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Digital Champions meet to plan the year ahead and represent the Digital Leader Community – part 1

Published: 6th February 2020

The Childnet Digital Champions are Jess, Bella, Maryam, Niah, Oyinkan, Cosima and Aimee. They are a group of Digital Leaders from across the country who were successful in applying to be ambassadors of the Digital Leaders Programme, representing the Digital Leader community and supporting the Childnet team. Find out more about our fantastic Digital Champions here. The Digital Champions had their kick-off day on 23rd January at Facebook offices and the day was a chance for the young people to get to know each other, find out what to expect in their role as a Digital Champion and lots more!

Here is part one of two blog posts written by the Digital Champions which explains what they got up to on the kick-off day and what to expect from them in the coming months. Hear from Cosima, Jess, Niah and Bella in this blog post and hear more from our other Digital Champions in part two.

  • What did we get up to on our kick-off day?

Cosima: We all arrived at Facebook, signed in and waited to be taken in, it was the first time that all of the new Digital Champions met and it was so nice to finally see each other face to face! We went upstairs to a room on the 8th floor, there were loads of snacks and drinks which they said we could have. After we all introduced ourselves; new and existing, and the Childnet team told us a little about themselves too we decided to play some icebreakers. I’m sure that I speak for all of us in that after we made recipes from our favourite foods and scattergories we felt like we had been friends for ages! Some time and snacks later, the existing DC’s told us a little more about their experiences and highlights of the role and what kind of things to expect. We then were given an amazing tour of the Facebook offices. They had a giant phone, Instagram carriage, pick and mix, emoji game, work pods and much more. We were all thinking how if we worked there we would never get any work done as there are too many cool things to do! Once again we collected some snacks and drinks and then went back to our room! The Childnet team talked to us about upcoming events and tasks and then it was time for lunch, the best part! During and after lunch we talked some more (like a lot!) and set in stone the expectations and requirements for our time as Digital Champions and we talked to by another member of the Childnet team who asked us for our views on some pretty cool things. After a long, packed and fun day we said our goodbyes and took a trip to the pick and mix! It was a really great and enjoyable day that we won’t be forgetting in a hurry.

  • What are the team of Digital Champions going to do?

Jess: As a team of Digital Champions, we want to speak as the youth and for the youth. We are all from so many different backgrounds, and we can harness this diversity to speak out about issues facing young people online in our area and come together to voice our peers’ opinions. The Digital Champion team and I are ready to make young people’s voices heard and speak out for our internet!

  • Which part of being a Digital Champion are you most looking forward to?

Niah: The part of being a Digital Champion I am looking forward to the most is having the opportunity to support young people in making positive decisions online outside of my school community, as well as working with young people from all different backgrounds to take on Digital Leader roles and positively grow the online space.

  • For some of the Digital Champions this is your second year in the role. What advice would you give to the new Digital Champions?

Bella: To the new Digital Champions, I’d definitely say to twist your role in your school and on a local level especially into something you can harness to pursue relevant things you’re interested in seeing improve in your local area. For instance, my Digital Leaders and I have done a lot on safety for the LGBTQ+ community online, because we’re mostly involved in the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) here at my school. If you choose a ‘specialty’ you’re super invested in, it will pronounce you as a seriously capable young leader and it’ll give you the confidence you need to approach a leadership role. That’s how it’s been in my experience.