My name is Kyle Nunes and from Jamaica. I am someone who always thinks all of us can do a little bit more. I have always liked to be a leader because I believe that we should start doing small things and realizing the impact we can have, even for just one person. Being marginalized as a member of the LGBT community, I have always felt a great desire to represent the 'voiceless.'
By being underrepresented and bullied, I feel motivated to keep pushing myself at each stage. From being a peer counsellor to my role as Governor with Circle K, an international student-led organization, I dedicate myself to the realization of humanity's potential through service, leadership and fellowship, the pillars of the organization I represent. At the end of the day, I am fulfilled and satisfied when I have had the opportunity to help, support or even inspire at least one person.
If there is one thing that inspires me about young people today, it is our adaptability and strength to be living at such a time during a global pandemic. It is not easy, especially to be living in Jamaica when the cost of living is so high, yet some of us are still trying to make an impact and give back somehow. I think it is very special to look beyond our adversity and say, “I can make a change, even though the pandemic is going on.”
As a young person, our generation is ready to challenge things more. The pandemic has opened our eyes and made some of us want to seize opportunities for ourselves a lot more. I do wish that more of us could have that confidence to pursue what we want and not shy away. Most times, it is worth the risk. I have always said that if any opportunity comes if I can get it, I am going to take it.
My advice for youth would be one word: Support. If we can all have one person that eases the burden a little bit, I think it is really important. The generation coming before us maybe did not do that, which translated into them not paying as much attention to us, when we were their children, and leaving mental health as a taboo. Now is the time to change that narrative, and either tell ourselves: “I can be aware and be ready to support others”; or “I feel comfortable asking for support from my peers.”
If you are a young person reading this, I invite you to join a group or a club where support is available or start within your social group. Help build others up, and then they can be present for you when you need that strength in return.
Credit: Kyle Nunes, U-Reporter Jamaica