I best start with saying that I am very thankful to be sitting here today, sipping a cappuccino, writing for my local newspaper.

If you’d told me three years ago that this is where I’d be, I’m sure I would have laughed.

As a young person it’s sometimes hard to feel listened to, or taken seriously. It can feel as though our opinions are overlooked and undervalued.

I speak for myself and many others when I say that young people are often underestimated due to our age, and this is one of the issues I’m working towards changing.

To give you all a little context as to who I am, or why I’ve been granted this opportunity, I’ll tell you.

My name is Maya and I represent Inverclyde’s young people as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP).

I was first elected into this role in November 2021 and have since been advocating on behalf of Inverclyde to decision makers on a local and national basis.

I’ve attended numerous national sittings where I’ve voted on motions presented by young people and I’ve volunteered my time to participate in focus groups and have made every effort to create positive change within our community, and the country as a whole.

A lot of people have asked me why I bother. What’s the point in putting in all of this hard work for little result? And to that I always answer the same. We do see results.

You see, a lot of people don’t fully understand the purpose of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

I’ve worked with everyone from high school students to highly paid professionals, and I’ve lost count of how many times I've been asked ‘so what is it the Scottish Youth Parliament actually does?’

In order for young people to know that we’re taken seriously by decision makers, we must ensure they are fully aware of what SYP represents.


The Scottish Youth Parliament is an organization led by young people, which provides a national platform for those aged 14-25, to talk about what matters to them and push for changes in their country.

We focus on four key values: democracy, meaning everyone has a say; political impartiality, meaning we don't take sides; diversity and inclusion, meaning we welcome everyone; and rights, meaning we stand up for what's fair and just.

It’s really as simple as that.

And speaking of those results, it was the Scottish Youth Parliament who influenced the Scottish Government to give 16 year olds the vote in Scotland, gave under 22s free bus travel, and encouraged Scotland to become the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products.

In conclusion, my goal is to empower young people to get involved in decision making processes, and to lead the way in creating a more passionate, and informed society for all.

I look forward to documenting and sharing this journey with you all.