The deadline to stand for a candidate in the upcoming SYP elections is 31 Oct! Former MSYP Kristofer McGee blogs about his experiences at SYP, and why you should #Stand4SYP.
You can register your interest to stand as an MSYP HERE.
Kristofer McGhee, Lawyer at the Charity Commission & Former MSYP
I joined the Scottish Youth Parliament in 2002 just after I started studying at the University of Glasgow. I fondly remember my first meeting at Edinburgh Festival Theatre and meeting so many new people from all different walks of life. There was a real buzz and sense of excitement from me and the other MSYPs, as we got down to business for the weekend. It was very clear how passionate we all were to effect change for young people in Scotland. Some of the initial SYP campaigns that I was involved in have resulted in meaningful change, particularly the ban on smoking in public places and Votes at 16 (though there is more to be done in this respect). SYP can, and does, make a difference.
I spent four wonderful years at SYP. At my first meeting, I joined the Executive (as it then was) which was the group that would set the strategic direction of the organisation. I then had various roles through my team and, in my fourth and final year, I was elected Vice Chair. During the time, I gained so much responsibility and knowledge which has very much shaped the person I am today.
I was very sad to say goodbye to SYP. I left just after graduating because I had secured a training contract at an international law firm in London. I have no doubt whatsoever that the skills I acquired and developed at SYP were a significant factor in securing that training contract.
It is now 10 years since I left SYP. Many of my friendships – including with two of my greatest friends – began during my days at SYP. Being part of SYP was truly life-changing for me: it developed me as a person, it enabled me to make a contribution to society, it helped my career development but, most of all, it was an absolute blast from start to finish! Would I go back and do it again? I wish!
If you’re considering standing as an MSYP, do it – it will be one of the best decisions you ever make.