try to enact discriminatory policies that obstruct justice and equality.”

Follow Adhara on Facebook.

Aeshnina Azzahra Arisandi

Aeshnina is a 15-year-old Indonesian environmental activist whose main concern is to stop the transport of rubbish from Europe to her home country and other countries in the global south. Especially in times of the pandemic, when plastic consumption and the associated littering of our environment are exploding, Nina never tires of starting media-effective campaigns over and over again. As a young environmental activist, Nina was invited to speak at the Plastic Health Summit in Theatre Amsterdam in 2021. She is advocating for a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable world, and fighting against illegal imports of plastic waste from industrialised countries to her native Indonesia.

One action Aeshnina would like everyone to take:

“Change your daily consumption lifestyle to reusables, refillable and refuse single-use plastic.”

Follow Aeshnina on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Aniya Butler

Aniya is a 16-year-old spoken word poet and organiser from Oakland, CA. She works with a youth-led climate justice group, Youth Vs Apocalypse, where she directs the Hip Hop & Climate Justice Initiative and coordinates the No One Is Disposable campaign. Using poetry and organising, Aniya emphasises the importance of acknowledging and uplifting the connection between climate change and social justice. Climate justice is not only about stopping the progress of climate change, it's also about dismantling the systems of oppression that allowed the climate crisis to happen which are the same systems fueling and exacerbating the other injustices we are fighting against. Aniya wants to help rebuild a world with foundations of equity, sustainability and love, so that every living thing can truly thrive.

One action Aniya would like everyone to take:

“One action I'd like people to do to help my work is to follow YVA's social media, which can be found on our website, and to repost any post that aligns with their work.”

Follow Aniya on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Youtube.

Ashley Chadamoyo Makombe

Ashley is a 21-year-old journalist, student and activist from Tallaght, Dublin. Named one of The Irish Independent's “Activists to watch” in 2022, she has always had a passion for mobilising and uplifting underrepresented communities across media, arts and culture.

Ashley is also one of the Co-Founders of The GALPAL Collective. As a collective “GALPAL” is dedicated to the celebration, and creation of art by young women, people of colour and queer folk. In her career, Ashley has worked for organisations such as Tallaght Community Arts, The Irish Museum of Modern Art and Eurobug International and has featured bylines in Totally Dublin and Rogue Collective and was published in the Novel "The Liminal" with all proceeds going to charity.

One action Ashley would like everyone to take:

“Engage with the content I post on social media, as most of it is relating to my work.”

Follow Ashley on Instagram and Twitter.

Sena Chang

Sena is a 16-year-old Japanese-Korean activist and writer based in Tokyo. As a writer for Hanabi, her school newspaper, Sena most recently covered the overturning of Roe v. Wade and interviewed women at the frontlines of the Russia-Ukraine war. Her creative work has been recognised by The New York Times and Sundress Publications, amongst others.

At 14, Sena founded The Global Youth Review, an international literary and arts magazine aiming to amplify youth voices. Since 2020, The Global Youth Review has garnered hundreds of submissions and a readership (both print and online) of 100,000+ in 480+ cities across 100+ countries. As a member of several advocacy groups, Sena has also presented policies shown at UNESCO headquarters and to various ministers and officials. As a result of her work, Sena was most recently named a 2022 Global Teen Leader by We Are Family Foundation and Three Dot Dash, as well as the President’s Honour Winner of the National Young Hero Award by the National Liberty Museum.

Using her platform and voice, she dreams of utilising the power of storytelling and cultivating a generation that is open and empowered to engage in open political dialogue.

One action Sena would like everyone to take:

“Stay engaged, educated, and aware of political matters. The strongest democracies in the world have crumbled under the vices of party politics and political apathy. And political leadership, in many countries, is a revolving glass door propelled by nepotism and cronyism. There is a considerable need for reform and revolution within our current system, and I firmly believe that youths are fully capable of leading this fight. Your voice at the ballot is powerful and necessary—be sure to use it.”

Follow Sena on Instagram and Twitter.

Licypriya Devi Kangujam

Licypriya is an 11-year-old Indian climate activist. She has been championing her cause since six years old to protect, preserve and nurture our environment by fighting climate change. She is one of the youngest climate activists globally and addressed the world leaders at the United Nations Climate Conference 2019 (COP25) in Madrid, Spain calling the world leaders to take immediate climate actions to save their future.

She is a World Children Peace Prize Laureate 2019, Rising Star of Earth Day 2019 and the recipient of the Global Child Prodigy Award 2020, International Women’s Day Award 2021 by the Delhi Government, and won the prestigious TN Khushoo Memorial Award in 2020.

Having spoken in over 400 institutions and other platforms in over 32 countries advocating for adults about the threat of climate change as a part of her movement, Licypriya has featured amongst the “50 powerful voices of the World in 2020” along with His Holiness Pope Francis to celebrate Earth Day 2020 and is the youngest speaker in United Nations history.

One action Licypriya would like everyone to take:

“I want people, especially children, to take positive action on their own individual level because I am a child who strongly believes that all the children of the world can lead the change. Each and every child living in this country, and living in this world are already the victims of climate change. That’s why I am fighting for our planet and our future. All our little things can make a huge difference.”

Follow Licypriya on her Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

Saoirse Exton

Saoirse became involved in the global climate justice movement in 2019, by founding her local branch of Fridays for Future and joining the weekly strikes. She organised and led demonstrations in her city, and engaged directly with local and national decision-makers to ensure adequate climate policy.

In 2020, Saoirse was elected as Equality Officer of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union, where she brought the needs and wants of young people to the National government. She also created the union's Accessibility Guidelines and advised the governmental committee on gender equality.

Saoirse is one of 14 young people on C40's Global Youth and Mayors’ Forum – an intergenerational panel between youth activists and the mayors of the world’s megacities – and was selected as one of only 100 people globally to join the inaugural cohort of the Rise programme. Her project centred around researching and rewriting Ancient Irish mythology from the feminist perspective.

One action Saoirse would like everyone to take:

“Call your decision-makers. Ensure they don’t forget that the climate crisis is something on the agenda, regardless of whether we are entering into an election year or not. Remind them that we are still angry, that the planet is still dying and that we are running out of time.”

Follow Saoirse on Instagram and Twitter.

Grace Fong

Grace is a 20-year-old girl who lives in a small island developing state that is disproportionately vulnerable to climate change. Her work revolves around advocating for climate education and action. Grace grew up hearing about the threat of climate change to small island nations and feeling anxiety over the impending climate doom. To address this, she joined a climate education organisation called ClimateScience, where she learned more about climate solutions, youth climate action, and community organising.

At 17 years old, she established a national ClimateScience community team in Fiji, where she co-led and organised climate education events such as debates and workshops for youth in her community. She continues to work on expanding these projects to more students, schools, and countries in Oceania to help engage and educate more young people about science and solutions to climate change.

Now at 20, she is pursuing a double degree at the Australian National University in Environment & Sustainability and Applied Data Analytics, which she hopes to use towards working on climate adaptation and sustainable development issues in the Pacific region.

One action Grace would like everyone to take:

“Learn more about climate change and join a climate organisation! Use your influence, career, and privilege to push for equitable and just climate action now. Listen to the voices of the most affected and give them space to be heard, especially people from the Global South.”

Follow Grace on

Neha Gurung

Neha is a 20-year-old dynamic social activist from Kathmandu. Since 2017, She has been actively working in the Child Sector. She got an opportunity to join the Kathmandu District Child Club Network, and as a result of being a member of such a network, her reach has grown beyond the tiny area she was previously in.

Being the first girl child president of Kathmandu District Child Club Network, she and her team are working on a Child-Friendly School Concept and through her team's enthusiasm and dedication towards society have succeeded in making Kathmandu Metropolitan Ward 4 schools child-friendly. She is now an advisor at Kathmandu District Child Club Network and presently working in different wards of Budhanilkantha Municipality on child-friendly schools and spaces and facilitating different child clubs.

One action Neha would like everyone to take:

I would like to help people to help me in my work of making digital space safer, be aware of online harassment and act and think wisely before posting, or commenting on any specific topic if it’s harmful to others. I want people to be civilised and good digital citizens and act wisely over the space and create a safe digital space where everyone can feel confident, safe and empowered.”

Follow Neha on

Aseel Jamal Soboh

Aseel is an 18-year-old Palestine refugee from Lebanon. She was a member of the first-ever Agency-Wide Student Parliament, which comprises 22 students representing the voices of over half a million Palestine refugee girls and boys studying in more than 700 schools operated by UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank.

Being a student parliamentarian at such a young age changed her personality a lot – going from being a little girl that is scared of facing the world to the girl who became a representative for her peers in front of the whole world. She has had the chance to share the voices of her peers at international conferences and events such as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and the Child Rights In Action (CRIA) Conference in France.

One action Aseel would like everyone to take:

“I think that the word "empowerment" is a strong word that we all need to hear more often! It is the process of supporting another person or people to enable them to discover their personal power. It is a desire, a belief, and an action. Empowerment is freedom, it is being who you are, and it is choosing your own way to success. To empower someone is to share with them your power and let them be shining stars in their own way.”

Follow Aseel on Instagram and Facebook.

Marscella Ling

Marscella is a 17-year-old indigenous girl from the Island of Borneo (Sarawak). She is passionate about education reformation, democracy and political empowerment among the young people, and youth and women empowerment. She was once the Design Lead for Undi Sarawak, an organisation that empowers Sarawakian youth through democracy and educates them through politics and democracy literacy. She was also in the student outreach team of Project ID, student champion at Unicef #kitaconnect, and one of the scholars for Reach Uni 21' under Closing the Gap Malaysia.

At the local community level, she's head prefect, president of various clubs, a student representative and student leader of her educational institution. Through her authority and power in her local community, she's been doing a local-based youth empowering and leaders nurturing.

One action Marscella would like everyone to take:

"We don't want our next generations to be still fighting for anything that we fight for now. Quality education, climate action, any issues that we're concerned about should be tackled now in the togetherness of every passionate person."

Follow Marscella on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

Ketsia Passou

Ketsia is an 18-year-old student and UNICEF youth advocate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In her country, girls and women face multiple barriers such as gender bias. Prejudice is one of the main obstacles to the development of women, girls and society, as they are the catalysts for change and development. She is passionate about raising awareness among young people and the public about issues affecting children and young people around the world, inspiring other young people to take action to make the world a better place and ensuring that the rights of every child are respected.

She participated in the climate issues campaign on international media and also at COP26. With the support of UNICEF, she initiated a campaign called "Bopeto na Kelasi" ("Clean in School") to sensitise pupils and students on waste management and the importance of recycling. She has participated in demonstrations with other climate activities in Kinshasa.

One action Ketsia would like everyone to take:

I would like the voice of girls to be heard and taken into account and boys to be taught from an early age about equality between women and men so that girls are not considered weak and inferior. That the way we look at girls changes.

I would like to see more young people get involved in activism, it is an effective way to influence decision-makers, to change the narrative by highlighting women's actions.

We can't write the laws, but we can make the law because the many always come first and we are worth more than just being passive recipients.”

Follow Ketsia on Instagram.

Jessica Paule-Oriane

Jessica is a 16-year-old activist from Côte d'Ivoire. She is a young reporter with a children's radio foundation and also a young champion for children's rights, environment, health, and education at Unicef Côte d'Ivoire. Her mission as a young champion is to promote children's radio, sensitise her community about the importance of educating girls, help every child and young person to face their problems and promote STEM skills at school.

One action Jessica would like everyone to take:

“I would like people to support the work in my community. We want to do many great activities to support the children in local villages, for example, organising sessions with students about STEM, but we are limited with finances.”

Follow Jessica on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Veronika Podliesnova

Veronika is an 18-year-old Ukrainian activist. Since her childhood she has been interested in natural and exact sciences. While participating in a programme of social initiatives UPSHIFT, she and her team created a project “Physics is simple” that aims to popularise physics among Ukrainian schoolchildren. As a result, she has won funds for their project and successfully realised it within two years. Now studying at the University she is leading several scientific projects. After the full invasion of Ukraine, she launched many campaigns in support, raised money for drones, organised cultural events and helped Ukrainian refugees in Estonia.

One action Veronika would like everyone to take:

“Donate in support of Ukraine in official websites and campaigns. Ukraine is fighting for the whole world and we all need to do as much as we can.”

Follow Veronika on Instagram and Facebook.

Sofia Scarlat

Sofia is a 19-year-old advocate from Romania, working with a focus on girls and women's rights, including gender-based violence and human trafficking prevention, sexual health and reproductive rights, and youth empowerment.

She is the founder of the country’s first and currently only youth-led, gender equality organisation, Girl Up Romania, where she has coordinated advocacy, research, and education initiatives that have reached thousands of young Romanians, supported survivors, and that has led to successful, country-wide policy change. Sofia is experienced in organising and consulting for UN structures such as UN Women, where she served as one of the youngest members of the Generation Equality Youth Task Force, and has conducted research for organisations such as Innovations for Poverty Action and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

Currently, Sofia serves as the university’s co-director for the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee, organising to prevent campus sexual violence through advocacy and policy-change efforts.

Sofia’s work has been recognised internationally, receiving nominations for awards such as the International Children’s Peace Prize and the Princess of Girona International Award.

One action Sofia would like everyone to take:

“Take time to research and learn about sexual and reproductive health and rights in the context of Eastern Europe, with a specific emphasis on access to abortions and contraception for Ukrainian refugees.”

Follow Sofia on LinkedIn.

Polina Rubis

Polina is a 17-year-old Ukrainian activist. She is a resilient young leader, human rights activist, DJ, and soon-to-be film director. Previously working in the production company Radioactive Film, Polina also shot and premiered her first film in 2020.

She has delivered speeches at business, marketing, SDGs, and human rights conferences and forums in Ukraine and is currently working on a charity brand, “Taistra,” which promotes and restores Ukrainian culture.

One action Polina would like everyone to take:

“Promote important ideas at schools.”

Follow Polina on Instagram.

Anya Sen

Anya is a 14-year-old girls' education and women's rights activist. She has been working alongside the Malala Fund to spread awareness and raise money for this cause, and is an active contributor to Assembly, Malala Fund's worldwide publication.

Anya has interviewed many other activists, including Vivian Graubard, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Yuman Hussain and most recently, Malala Yousafzai herself!

One action Anya would like everyone to take:

“I would really appreciate it if people would be able to make even a small donation towards my fundraising page for girls' education. Every penny counts towards helping a girl gain access to education, a right that every person deserves regardless of gender, socio-economic status, etc.”

Follow Anya on Instagram.

Kai Shappley

Kai is an 11-year-old American actress, activist, and author. When she was in kindergarten, she stood up to the Texas State Legislature against their attack on trans kids. Her journey was recorded in the Emmy-winning documentary, Trans in America: Texas Strong. She has also guest starred in the first season of The Babysitters Club on Netflix. She loves her family, friends, pets, and Dolly Parton!

She currently lives in one of the three states in the USA that have specific laws to protect families of transgender children from extradition. As political refugees having to relocate for the third time, their hope is that people will learn more about what is happening to transgender people and those who support them and use whatever gift or talent they have to help #ProtectTransKids.

One action Kai would like everyone to take:

“Find your own way to use your gift or talent to help protect trans kids.”

Follow Kai on Instagram and Twitter.

Divina Stella Maloum

Divina is an 18-year-old Cameroonian multi-award peacebuilder, computer scientist, cartoonist, civil society, nuclear non-proliferation activist, international speaker and writer. In 2019, she was the laureate of the International Children Peace Prize, and has been classified among the eight influential Cameroonian women of the year 2019 by the Cameroonian Magazine Economie.

In 2020, she was the youngest laureate of the 35.35 Africa Award which recognises the exceptional contribution of 35 African young personalities under 35 years. She is an outstanding peacebuilding practitioner and has been leading Children for Peace, a child and girl-led movement working across Sub-Saharan African countries in complex cultural systems for Children's rights, gender equity and peace-building.

Divina is an advocate of inter-generational dialogue and diversity who is fruitfully engaged in the full internalisation of UNSCR 2250 and 1325, the UN Conventions on the rights of the Child and Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. She is committed to inclusive governance and children's participation in peace-building, and sustainable development goals.

One action Divina would like everyone to take:

“I would like to be supported in the creation of the African Parliament of Girls for Peace.”

Follow Divina on LinkedIn.

Sindhu Surapaneni

Sindhu is a 13-year-old creative artist who creates paintings on diversity and inclusion, spearheading social justice work to mitigate homelessness, and working with partners and non-profit organisations to magnify the effects of her work. She values the possibilities for communication that art provides. She creates art to provide positive and uplifting messages based on current events happening in the world.

One action Sindhu would like everyone to take:

“I hope the wonderful community in Washington will come together to assist me in my dream project, and for my art, Everyone Is Loved Here, to be displayed in all the schools in Washington.”

Follow Sindhu on her Website and Facebook.

Rudaba Tabassum

Rudaba is a 19-year-old activist from Bangladesh currently residing in Vancouver. Working with social causes and improving living standards for the marginalised population of Bangladesh has been a part of her life since early high school. Serving as the Head of Department in “Talk Period, Bangladesh” she’s leading a team of 15 young and driven individuals, which started its journey as a dialogue platform to fight back against the stigma and dismantle taboos surrounding menstruation back in early 2020.

Some of their works include hosting informative virtual seminars with gynaecologists, fundraising to provide menstrual kits to the underserved, holding several campaigns that reflect period positivity through social media participation and more. TPBD was one of the very first platforms to bring out an audiogram narrating the menstrual experiences of a Trans man in order to raise more awareness of menstruation being a gender-neutral subject. The work Rudaba does through the several platforms she’s affiliated with allows her to harbour the hope of impacting the world in a more positive way through changing perspectives.

One action Rudaba would like everyone to take:

Initiate a conversation about period positivity and inclusiveness if you feel your surroundings are not ready for the “uncomfortable” talk. This is the first step that we can take towards dismantling the stigma around such a crucial health subject that every menstruating person needs to go through.

Follow Rudaba on Instagram.

Nelli Tarapata

Nelli started her path as an active 17-year-old member of society in Dnipro, Ukraine. She was a winner of the Contest of Scientific Projects on International Relations among students of high schools in the Dnipropetrovsk region, and right then she knew that is what she was going to do. She went on to further organise the projects "Ambassadors of Unity" and "Voices of Democracy" during Weeks of Germany in Ukraine.

Currently, she is a member of the Dnipro Youth Council and Community Organisation of volunteers "HELPeru Dnipra", which allows her to help her city directly in different areas. Although she’s been active in the international relations field, she also has decided that she can write her own scientific work. In 2021 her work was highly appreciated by the Junior Academy of Sciences juries and she achieved the winning title on the national level.

One action Nelli would like everyone to take:

“I'd like people to be more open-minded to new initiatives. I have noticed that some people are too sceptical about innovations, and that applies to both international relations (as with my experience with projects in my school) and technologies (what I saw while presenting my scientific work).”

Follow Nelli on Instagram.

Paris Thompson

Paris is a 17-year-old deaf activist who wants to be an actress – working in the film industry and on the stage. She’s performed her own poetry and lyrics on stage and acted on a film set. Paris has delivered many speeches raising deaf awareness helping people understand what it is they need to do. In school, she raised deaf awareness by teaching year groups, and teachers what to do, and taught her form group British Sign Language for Christmas carols. She has also set up BSL clubs teaching different year groups sign language and deaf awareness, as well as giving speeches for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Using the story of her deafness, she has shown how her story is empowering; playing a starring part in GOSH’s campaign to raise over £11 million for their Sight and Sound centre supporting deaf and/or blind children.

One action Paris would like everyone to take:

“First of all, be aware of the people around you, and what they need. Be active in what you learn, engage, and be willing to help and practice what you learn. Read about the world around you – be prepared to change. Change is good! Protest is hopeful. We will always lead to better things in the future!”

Follow Paris on Instagram.

Zaya Wade

Zaya is a 15-year-old trans advocate and has been, publicly, since she came out as trans. She loves her community and loves representing trans people by shining a light on them. Zaya shows her truth daily, whether it's during a photoshoot or during a normal day.

One action Zaya would like everyone to take:

“I would like them to just change the way they act, towards themselves and others. I want people to uplift others, and be uplifted by others.”

Follow Zaya on Instagram.

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