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  • Writer's pictureJenna

My change maker pledge

This term at school, we are learning about change makers. This blog is about the change that I pledge to make:

I pledge to use my voice to change perceptions of education for children and adults with special educational needs and disabilities.

I have written here about how I will use my school's values to guide me to be the best change maker that I can be, and influence as may people as possible across the world.

Be Curious

It is so important to be curious about your passion if you want to change the world. You need to know more than other people so you can educate them. I like to find out more about ADHD and other neurodiversities and how they affect people. I do this by researching, and I am always interested in hearing from other people’s points of view. It is very inspirational to hear about people who used their neurodiversities as a superpower and who have achieved their goals, like Simone Biles and Emma Watson. It is also important to magnify the views of other change makers like Siena Castellon, by sharing their messages so they reach a bigger audience across the world.

I also like to find out about the struggles children have to get a suitable education if they have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). I believe that all children have the right to have an education, and I believe that our society should be sure that every child reaches their potential. I like to hear about situations where that has been challenging, as well as situations where people have succeeded. This helps me to understand what works and what doesn’t, so that I can work out where to put my change making energies.

Be Empathetic

I think it is important to be a great listener to be a great change maker. Change makers are in a position to use their experiences to listen to others and help them with their problems. My own experiences have taught me that no one person has the answer to everything so it is important to share problems and let others help you!

A lot of people come to me for advice with their worries and problems. Sometimes I use my own experiences to help them. Sometimes I suggest other people they can talk to, or things they can watch and read, to help them. I hope that people always feel they can trust me because I am honest and open about my own experiences and challenges.

Be Brave

To be a good change maker, you have to be able to share your experiences, emotions and passions with all sorts of other people who may or may not believe in the same things as you do. But you have to be very brave to share your emotions with others. And you have to be even braver to share in public! This is because most people are kind and understanding, but some can take my words in the opposite direction and then use them to tease or bully me. This makes me feel vulnerable. But I think that hearing voices from children like me is such an important way of helping other children that I am proud to be brave like this.

I have already shown that I can be brave with speaking out about my emotions in public to help others. For example, I was brave to go to court and speak to the judge directly about the problems with my education. I did this because no one at Surrey Council had listened to me directly before, and I believe that children should have a say in what grown ups do to them. I have also been brave to write my blog, and tweet about my experiences. But I have had lots of positive feedback which shows me that sharing my thoughts and opinions makes a real difference to other children who are feeling the same way or in similar situations.

So to all the other child change makers out there: keep going, even if you think no-one is listening! Because every voice matters, no matter how old you are.

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